The Newberry City Commission made a move on Monday night that opens the door for more than 18 acres of agricultural property along Newberry Road to be developed as commercial intensive (CI).
The approval also entered property owners Joseph and Teresa Hoffman into an agreement with Newberry that assures any future development on the two adjacent parcels will adhere to future commercial corridor design standards that are still being finalized.
The community-wide vision will ultimately change Newberry’s comprehensive plan and land development regulations, according to backup documents supporting the Oct. 25 meeting agenda.
“Design and appearance considerations for land uses located along the gateways into the City (SR 26 and US 27) are part of the process,” states the agreement, which itemizes design, landscaping, use and intensity in accordance with CI zoning. The agreement also provides guidelines for water and wastewater for any new development.
The two properties rezoned add up to 18.48 acres and are located at 27085 and 20737 W. Newberry Road across from Destiny Community Church.
The process of rezoning the 18.48 acres at the city level has been expedited because of a new state law, HB 487, that changes the definition of small-scale comprehensive plan amendment from 10 acres or less to 50 acres or less.
Before the change, the amendment would need to be addressed at the state level, Mayor Jordan Marlowe explained.
The Hoffmans worked with the city on their decision to make the change to CI instead of a potential residential development. Marlowe thanked them for doing so.
“The Hoffmans had a different idea,” he said as he thanked them for “putting the city before you and your own needs.”
Commissioner Ricky Coleman said he is excited about what might end up on the property.
Newberry officials have talked about the need for a hotel and additional commercial businesses that will cater to visitors traveling to compete in baseball, softball and archery tournaments, plus ag and equestrian events at the Alachua County Agricultural and Equestrian Center.
“Commercial excited me instead of residential,” Coleman said. “Whatever he puts out there will do very well.”