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NEWBERRY ‒ On July 11, the City of Newberry approved annexation of nearly 88 acres into the City. Approved was a petition by owners Joshua P. and Tracie A. Blackford for 22.75 acres located on the west side of Northwest County Road 235 at the terminus of Northwest 46th Avenue, west of the Gatorback Cycle Park. Also approved was a petition by Richard Marion Fowler III to annex 20.68 acres located on the southwest corner of West Newberry Road/State Road 26 and Southwest 226th Street. Todd and Lori Martin petitioned for annexation of two parcels totaling 40 acres located on the east side of Northwest 298th Street (county line), approximately 1,200 feet north of Northwest 32nd Avenue. And Clifton A. and Shari D. Brown petitioned for 4.35 acres located on the east side of Northwest 32nd Avenue, approximately 2,500 feet east of Northwest 298th Street to be annexed into the City.

In other business, the Commission voted 4-1 on first reading to change the Future Land Use Map classification on 220 acres from Agriculture to Planned Development for Tanglewood Properties of Gainesville, LLC. The property is located on the south side of West Newberry Road/State Road 26, between Southwest 218th Street and Southwest 202nd Street. Commissioner Tony Mazon casting the dissenting vote.

After lengthy discussion, the Commission also approved rezoning the same property from Agricultural (A) to Planned Development (PD). Final approval is contingent upon the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity approving changing the Future Land Use Map Classification.

In other unanimous actions, the Commission approved a rezoning, a re-platt, a final plat and an amendment to the City’s Land Development Regulations. The Commission approved 5-0 on second and final reading to rezone 1.69 acres from Residential, Single Family to Planned Development in the Economic Development Overlay District and partially located within the City’s Historic District. The proposed development is an infill project that seeks to add 14 cottage- style single family townhomes to the site, while leaving the existing single-family house as-is. A central alley will bisect the block and automotive access to each lot will be provided from the alley. Commissioners also approved a variance from the requirement that 10 percent of the development be devoted to common open space, which is not practical due to the size limitations of the parcel. The site encompasses a full block bounded by Southwest 1st Avenue to the north, Southwest 257th Street to the east, Southwest 2nd Avenue to the south and Southwest 258th Street to the west.

Commissioners unanimously approved a request by Brown and Shapphard/Bison Construction LLC to re-plat Bartley Lane, Lot 10, which consists of 0.14 acre, to remedy a building setback line encroachment on the front yard building setback line. The encroachment was discovered by the title insurance company while researching the property in advance of the sale of the newly constructed single-family residence.

Commissioners also unanimously approved a request by Michael Steinberg for approval of the Dylan’s Grove Phase 2A Final Plat consisting of 39.9 acres located south of Southwest 15th Avenue and west of Southwest 188th Street. Phase 2A is part of the Dylan’s Grove Planned Rural Residential Development. This approval is conditioned upon receipt of fully executed surety device approved by the City Attorney.

The Commission unanimously approved amending the City’s Land Development Regulations to allow Small-Scale Rural Subdivisions as a Special Exception within the Agricultural Zoning District.

In other action, Commissioners approved an application to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for a Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) following a second public hearing. The application is for the Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) category. In a related matter, Commissioners authorized submittal of a Florida Jobs Growth Grant Fund application for public infrastructure funding in the Newberry Ag-tech Innovation Park.

Parks and Recreation Director Travis Parker reviewed the 2022 Babe Ruth softball season, highlighting the Newberry 10 and under team that won the Babe Ruth State Tournament for their age division on June 27.

Mayor Jordan Marlowe read a resolution into the record celebrating Park and Recreation Month in Newberry identified as “We Rise Up for Parks and Recreation!” month.

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