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Vintage Oaks, a gated community featuring over 100 townhomes on Northlake Blvd nearing approval

Progressing the initiative to construct 111 townhomes on Northlake Boulevard, developer D.R. Horton took another stride as it addressed concerns from local residents who contended that the project clashed with the neighborhood's ambiance. Simultaneously, the developer emphasized the necessity for more affordable housing near the burgeoning Avenir development.


Vintage Oaks, a gated community featuring over 100 townhomes on Northlake Blvd nearing approval

The Palm Beach Gardens City Council, with member Marcie Tinsley abstaining due to her spouse's involvement with the firm that conducted the developer's land survey, voted 4-0 last week to advance two elements of the proposed Vintage Oaks community.


Beyond concerns about traffic and population density, a focal point of certain remarks revolved around a reported payment of $650,000 from D.R. Horton and property holder Northlake 20 LLC to the Rustic Lakes Property Owners Association. This payment was contingent upon official support from the POA board for the project.


Vintage Oaks, a gated community featuring over 100 townhomes on Northlake Blvd nearing approval

If the proposal materializes as envisioned, the land, spanning nearly 18 acres and positioned between Bay Hill Drive on the west and 112th Terrace North on the east, would accommodate 111 townhomes. The site is situated around a mile east of Coconut Boulevard.


Presently, the property is divided into four parcels. The two parcels on the eastern side have land use and zoning classifications suitable for medical offices. These parcels are approved for approximately 43,000 square feet of space in two single-story structures, as indicated by a report from the city staff.

The two eastern parcels possess a future land use classification of rural residential and zoning categorized as agricultural residential, as mentioned by the staff. Pending a second and final reading, the entire site's future land use and zoning would transition to medium-density residential.


Vintage Oaks, a gated community featuring over 100 townhomes on Northlake Blvd nearing approval

The recent council votes also tentatively endorsed the project's site plan, which encompasses two ponds, 20 townhome buildings featuring between four and seven units each, a recreational area housing a shaded playground, and a clubhouse with a pool. The community would be gated, permitting barcode access for residents and a call box for visitors.


An additional set of six waivers was requested, five of which are prerequisites for any townhome neighborhood development within Palm Beach Gardens, according to the city staff. Brian Seymour, the attorney representing D.R. Horton, indicated that the project has been in the works for nearly five years, with initial blueprints drawn up in 2018. Over time, the desired population density has dwindled from an initial proposal of 186 townhomes to the present 111.


Seymour highlighted the extended dialogues with Palm Beach Gardens planning staff and neighboring communities, underscoring the earnest efforts to address concerns. He acknowledged Rustic Lakes' robust opposition but also the constructive feedback that led to certain design modifications.

Despite this, some Rustic Lakes residents remain unconvinced of the board's decision to back the project. Conversations with these residents resulted in agreements such as the construction of a taller wall along the property's southern border.


Vintage Oaks, a gated community featuring over 100 townhomes on Northlake Blvd nearing approval

A disclosed $650,000 payment was documented in a memorandum of agreement filed by D.R. Horton, Northlake 20 LLC, and the Rustic Lakes community. This agreement outlined the responsibilities of each party but omitted the specific amount of the payment to Rustic Lakes. However, sources and comments suggested that the amount was indeed $650,000.


The agreement required D.R. Horton and Northlake 20 LLC to adhere to several commitments, including refraining from accessing 112th Terrace North, adhering to the submitted site plan, adjusting the lighting plan, fulfilling certain landscape buffer and wall requirements, and offering compensation to Rustic Lakes for impact mitigation.


Amid concerns about the payment, Rustic Lakes and Bay Hill Estates residents also raised apprehensions about escalating traffic on Northlake, exacerbated by ongoing development.

Notably, the project is located southeast of Avenir's southern boundary, which, upon completion, will encompass over 4,000 new homes along with commercial, retail, and office spaces.


While certain residents expressed support for the project, underscoring its relevance akin to previously developed townhome communities, others emphasized the need for enhanced safety measures due to the hazardous combination of traffic volume and speed.


Seymour emphasized that the payment was intended to address ongoing neighborhood issues, particularly drainage concerns, and underscored the collaborative intent to resolve problems rather than any ulterior motive. Despite skepticism, he reaffirmed the commitment to working with neighbors to reach mutually agreeable solutions.


The applications are anticipated to be finalized during an upcoming council meeting.

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