Residents are unhappy with 98 new townhomes approved near I-95
STUART, Fla. – A new 98-unit townhome development has been approved by the Martin County Board of Commissioners, but some residents aren’t happy about it.
State and county records show the applicant is Atlanta-based Pulte Home. Emails, received by WPTV, show that neighbors complained to commissioners about potential problems with density and traffic.
“I have serious concerns about the safety of our current residents due to the apparent increase in vehicle traffic and accidents at the intersection of SW Lost River Road and Kanner Hwy,” Tom Conners wrote to the county manager and county commissions in an email. “Existing business and previous residential approvals have already caused a significant increase in traffic flow along SW Lost River Road.”
The current site has seen some development, according to city staff, but the area is mostly wooded. It is currently zoned to include commercial areas.
Michael Houston, president of the Martin County-based HJA Design studio representing the applicant, said he has been trying to develop the property for about two years.
He also said the applicant could use the Live Local Act, also known as Senate Bill 102, which could force county staff to approve the plan without approval.
“I think this is a potential site for Senate Bill 102,” Houston said. “That’s not a threat. I didn’t bring it up.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, Houston said it could use the law to add 188 units to the area.
“This is just kind of going back to envelope numbers now,” he said.
Susan O’Rourke, president of O’Rourke Engineering and Planning, studied traffic, including morning and night, for the proposal.
John Kazanjian, president of the Lost River Plantation Homeowners Association, said he doesn’t believe the traffic study is accurate. He believes that every independent home will have a car, which will add to the already existing problem.
“It’s going to be bad,” Kazanjian said. “It will be supported.”
He said he believes more people would have spoken at the meeting if it had not been held on a weekday morning.
Brian Taylor, who is president of the Tidewater Pointe Homeowners Association, wrote that he also had concerns about traffic in an email to commissioners Monday night.
“Traffic at the intersection of SW Lost River Road and Kanner Highway is extremely heavy at best,” Taylor wrote. “Accidents happen on a seemingly daily basis, many of them serious.”
Traffic will be worse if the land continues to remain zoned “general commercial,” Houston said.
“If it’s commercial and you’re worried about traffic,” Taylor said. “You should be more concerned about traffic being more intense and throughout the day.”
(Tags for translation)Canner Highway