G. Harvey Estates homes in final planning stages with state

BUCKHEAD RIDGE — The wide-open rangeland just southwest of here along State Road 78, where presently only cows and cattle egret dwell, is set to soon become G. Harvey Estates, a new subdivision with hundreds of homes and a strip of commercial development. As soon as developer Glenn Harvey gets the go-ahead on his plans from Florida state agencies that are reviewing them, the 500-plus-acre tract will begin to be transformed.

A sign marks the pasture land where soon cattle and egrets will be replaced by up to 1,000 homes. Photo taken by Chris Felker.

The area is in Glades County, about 3 miles southwest of the S.R. 78 bridge over the Kissimmee River that marks the Okeechobee/Glades county line. Asked about the status of the project last week, Glades County Manager Paul Carlisle said that Mr. Harvey “is working on his development plat and everything; so it’s being worked on. He’s getting all his plats and planning and all that done.”

Although the project has not formally begun moving through the county review process, activity is ramping up behind the scenes.

“I actually have Johnson (Engineering) doing the review of the plat; they sent it, the DOT (Florida Department of Transportation) is reviewing it, so there’s some steps that have to happen,” Mr. Carlisle said.

“That is what they’re doing, filing a formal application,” he explained. The state reviews are “part of the process; they send in to get a plat and their development agreements and the comprehensive plan amendments. Now, a permit to start building something – all this has to happen first. It hasn’t been before planning and zoning because we’re working on the DOT’s comments,” Mr. Carlisle added.

Once developer Harvey’s representatives have worked out details of the development plans with the state bureaucracy, they will be submitted to the Glades County Community Development Department and go through staff review, then be presented to the Planning and Zoning Board for its recommendation to the full Glades County Board of Commissioners.

Mr. Harvey’s engineer Steve Dobbs came to speak at the February meeting of the Buckhead Ridge Homeowners Association, to inform the 2,000-plus residents of that unincorporated community about plans for the land that’s across a small canal and the narrow State Road 78B from them. (S.R. 78B is a county stub that isn’t even two lanes wide, and serves as a southern entrance to Buckhead Ridge.)

Mr. Dobbs said the development of the neighboring proposed homes on the 520 acres along S.R. 78 would begin shortly. He explained that 495 of those acres would be developed as half-acre sites for site-built homes, 80 of which will be located on the rim canal.

He also said that a 300-foot frontage on S.R. 78, running along the whole development, is set aside for commercial use, and that there will be two turn lanes off of the state highway into the development.

Coldwell Banker Berger Real Estate of Okeechobee is handling property sales.

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