City Council Moves Forward With Annexing Spirit of Sebastian

Sebastian City Council unanimously approves first step for the annexation of 182 acres Wednesday.
Sebastian City Council unanimously approves first step for the annexation of 182 acres Wednesday.

SEBASTIAN, Florida – The Sebastian City Council unanimously approved the annexation of 182 acres Wednesday that could bring between 500 to 700 homes over the next decade.

The approval clears the way to allow Ridgewood Sebastian LLC to begin the next city approval for the Spirit of Sebastian project, a planned urban development (PUD).

However, the project still faces scrutiny from some residents.

“What is the hurry? Independent financial impact studies do not lie. Here you will see the developer makes all the money, and we the taxpayers get stuck paying the bills in the future,” said Damien Gilliams.

Mayor Jim Hill said that if the property isn’t annexed to the city, the county could approve 1,100 homes instead of the proposed 500 to 700. Hill said the developer would pay for roads, county water & sewage, and the city would generate revenue through fees and taxes.

Councilman Ed Dodd said annexation was only the first step in a very long process, where all of their concerns would be flushed-out.

“All it says is it’s going to make the land part of the city of Sebastian,” said Dodd. “The city has to get the developer to invest money in the PUD application before the project can even go to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. You can’t produce everything up front. This is just the first step in the process.”

The property is located north and east of the Sebastian Highlands, and south of the Sebastian Industrial Park near County Road 512.

More: 700 New Housing Units Could Be Built Soon In Sebstian

Chuck Mechling, agent for the project, said he and his team plan to submit the application to the city in the next few weeks. During this process, traffic and transportation patterns in Sebastian would be analyzed. In addition, roads, drainage, and the environment would have to be necessary improvements before the plan is finalized.

Mechling said it is a long process.

“But all of the concerns folks brought up tonight will be addressed. Our whole team will meet with everyone who spoke to get their input into the project. There will be traffic studies, reports, environmental assessments, whatever is necessary will be done,” Mechling said.

Subscribe to our Sebastian Newsletter to find out what's going on around Indian River County.

Copyright 2018 SebastianDaily.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

mm
About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges began his career in the field of radio and TV broadcasting where he worked for about a decade. The Jupiter, Florida resident then pursued computers as they were coming to market in the late 1980's. Andy has also been a software programmer and worked as a Senior Systems Analyst/Engineer in the Information Technology sector in Atlanta. He eventually returned to Florida and made Sebastian his home in 2002.
About Us | Contact Us | Privacy | Terms | Advertising