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Judge begins review of Farmton proposal in Brevard
By Ludmilla Lelis, Orlando Sentinel
August 11, 2010
Volusia portion of the future development will be reviewed next month
Development: Farmton, the proposed future city that one day could bring more than 21,000 homes to land that is now a remote tree farm west of Interstate 95 in Central Florida, faces a review by an administrative law judge.
Farmton, the proposed future city that one day could bring more than 21,000 homes to land that is now a remote tree farm west of Interstate 95, will be reviewed by an administrative law judge.
Today is the opening day of hearings by administrative law judge J.L. Johnston, who will review whether Brevard County's changes to its land-use plan, that would allow Farmton to be built in the future, are legal.
The Miami Corporation owns 59,000 acres ranging from northern Brevard to central Volusia counties. The land is currently used as a tree farm, and the family-owned company wants to develop it over time.
As part of the plan, 77 percent of the property -- about 45,000 acres in the two counties -- would be preserved, said Glenn Storch, attorney for the landowner.
The state Department of Community Affairs decided last year that Brevard County's changes, which lay the groundwork for the future development, did not comply with state law, finding that the project comprises sprawl and allows for too much development in an environmentally sensitive area.
The hearings in Viera at the Moore Justice Center could continue through August 27.
Hearings on Volusia's land-use changes to accommodate Farmton are scheduled for September 14 through 19 in DeLand.
Most of the Miami Corp. land is located in Volusia County and the proposal calls for more homes than had been planned for that remote area, as well as 4.7 million square feet of commercial space. But the plans call for a cap of 2,387 homes because the school district can't accommodate more development, with the most intense development postposed for at least 15 years.
A ruling from the administrative law judge is not expected for several months.
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