Local News

Action on plans for luxury apartments delayed

SEBRING - When Sebring City Council members confronted the issue of a proposed luxury apartment complex Tuesday, it almost became an issue of: What came first: The Chicken or the Egg.

Residents of Francis II, a nearby mobile home development, and some city council members wanted developers, Lake Jackson Holdings, to present a rendering of the proposed development.

But developers said they don't want to spend thousands of dollars on such a rendering until the council approves increasing of building density on the property, which would make the development economically feasible.

In the end, the council tabled the matter until May.

The luxury apartment complex that developers say will include a gym for residents is slated to be built on the old Kenilworth golf course that has been shut down for a few years.

"This is going to be a nice development," said Mark Gose, one of the representatives for the developers.

One sticking point is that developers want to have the city approve doubling the density, 118 units to 243 dwelling units. Some residents of Francis II voiced concerns that will bring about too much traffic in the area.

Charles Cook, another resident, said he questions whether the development is viable.

"I don't know there's a need for high-end apartments," he said.

Wilma Pilkington, another resident, said that such a development would do better in San Francisco or Miami.

Several residents said they're not against development, but that they want development that is compatible with the area.

John Ruskin, a resident of Francis II, said he would like to see a privacy fence at the development and green space. He does not want the development to become low-incoming housing.

But outgoing City Councilman Andrew Fells said he believes there's a need for the housing proposed by the developers.

"We don't have the facilities, infrastructure, to encourage young people to come back (after going away to school)," he said. "We have to bring young people back."


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