Artisan Square new Mixed-Use Development in Point Washington at Hwy 395 & Eden Drive

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by BeachMac, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. BeachMac

    BeachMac Beach Lover

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    Does anyone know what happened at the public hearing today? We got the time wrong and missed it but are concerned about what we heard was a condo/mixed use development in Historic Pt Washington.
     
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  2. Robert D

    Robert D Beach Lover

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    Probably Artisan Square - don't know details but I hope old PW get some cool low impact development where folks could live, work, and play. There is an overlay there that keeps density low.
     
  3. Jackalope

    Jackalope Beach Lover

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    That would be cool
     
  4. BeachMac

    BeachMac Beach Lover

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    It was Artisan Square - right after I posted the question, we decided to stop by the courthouse even though we'd be two hours late just in case it was still going on... I didn't realize the dockets are so long, so we had oodles of time before it even came up on the agenda for discussion. Was relieved to hear it doesn't sound like it will be condos which was the rumor we heard, but instead a mixed-use comprised of "5 residential lots and 15,456 square feet of commercial and restaurant use on 3.024 acres". I couldn't tell the quality of the materials from the drawings - and that varies so much down here in terms of scale and character. I'd hate to see something that looked cheaply built in such a historic area, so I am hoping it will be in keeping with some of South Walton's better developments.

    This was my first planning commission meeting... was a little concerned that the rationale for voting as evidenced by the final words of the voting board members before the "yay" votes was several of them saying "It could be worse" (with two members never talking at all during the process nor asking questions). I might be naive, but "it could be worse" isn't a measuring stick I like to hear when planning commission members are making exceptions and granting development code variations.

    Now that it passing the Planning Commission does it still have to go to the Board of County Commissioners? New to how all this works and when/how things are a done deal.

    A quality low-density development that provides a setting for Pt. Washington residents to gather in community could be a welcome addition in the right hands. A "general store"/Coffee shop was part of the description.
    If I am remembering correctly, the developer's name was Onno Horn. The Engineer did most of the talking, he was with Henderson Engineering & Consulting.
     
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  5. Cuff

    Cuff Beach Lover

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    Like you I am just finding out how these Bubbas on the commission work here. It was cut and dried before you got there. They really only look at the potential for added real estate taxes because SoWal pays the tab for the whole county. Don't mean to be cynical but sadly it is reality.
     
  6. Jackalope

    Jackalope Beach Lover

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    Onno has been a custom homebuilder in the area for a while and has built in upscale communities including WaterColor and I think in Alys Beach....Curacao.
     
  7. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    Cuff, that is truly uncalled for. The reason South Walton has so many up-scale developments and has the height limits and is NOT PCB or Destin is because the "Bubbas" made it that way many years ago. More revenue comes from exclusivity and high end development, not junk so building junk is in no one's interest. And do not forget that the first 150 years of Walton County history were paid for by North Walton. South Walton did not really begin to develop until 1974 or so. Not only is your comment cynical, but it is not based on reality.
     
  8. Truman

    Truman Beach Fanatic

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    Agree he was being too broad.

    Yet things have changed a lot in last 20 years. Greed has taken over and big money has come to SoWal. I think the planning department and commission have become quite a machine. The individuals might have some lofty ideas and be community minded, but the big money has the influence. I'm sure many planning commissioners are upset that their advice is often ignored by the county commissioners.
     
  9. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    Truman, I would narrow the time frame to the last 10 years but not a big deal. For the most part we have had pretty good results. The biggest failure is not being more proactive in building infrastructure and not following the LDC and Comp Plan. All government tends to be reactive instead of proactive and the result is we are constantly behind on infrastructure. But I think a majority of the current BCC is working to fund more and better roads, better parking and more beach access. A problem in the past has been paying for studies but failing to implement the suggestions. There seems to be a commitment not to do that with last year's parking study but we will see.
    Where we get into trouble on the planning side is granting variances to the code. If the code is wrong then change it, but otherwise live by it.
     
  10. BeachMac

    BeachMac Beach Lover

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    Danny, that was my concern - what is the point of a code when someone gets approval for a variance to more than double the intensity of two parts of the TND code. In this case I came around to it because the increased percentages (over 50% if my memory serves) were replacing the removal of multi-family units. They were asking for and did receive "yays" for make variances to the code... Most were good and the developer seemed open to modifying some of the things that citizens were most concerned about (i.e. parallel parking on Eden and a outdoor sound variance).

    A nearby resident brought up the valid point that Eden Landing was set up to be mixed-use commercial and is just sitting there gathering tumbleweeds (my word - his vernacular was more professional) after being platted and trees cut. If that speaks to supply and demand, that is not a blight I'd want to see repeated on a major corner in the historic section. I think his point was that the developer of Artisan Square didn't have it funded on the front end for built-out yet, and what is to stop Eden's Landing from happening again. Any reason why the county doesn't require proof of funds or bonds before a project breaks ground? (If that might help prevent abandoned developments like those sitting around the last 10 years.)
     
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  11. bentley williams

    bentley williams Beach Fanatic

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    Eden's Landing was made for flippers. If flipping had continued it would have progressed to flipping houses. But folks just got stuck with overpriced lots.

    I'd bet that Artisan Square will sell, and/or have leases, before or right after breaking ground.
     
  12. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    Beach Mac, The only reasons I can think of are that no one has ever proposed it or the developers opposed it and those commissioner who are/have been beholden to them blocked it. I don't know which it is. I do know that the market caving caused several of the abandoned developments.
     
  13. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    Onno Horn has been very proactive in working with the Historic Point Washington Association regarding his development, and has made changes based on our concerns. Artisan Square should be a very good fit for Historic Point Washington. Unless, of course it sells and future owners are not as attuned to community as Onno is.
     
  14. 30aconcerned

    30aconcerned Beach Lover

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    You say the citizens were concerned about outdoor sound and the developer agreed to an outdoor sound variance. What "outdoor sound" were the citizens concerned about and what "variance" did the developer agree to to address the citizens concerns?

    Thanks.
     
  15. liz coats

    liz coats Beach Comber

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    Define "Bubba".
     
  16. BeachMac

    BeachMac Beach Lover

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    If my memory serves it had to do with outdoor "amplified sound" and the developer was asking for a variance (? I might have the word wrong - basically it was one in a list of things they wanted approval for that was different from the Traditional Neighborhood Development code - the future use code of the parcel). The developer wanted to have sound/noise approval extend for use on a "case by case" basis, but as a planning member said - that is so vague it could include 365 days of case-by-case events involving outdoor noise/amplified sound. The developer clarified that was not the intent (the engineer referenced live music during an art show as an example of intent) and he/they would be willing for that request to be modified so it was agreed that the language would be changed before it was voted on. I think it was left that it would comply with whatever the normal sound ordinance is per the county. Definitely the "case by case" language was removed.

    Unrelated to sound...
    The variances related to density (or "intensity" as one member corrected) were being asked because the size of the parcel (3ish acres). If that was the only reason, I'm surprised that the adjacent parcel (also zoned TND) was not purchased recently as it was for sale last month. Obviously the architectural plans for the main parcel have already been completed so it would have complicated matters, but it could have given more land to the project so the density/intensity may not have needed as much (requested) modification from the code.

    Minutes are not posted, but a video from the proceedings is on the county website, on the line marked 8/13/15, this project was toward the end of the night's agenda: https://walton.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  17. roger that

    roger that Beach Comber

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    You stated the noise issue language was determined that it "would comply with whatever the normal sound ordinance is per the county". The residents of that development should be aware that "the normal sound ordinance for the county" is now Noise Ordinancve No. 2014-16. This Ordinance can be found in the www.walton.fl.us website for the county. It replaces the previous noise ordinance which had very little enforceability with it. The Ordinance 2014-16 is enforceable 24 hours a day seven days a week. It defines a noise disturbance as "any sound of a continuous duration which disturbs the peace, quiet and repose of any other person of reasonable and ordinary sensibilities". It can be enforced by Code Enforcement or theWalton county Sheriffs Office ( typically for noise disturbances after Code Enforcement's normal operating hours). There are other similar type developments on 30-A that are ready to utilize this new Ordinance to address excessive noise issues especially those originated by excessively loud amplified sound from live bands.
     
  18. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    This should be an enhancement to Pt. Washington, not a detriment. Let me see if I can get a site plan.
     
  19. BeachMac

    BeachMac Beach Lover

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    **TUESDAY October 13th Board of County Commissioner Public Hearing/Final County Meeting at 5:00pm (South Walton Courthouse Annex)** & and the Developer is hosting a "Final Community Meeting" the night before at 5:30p on October 12th at the Pt. Washington United Methodist Church's Stephen Center.

    New Signs Up with Meetings dates and times...

    [​IMG]

    MattJ, re: your comment above, do you know if the site plan looks less strip-center-esque than shown on their sign graphic? It reminds me of what I saw at the Planning Commission Meeting, and given their "Historical" sub-title on the sign, I was curious if the Developer's plan is a bit more historic looking than is possible to be shown in the black and white drawing... window choices, trim/scale, materials, etc. could go a long way to make it look more like something that fits the historical section where their parcel is located, vs. a more modern day strip-center-look with varying roof heights and decorative/non-functional dormers. Traditional design choices could make something new look more native with patina - and perhaps more trees? Would love to hear more about plan specifics for those who cannot attend the meeting Monday.
     

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  20. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    I'll look for any other details, the only thing I have currently is a site plan from some point in the design process.
     

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