MYERS PARK NEWS

A Comparison of development proposed on various lots along South Gadsden Street with another project by:
Lakeside Properties, L.L.C. -
that being:
Seminole Key Apartments -
Rumba Lane, Tallahassee

CAVEAT:  Information presented here is not based on fully detailed information regarding either the existing development or the proposed development, but is the best that the Myers Park Neighborhood Association has been able to acquire as of 13 February 2000.

The Seminole Key Apartments were developed by Lakeside Properties, L.L.C., on Rumba Lane, off of Ocala Road during 1999.  The property that that location is zoned MR-1, and is in a flood plain.  A project built under MR-1 on Rumba Lane can be quite different than one built under RP-1 on Gadsden Street with regard to structure type and size, parking facilities, setback requirements and other features.  Aspects of design for a storm water management facility in a flood plain (Rumba Lane) and not in a flood plain may also be different.

However, the residences in the Seminole Key Apartments development are structurally similar in many respects to those now being developed by the Gadsden Street Apartments, L.L.C., which we understand to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Lakeside Properties, L.L.C., the developer of Seminole Key Apartments.  Conspicuous differences in the two projects are:

1.  The Seminole Key Apartments consist of a variety of structure types including quadruplex, duplex and so-called single family.  However, they are all clearly integral parts of an apartment complex.

2. The Seminole Key Apartments structures appear to have various footprints including a 40 foot by 40 foot "single family" version, whereas the Gadsden Street Apartments are expected to have only the 40 foot by 40 foot "single family dwelling" footprint.

3.  The parking arrangement at Seminole Key Apartments is an extensive parking lot.  At the Gadsden Street Apartments zoning allows only three parking spaces for each structure, although the developer is trying to obtain approval for four parking spaces per "single family residence".  So far as is known, each structure will have its own driveway.  The developer proposed to make that a double driveway but Growth Management has said that it must be a single driveway.

The close structural and other similarities are:

1.  Hipped metal roofs.

2.  Beach type color schemes.

3.  Slab on grade construction with extensive alteration of existing (natural) grade.

4.  The "single family" model has six exterior doors.  One door each provides access from the front and back into the central area of the residence, presumably into the living room and kitchen, respectively.  The other four doors provide direct access to and from the exterior for each of the four bedrooms of the structure.

There is also a general similarity of the two projects in terms of severely minimal setback between structures, though the setback will be slightly greater at the Gadsden Street Apartments than at the Seminole Key Apartments because of the difference in zoning classification.

The following photographs were provided by a friend:


 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The three photos above are of the front and sides of "single family dwelling" structures at Seminole Key Apartments.
 
 

This is a view of Seminole Key Apartments from a distance.  Note the small side setbacks between buildings.  That is apparently 5 feet for each structure for a total of 10 feet between structures and is what the same developer is trying to attain for the lot at Jennings Street.   The Growth Management staff has told the developer that the side setback for each building must be at least 7 1/2 feet, for a total of 15 feet between buildings.  NOTE:  A "nature conservation" area is required on both projects.  The required area of the lot at Jennings that must be preserved in its natural state is approximately 50%.  Whether or not there are similar requirements for tree-covered lots further south on Gadsden is not known at this time.  The lots upon which construction is already underway at Harrison and at Palmer (a total of four structures) had been cleared in the distant past and only a few relatively large trees had been left on them.

This is a view down a row of these structures.  The closest structure is not a "single family" unit.  The second one is.

This is a view of the back of the apartments showing the slatted chain-link fence enclosure which separates the project from an older adjoining apartment complex.  The older apartments in the area do not have such fences.  The closest unit is a quadruplex.  Quadruplex versions of of the standard design have only four doors as opposed to the six doors of the "single family dwelling" version.  Note the perfunctory, minimal use of landscape plantings.

The slatted chain-link fencing demarcates the "nature preservation" area as well.  That area is a wooded chunk on the far end of the property.
 

This is the storm water management facility at the Seminole Key Apartments development.  Note the absence of visual masking and the conspicuous concrete retaining walls and chain link fence.  A nearby tree has fallen through the fence near the center of the structure and is laying across the scum covered water that is ponded in the facility.

This shot provides a better view of the pond scum.
 

Looking in the opposite direction...  More scum.

These are the mailboxes for the Seminole Key Apartments.  Whether similar fixtures would be installed along Gadsden Street is unknown.

So far as is known, there would be no parking lots like this along Gadsden Street.  However, there is concern that with only three or four parking spaces, a four bedroom structure with six exterior doors may sooner or later generate up to double the occupancy of  four individual students per dwelling which is stated to be "intended", and that  parking will overflow into the yards and streets around these "single family dwelling" apartments.

In general, the Lakeside Properties, L.L.C.'s Seminole Keys new development at the end of  Rumba Lane is characterized by an extreme contrast with the surrounding, older, apartment residences that line Rumba Lane.  The visible exterior portions of the existing structures are mostly or entirely of unpainted wood with a considerable patina, there was little disturbance of natural slope involved in their construction, and they are closely enveloped by trees.  Rumba Lane is tree-lined almost to the pavement, and the street was apparently paved virtually at existing natural grade.  By contrast, at Seminole Key Apartments, except for the required "nature preservation area" which is not integrated into the overall design except by separation of it from the area of construction, the entire site was cleared and nearly leveled.  Post-construction landscaping and replanting were minimal, consisting of sod and a loose scattering of shrubs and small trees.

The Myers Park News is a publication of the Myers Park Neighborhood Association, Inc., Robert Olmstead, President - Richard White, Editor.