Developers received approval from the Charlotte County Planning and Zoning Board for a consolidation of parcels for a planned development, allowing the construction of 1,762 single-family and multifamily homes along Burnt Store Road.  

The firm, Burnt Store Developers LLC of Jacksonville, was represented by attorney Derek Rooney of the GrayRobinson law firm in Fort Myers, who testified before the board on March 11. 

Rooney said he would offer a slide presentation before the board, but Chair Michael Gravesen said it would not be necessary that day. 

Burnt Store Developers purchased a total of 425.96 acres in May 2023 for $21,291,000 to develop the Turnleaf community. 

Three parcels were consolidated into one zoned for Planned Development. 

Jie Shao, principal planner for the county’s Community Development department, said the developer has changed the plans, which reduce the number of units to be built by 341 and decrease density to 4.1 units per acre, while zoning allows up to 5 acres. 

The entrance will be on the east side of Burnt Store Road, another to the north, and an emergency access entrance will be built later. 

Rooney said 14.82 acres of wetlands and uplands have been preserved in addition to an area containing an archeological site. 

Shao said the plans meet the county’s master plan and the Burnt Store Road master plan, the latter of which is expected to be updated by the county. 

Next, the Board of County Commissioners will review the petition at an April 23 meeting and decide whether to approve it, paving the way for construction to begin. 

Rooney is expected to reveal the project’s plans at that BOCC meeting. 

There are currently some 14 individual developments in various stages of planning, design and construction along Burnt Store Road, with near completion expected around 2045. Meanwhile, county commissioners, planning officials and engineers have been grappling with ways to deal with the burst of growth.  

The county has grown significantly since its Burnt Store Area Plan was devised, and many of the new planned developments are along the Burnt Store Corridor.  

The Burnt Store Area Plan provided for mostly residential zoning, which allowed developers to purchase large parcels of land to build homes. 

As the area grew to more than 11,000 residents, the Burnt Store Corridor Coalition was formed to address concerns about wildlife crossings, drainage, flooding, water, traffic, and the lack of commercial entities to serve residents. 

Some of their concerns are being addressed. Wildlife crossing signs have been put in place and debris has been cleared from places animals use to cross the road. 

Next, a drainage study will take place.