March 28, 2018 — In front of a standing-room-only crowd last night of more than 400 people, Signature H Property Group made a 90-minute presentation to Apopka City Council to support and encourage the adoption of the necessary rezoning needed to begin the redevelopment of New Errol and the Staghorn Club & Lodge.
After an additional nearly two hours of questions from city commissioners and public commentary, the Council unanimously approved, with a 5-0 vote, Signature H’s first reading for the rezoning application. The final step happens on April 11, 2018 when Signature H presents once again and requests City Council to place a final vote to grant the rezoning.
Helmut Wyzisk III, vice president of Signature H Property Group, presented at the meeting along with an impressive lineup of speakers, including Blake Drury of GAI Consultants; Vasu Persaud of Traffic, Planning & Design, Inc.; Henry Fishkind of Fishkind & Associates; Bob Carmichael and Noreen Harrington of Developer Capital; Steve Smyers of Steve Smyers Golf Course Architects; Mike Miraglia of Xude Hospitality; Guy Butler of Butler Moore Architects; and John Tuhela of Weller Pools. The presentations included and overview of the developers agreement, the master plan and the phasing plan for New Errol and Staghorn Club & Lodge.
“If we can create this golf course,” said Steve Smyers, “we’ll not only develop a golf course that will stimulate the most elite players in the world to come play here, but it will also be like the links of Saint Andrews that allows the residents of that community to go out and enjoy the setting and enjoy the golf experience on a daily basis.”
During the presentations, many details of the phasing plan were confirmed, including that before the first residential permit is issued, Signature H will dedicate the entire length of the spine road (initially built to support and divert construction traffic) from Errol Parkway to Vick Road and will be required to fully complete the first segment of the spine road from Errol Pkwy to Golf Course Drive. Signature H will also be required the commence construction of the golf course prior to any residential permits being issued. In addition, a bond will be posted by Signature H for the completion of the second phase of the spine road from Golf Course Drive to Vick Road and for the completion of the community park.
“One of the key aspects to getting this project where it is today was getting feedback directly from members of the community,” said Helmut Wyzisk III. Helmut explained how he and his team held more than 130 community meetings, including meeting with residents of Apopka and Errol, HOAs, open houses, with individual homeowners in their homes and in their back yards, all trying to understand their concerns, ideas and desires and working to be as transparent as possible.
“I look at this crowd and see Errol residents, I see future golfers, I see future waterpark attendees, and I see individuals that don’t want to leave their home, but stay here and age in place at a resort-style assisted living facility,” added Helmut. “But this isn’t unconditional love and support, this is conditional support. We made commitments to these residents that we’re ready to be held to.“
Approximately 11 Errol residents got up to give public commentary at the meeting on New Errol, with some of the more memorable comments including:
“It is Signature H or it is nothing, and the vast majority of Errol, as you can see, wants this to happen,” said Barbara McLeoud, Errol resident.
“Property values are super important to me, as well as to many of you in the community, and I’m excited to see those potentially increase,” said Kellie Cox, Errol resident.
“You have to let the process work. I’m willing to let the process with Signature H work, are you?” asked Jacqueline Butler, Errol resident.
“I’ve always been very impressed with the level of commitment I’ve seen from Signature H. They have invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears in this. I think when you take a step back and look at this from a larger perspective, the first thing that needs to be said about the Errol project is it’s a redevelopment project. It’s taking an existing piece of ground with more than 2000 existing property owners and taking a bad situation with the golf course and the club house and trying to imagine something and make it better…This is a good project, and it’s a good, well though-out, well-negotiated, well-presented plan that won’t make everyone happy. But from the larger perspective, it is going to move the Errol community forward, it will create amenities for the younger residents of Errol, it will create a better future for the city of Apopka as a whole, “ said Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer.
The Council closed the meeting, and it was motioned and unanimously agreed to continue to the 2nd hearing on Wednesday, April 11th at 5:30 PM. Signature H encourages residents to once again come out in force to that meeting to show their support for the project and urge City Council to vote in favor of the rezoning. Once approved, Signature H will return with their development plans and announce plans for ground breaking on the first phase of the project, including the spine road, the golf course and much more.
The entire meeting was streamed live on New Errol’s Facebook page, and video archives can be viewed at www.facebook.com/NewErrolApopka/.