New 928-square-foot rentals planned near Hurlburt Field. Here are the plans for the homes.

On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioner unanimously approved a Planned Unit Development (PUD) on 10 acres on the south-side of Highway 98, west of Hurlburt Field.

The proposed Forest Shore Villas development will consist of 53 single-story, multi-family residential units (for rent). Each unit will be a separate building and configured on the site similar to a traditional single-family subdivision. Each unit will be 16 feet wide by 58 feet deep.

The units will be accessed from an internal roadway which is connected to US Highway 98, according to county documents.  Each unit will have two dedicated parking spaces and there will be 22 additional parking spaces located throughout the development for visitors and guests. 

  • There are approximately 2.93 acres of wetlands on the site, of which, 2.25 acres are located within a conservation easement. 
  • Approximately 0.49 acres of the wetlands are proposed to be filled to construct the proposed development, according to the county.

What’s unique about this project is that the entire neighborhood is to be owned by a single entity. The homes won’t be sold, but will be rented out. This unified-ownership also prolonged the process of getting in front of the Board of County Commissioners because of the definition of “multi-family.”

  • For Okaloosa County, multi-family is defined as structures that have 4 dwelling units or more.

According to Commissioner Nathan Boyles, the engineer who developed the project expressed frustration that it took the project over a year to make it to the commission for approval. He says it was driven entirely by the requirement for the creation of a PUD which would not have been required if the lots were being sold individually.

“After approving the project, the Commission unanimously directed staff to start the process of reviewing the current definition of “multi-family” within the code,” said Boyles. “With the goal of clarifying that a subdivision meeting all normal provisions of the land development code not be treated as a multi-family project (like apartments) just because the lots will initially be under unified ownership.”

Go deeper: If this project sounds familiar, that’s because the exact same type of subdivision and homes are being built in Niceville, near the new Aldi. This block of 35 homes will be rented out by the builder as a long-term investment. 

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