Commission Okays Rezoning for Upscale Restaurant

The Dwight estate at 200 Rose Ave., built in 1917, has a new future in store as Rose Plantation, an upscale steak house diagonally across from the city's new "City Center" project and the soon-to-be-former site of the century-old Casino Community Center, a much beloved local landmark.

Pine Eden, at 200 Rose Ave., built in 1917, has a new future in store as Rose Plantation, an upscale steak house diagonally across from the city’s new “City Center” project.

Fruitland Park’s city commissioners okayed a plan to rezone two properties on Rose Avenue south of County Road 466A at Thursday’s commission meeting.

Both properties are currently zoned R2 Residential. Under the new zoning, both properties will be zoned C1 Commercial.

The Pharmer property, a 0.83-acre lot on the southwest corner of Rose Ave. and CR466A, is owned by the Pharmer family, which also owns Pete’s Diner on U.S. 27/441. According to Community Development Director Charlie Rector, the Pharmers have no intention to develop at this time but want to be ready when CR 466A improvements are completed. That could be several years.

The second property, a 4.04-acre site south of Catawba Street and diagonally across from the proposed City Center project, was known as Pine Eden when millionaire Massachusetts publishing magnate William Dwight built it as a winter estate in 1917.

Villages resident and former restaurant owner John Gibson wants to turn Pine Eden into an upscale restaurant for 75 people with another 75 seats in an adjacent banquet hall.

Commissioners met as the commission and also as the Local Planning Agency (LPA) and voted unanimously to pass ordinances that will rezone the properties and change the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map to accommodate the new zoning.

There was very little discussion of any of the six different actions and all six passed unanimously.

A second city commission reading of the ordinances is required before they can be enacted. That reading was to have been scheduled for the August 13 commission meeting, which has been canceled.

Commissioners plan to meet in workshop sessions August 3, 4, and 5 and could schedule a special meeting to vote on the rezoning ordinances. The next regularly shelled commission meeting is August 27.

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