Neighboring property owners are applauding a plan that could bring more than 1,500 new homes to northern Dawson County.
Marty Horne, former president of the Gold Creek Homeowners Association, said neighbors support a proposal by Forestar Real Estate Group to develop a 1,068-acre mixed-use village between Hwy. 136 and Burt Creek Road.
A site plan for the Villages at Burt Creek calls for more than 1,500 housing units, 100,000 square feet of commercial office space and 23,200 square feet of retail space.
A school, hotel, day care and recreational facilities are also planned.
“We think it will be an asset to Gold Creek and Dawson County,” Horne said. “When this project will take place, it will create jobs in the county.”
Earlier this year, Larry Long with Forestar, formerly Temple Inland, filed an application to rezone the property from residential agriculture and residential planned community to mixed-use village.
The Dawson County commission approved the rezoning after a hearing Thursday night.
During the hearing, Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the local development authority, called Forestar a refreshing break from some other developers.
“Working with Larry has been an absolute pleasure,” he said. “They bring a vision and flexibility. They don’t just put out a cookie cutter … type project.
“These projects, I believe, are innovative and appropriate for our times.”
Auvermann also told commissioners of Long’s steps to improve relations with adjacent landowners who had previously expressed concern with the project.
Since presenting the conceptual plan to the county’s planning board, Long has met with property owners and revised the northern section of the conceptual plan. The revision creates a buffer and moves residential lots away from the border.
While Long did not give a time frame for the project to begin, he did say the first phase would offer a senior living component.
The overall project could take 10 to 20 years to complete.