The conceptual plan for phase two of construction for Magnolia Bend, a new Milton subdivision located on the corner of Dogwood Drive and Magnolia Bend Boulevard, recently received approval from city council. The residential neighborhood consists of 36 lots over more than seven acres of property being developed by DR Horton.

  Milton City Planner Randy Jorgenson gave an update on the development during last week’s executive committee meeting.

Jorgenson, representing the city’s planning board, recommended approval of the development’s phase two of the concept plan.

The council members present at last Monday’s meeting voted in favor on the concept plan along with requesting the recommendations of adding a tree buffer area along the northern boundary line, installing sidewalks on all street frontages, adding pedestrian lighting and a centralized boxing unit for mail delivery.

“Those are some really relatively simple things from my perspective,” Jorgenson said. “These things most people would find desirable.”

On a side note, all new subdivisions are required to have a centralized boxing unit, saving the United States Postal Service in both time and money. Homeowners in newly built subdivisions will not have USPS curbside delivery, Jorgenson said.

“That is true nationwide,” he said. “It’s a cost-saving measure and with as much red ink as they have ran in years past, I don’t blame them.”

Jorgenson updated the council on the progress to the residential development.

 “Currently, there are homes under construction and they have constructed half a dozen in recent history,” Jorgenson said at the meeting. “Most of those homes are right now are two story, they are between 2,000 and 2500 square feet and the average price is around $180,000.”

Jorgenson said the development has been in the works for several years, adding the recent economic downturn has prolonged the completion process of the development.

“Phase one was platted prior to the demise of the home building turn back of late 2005 to 2010. In that span of time construction decline significantly,” Jorgenson said. “Construction of phase one did not occur when it was originally anticipated.”

However the recent progress of ‘Magnolia’ shows a sign of economic improvement, he said.

 “Any construction that occurs in the community is positive,” Jorgenson said. “DR Horton is one of the biggest developers in builders in America today. They don’t make these investments without knowing they can get a return on investment.”

Steve Pumphrey, a senior planner with Preble-Rish, LLC, the engineering firm responsible for designing the layout of the development agreed, adding Preble-Rish has between three and four residential developments currently in the works for Santa RosaCounty.

“Like in Baldwin County (Alabama), the market seems to be picking back up,” he said. 

The phase two concept plan approval item will be part of the consent agenda of this week’s regular council meeting, scheduled on Tuesday of this week.