AVON PARK - The City of Charm is getting bigger as it continues its growth spurt through annexation efforts aimed to the north and south.
At its Monday meeting, the city council approved the first reading of an ordinance to annex 14.8 acres to the north of Lake Byrd.
City Manager Julian Deleon said Lake Byrd Shores is primarily undeveloped property, which is contiguous to the Banyan Woods apartment complex. He is in the process of having an annexation covenant with the Banyan Woods ownership to provide sanitary sewer service to about 39 units.
In an email, Deleon stated that immediately following the Lake Byrd annexation, the city will annex the Banyan Woods Apartment complex in January.
The city will also annex a warehouse complex on U.S. 27 and then proceed to annex Royal Care of Avon Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, he said.
"All of the covenants are in place to continue with our northward corporate limit expansions," Deleon said. "Connecting the puzzle to get this work accomplished has required the development our (GIS) Geographical Information System computer application."
The GIS provides accurate mapping of the city limits, he said. "We are able to see existing [annexation] covenants and how those properties are joined to the city limits."
The biggest impending annexation remains the Crystal Lake Golf Club annexation located immediately off Memorial Boulevard, which will add another 519 dwelling units into the city, he noted.
"I am excited about seeing our population grow by another 1,000 residents, who can serve and participate in the city's governmental process," Deleon said. "I had the opportunity to meet with Crystal Lake residents and management last week at their clubhouse. The city's programs were very well received."
The Crystal Lake Golf Club annexation ordinance is scheduled for public hearings and council consideration on Dec. 9. and Dec. 23.
"During the last two years, the council wanted growth; they now have it," Deleon said.
The city has experienced geographical growth by adding more than 2 square miles, but there has also been massive growth in the city's utility system with the addition of more than 1,000 new accounts, he said.