Updates from Knight Kiplinger

Announcing NEWFIELD…the first town at Pineland Prairie

March 3, 2020 – This week we filed our Master Site Plan application for the beginning phase of the first phase at Pineland Prairie, which we are calling Newfield.

Newfield will embody all the characteristics of “Traditional Neighborhood Design” (TND) that won the praise of local citizens and the approval of Martin County’s planning staff and elected officials in 2018.

Newfield will be a compact town with varied residential blocks—having homes of various sizes, styles and prices—mixed in a natural way with civic spaces (parks, community gardens, schools) and small-scale retail and office space. The built environment will be surrounded by large expanses of open land for conservation, hiking, biking and equestrian trails, playing fields, pasture and farming.

The several parts of Pineland Prairie

Pineland Prairie is a large expanse of land—3,400 acres, more than five square miles stretching from the Florida Turnpike almost to I-95 in the west—and gradually it will evolve into several distinct components, each with its own purpose and identity:

1) Newfield, the residential/retail/civic community, will take shape on the today’s level, cleared farmland (former citrus groves and now vegetable fields), at the midpoint of Citrus Boulevard;
2) The Kiplinger Conservancy will be natural land crisscrossed with trails, starting with more than 500 acres of the most-pristine, never-farmed pine/palmetto/palm lands in the northwest corner; and
3) Martin Enterprise Park, will be a 150-acre corporate and light-industrial district lying along the Turnpike and Boat Ramp Avenue—our county’s largest and best-located site to attract quality employers and skilled, high-wage jobs to our region.

As promised in our zoning process, more than 70% of the total acreage will be left open—a mix of wooded trails, pasture, wetlands, lakes, active farmland and playing fields. The developed footprint of the new community will use only 30% of the acreage.

Getting to this point

We’ve been very busy over the past 18 months getting ready for the Newfield Master Site Plan application, following approval of our rezoning with a new “mixed-use” category in the county’s Comprehensive Growth Management Plan.

We couldn’t finalize the dimensions of Newfield until two governmental bodies—the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District—completed their mapping of our wetlands, which, of course, will be protected forever. This process took almost 18 months, and it largely confirmed our own wetlands mappings over the years.

We have spent almost a year working on “developer agreements” with all the key agencies of county government—such as transportation, parks, schools, and public safety—to determine how to implement new facilities that will be needed at Newfield..

With almost all that work completed, our Master Site Plan for the first phase of Newfield has been submitted to the county planning staff for review and forwarding to the Board of County Commissioners, which will rule on it this spring.

Phase One of Newfield

The footprint of Phase One will be 139 acres, all of it to be developed on the agricultural land north of Citrus Boulevard. The residential component of Phase One, to be built out over several years, will consist of a maximum of 1,214 residential units of all types including detached and attached single family units, small-scale multi-family and mixed-use structures, for sale as well as rentals.-. The detached homes will include every style from small cottages to spacious verandaed houses, with a wide range of prices.

A distinctive trait of Newfield will be homes with porches fronting on sidewalks and streets, with garages and driveways on alleys behind the block. All of this will create the feel of a friendly, walkable community.

The housing mix in Newfield

By the completion of all phases of Newfield—possibly 10 to 20 years from now — the mix of housing will end up being about two-thirds single-family detached and attached homes and one-third multi-family units, mirroring the mix of housing types in today’s Martin County.

Because Phase One will establish the vibrant core of Newfield — with retail and civic spaces, plus community gardens—the beginning housing mix will be heavier on multi-family units than in the overall completed town. Conversely, the mix in later phases will tilt more towards single-family detached homes, some of them on spacious lots bordering the Kiplinger Conservancy lands.

Starting the real work…

The next steps, if approval goes as planned, will be the site preparation of Newfield, beginning later this year with public water and sewer lines extended out Citrus Boulevard and the grading of streets and squares within the new community.

Simultaneously, we’ll be improving the existing network of trails within the Kiplinger Conservancy, creating soft trailheads for parking and equestrian access, and improving the fencing for cattle now grazing there.

And we’ll also begin marketing our employment sites at Martin Enterprise Park, to help create the job opportunities our young citizens need to live comfortably in our county.

Our plan now calls for the beginning of homebuilding in 2021, a process that will be joined by retail, civic buildings, parks and playing fields over the following few years.

Town building in a sensible, organic way takes a long time, but the resulting community will reflect careful planning and execution.

Newfield will someday be a vital part of our region, contributing to the economy and providing homes and recreation, while protecting the natural environment too.

Local Planning Agency again grants strong support for Pineland Prairie

July 17, 2018

The Martin County Local Planning Agency (LPA)—composed of citizens appointed by county commissioners and tasked with reviewing and making recommendations on proposed projects—once again granted its support of Pineland Prairie, this time recommending approval for the proposed Form-Based Code and accompanying rezoning requests.

Leading planning organizations praise Pineland Prairie as setting ‘new bar’ for future projects

June 21, 2018

Pineland Prairie has recently received high praise from leading planning organizations, the Martin County Commission and public commenters. Please click here to read the latest published reviews and access short video vignettes regarding our plans for Pineland Prairie.

Amendments to Enable Pineland Prairie
Earn Unanimous Approval

March 2, 2018

In its first public governmental review, Pineland Prairie earned a 5-0 vote of approval from the Martin County Local Planning Agency. The proposed land use and text amendments necessary to implement the new compact, mixed-use community – which also received positive comments from the county’s planning staff – will now advance to the Martin County Commissioners for consideration.

Pineland Prairie is Profiled in Stuart Magazine

January 12, 2018

My vision for Pineland Prairie is the cover story of this month’s issue of Stuart Magazine. I was gratified to read so many positive citizen comments about our planning concepts and environmental features. It sounds as if many of our fellow Martin County residents think it’s time for this kind of community, which will add a new dimension to the wonderful lifestyle choices that exist in our county today.

To read the story, please click on the following link, which will take you to the Stuart Magazine website. Read more >>

The Plan for Pineland Prairie

September 22, 2017

Please click on the title above, or go to the new tab under “The Plan for Pineland Prairie” in the toolbar above. What follows is a description of the preliminary plan for this new community for submission to the Martin County government. Read more >>

The Large Land Area of Pineland Prairie

September 6, 2017

Please click on the title above, or go to the new tab under “A Special Property” in the toolbar above. What follows is some analysis of how big Pineland Prairie is compared with other places you know about Martin County. Read more >>

Population Densities around Martin County

September 6, 2017

Please click on the title above, or go to the tab under “Envisioning its Future” in the toolbar above, to see how communities around our county rank by their population densities. (You might be surprised!) Read more >>

New Towns That I Love

August 18, 2017

Please click on this title (or the new tab under “Envisioning its Future” in the toolbar above) to see photos of some wonderful new communities in the Southeastern United States with characteristics I’d like to emulate at Pineland Prairie. Each in its own way, they’re creating a special “sense of place” that’s missing in conventional suburban development (“sprawl”). Read More >>

What I’m Hearing from the Community

July 1, 2017

Please click on this title (or the tab “Comments from Citizens” in the toolbar above) to read summaries of comments that have been sent to this Web site and that I’ve heard at citizen meetings and individual appointments in recent months. This input is providing me with valuable insights into our county’s needs and how this project might help meet them. Many citizens’ suggestions are now being incorporated into our design of Pineland Prairie. Read More >>