Dozens of new homes and a road connection soon will become a reality off Gooding Boulevard in Orange Township.

Township trustees May 21 unanimously approved the rezoning of about 20.5 acres west of Gooding Boulevard, just north of North Orange Park, from planned commercial to single-family residential.

They also approved development plans that call for 35 new homes in a community to be known as Grand Pointe at North Orange.

As part of the project, developer Grand Communities will extend Harness Way, connecting it to Corduroy Road to the east.

In addition to providing residents more options, the connection is a positive from a public-safety standpoint, said township Administrator Lee Bodnar.

"We like it because it adds one more access route in case something were to happen," Bodnar said.

The community will have cluster mailboxes. Homes generally will be close to one another, with small setbacks and side yards. Landscaping will be handled by a homeowners association.

The homes, expected to average about 3,200 square feet with a starting price in the $400,000 range, are a "lifestyle purchase," said Jason Wisniewski, vice president of planning and zoning for the developer.

About 9 acres will be set aside for green space.

Vinyl siding is prohibited and homes will be limited to "muted (colors) and earth tones."

The next board of trustees meeting is set for 7 p.m. June 4 at Township Hall, 1680 E. Orange Road.

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