Proposed Martin County Development Promotes Environmental Sustainability

September 29, 2023 | Read Time: 4 minutes

Storie Provides A First Look At Renderings

As featured in TC Palm, written by Nick Slater.

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MARTIN COUNTY — A new development was proposed unlike any the county has seen.

The proposed development, Storie FL, has been in the planning stages for more than a year, and it will answer questions people across the region have had.

Cotton & Company, its advertising agency, has been tight-lipped about the development. The firm released an ad campaign highlighting Martin County and assembled a butterfly-laden tree at Santa’s City lights in Stuart last year, but otherwise kept teasing something mysterious.

The extensive ad campaign — seen on TV, in magazines, in social media and other websites, including TCPalm — was heavy on images of individuals hiking, biking and kayaking but scant on specifics.

“The objective was to get people interested and excited about what was coming,” said Laurie Andrews, president of Cotton & Company. “We want people looking forward to this when it came out and see what we had rolling.”

Storie FL would be developed at Pratt Whitney and SW Bridge roads, near South Fork High School.

The proposed 2,700-acre, 4,000-home development plans include a charter school, fire station and pickleball court.

Rendering For Storie Townhomes

Not a typical subdivision

The Storie FL application employs a different approach. It would not be gated or built around a golf course.

Instead, the development would be built around canals, green spaces, open spaces, walkability and environmental sustainability.

“We are creating a little village that will have canals mimicking the San Antonio River Walk experience,” said Don Cuozzo, land planner at Cuozzo Planning Solutions, the company contracted to create the plans. “We plan to take almost 5 million gallons of water out of the C-44 canal every year, bring it into a lake, which will flow through our canal system.

“Then it will continue into a treatment area, where people are able to kayak and paddle-board. The water will slowly release into the headwaters of the South Fork River. This will help to slow the water into the river instead of the huge flushes.”

This plan has not been approved by the county and is still in the application process. First, the county has to deem the application sufficient. Any designs right now are proposals.

The San Antonio River Walk has been an attraction for almost 100 years, winding and looping along the San Antonio River, highlighted by numerous shops and restaurants.

Martin County Community Rendering

What is happening now?

The developer, Otto Divosta, filed a lawsuit against the county in 2021 stating they were due compensation after the first application was rejected under the Bert J. Harris Private Property Protection Act. The judge denied the suit. In response, Divosta filed a motion for stay requesting they could submit a new, updated application, according to court documents.

The updated application was filed Sep. 7. Cuozzo expects the process to last a year for the county to approve or deny the application.

Projects comparable to Storie FL expect to be completed in 20 years, according to Cuozzo.

“I think that this is a big thing because the people that are involved in this are people who have lived here, grown up here and have a vested interest in what happens here,” said Andrews.

“A lot of times when things like this happen, it is an outside group coming in. The development is being done by Don Cuozzo and people who live here, and who care about Martin County and what makes Martin County unique. That has always been a central part of this project.”

Cuozzo is a county resident, and Cotton & Company is a local advertising agency.

According to county processes, if the application is deemed sufficient, then three public hearings will need to occur before the county can officially sign an agreement with developers.

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Storie Magazine Cover


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