Growth is inevitable. The local challenge is to prepare for it and manage it responsibly.
As part of its challenge, Mount Dora City Council will kick the tires of a proposed new residential and commercial development, The Parks of Mount Dora, at its regular meeting on January 16.
The proposed 63.51-acre residential and commercial development on U.S. 441 sits immediately north of Stoneybrook Hills Parkway. Although the site is located in Orange County, it’s part of a 1,265 acre Joint Planning Area Agreement (JPA) with Orange County established in 1996. The agreement allows the City of Mount Dora input on the area by coordinating planning efforts and jointly managing its growth with Orange County as it relates to density, certain development standards, and the provision of utilities. The majority of this land is under development as Stoneybrook Hills.
Existing Future Land Use for the property allows for 7.5 acres (75,000 square feet) of office development and 280 multi-family senior housing units. Due to school concurrency, residential units were limited exclusively to housing for seniors. The JPA allows for five dwelling units per acre in the back portion of the property and 66,000 square feet of office development along U.S. 441 frontage. The actual amount of office development could be less depending on the proximity of the existing pond to the office use.
The Parks of Mount Dora is seeking a change in the JPA to increase residential density to 8.93 units per acre with 500 multi-family residential units which would no longer be limited to seniors. The proposed project would also change the 7.5 acres of office development to commercial.
School concurrency is not part of the review with this change in the agreement. However, as part of the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map amendment that allows for the increase in residential density, the developer will be required to enter into a school mitigation agreement, known as a Capacity Enhancement Agreement (CEA) with Orange County Public Schools. The applicant has submitted a CEA application to the school district, according to Nicholas Thalmueller, Planner for Orange County Planning Division. Concurrency is not required for Lake County Public Schools under the JPA, but impact could be felt in Mount Dora schools if some residents enroll their children in the closer campuses.
Property tax revenue would go to Orange County, but the City of Mount Dora would generate income from the development by supplying water with an “out-of-city” surcharge of twenty-five percent.
Orange County's Planning and Zoning Commission approved the change, however Mount Dora's Planning And Zoning Commission voted against it.
At the January 16 public meeting, Mount Dora City Council will review the merits of the proposal and vote whether to deny or allow the proposed change to the JPA’s Interlocal Agreement's Conceptual Plan to increase the density. The change must be approved by both the Mount Dora City Council and the Orange County Commission before The Parks of Mount Dora can proceed.
Tuesday's City Council meeting will be held at City Hall at 6 p.m.