Mount Dora's current hot issue, the replacement of downtown's shade trees, will be discussed at the May 19th city council meeting. Residents interested in the issue can speak to their elected officials as to whether the city's downtown core is the right place for more palm trees or shade trees. Residents will have three minutes each for remarks.
Residents strongly voiced their opposition to council members last summer after the city council replaced mature oak trees with palm trees during the phase two of the streetscape project. The palm tree substitution became a passionate issue as it drastically changed downtown Third Avenue's character.
In this summer's phase of downtown Mount Dora’s construction, 15 mature shade trees that line the streets of downtown have been or will be removed by the end of the first week in May. Here’s the current breakdown provided by the City of Mount Dora on April 14 for this phase:
15 mature oaks will be removed (some already removed on April 6 & 20th the rest will come down the first week of May).
6 oaks will remain (of various sizes)
1 mature sycamore removed April 6.
1 mature tree removed from the parking lot on 3rd & Donnelly
5 oaks will be replaced in the specific areas from where they were removed.
This totals 11 unreplaced shade trees in this summer's phase of downtown construction that previously lined downtown streets. This does not include the shade canopy removed in the two previous summers' construction projects downtown. Other plantings approved by the city council for this summer's project are:
Palm trees, bottlebrush and other ornamentals will be planted on Phase 3 streets.
Up to 3 oaks (total) will be planted in the parking lots
2 oaks (total) will be planted in front of parking lots
The May 19th city council meeting will be held at the Mount Dora Community Building at 6 p.m. following the water conservation poster contest awards. Residents will be allowed up to 3 minutes to address the council with their views on this issue.