By Marc Crail Mount Dora City Council Member, District 4
I'm happy to give you this update on the April 18 Mount Dora City Council Special Meeting. I am just one of seven city council members and not its spokesman. I try to be unbiased in my reports, but what you're receiving is strictly from my perspective.
The crux of our meeting tonight were 3 ordinances all related to the proposed commercial development at the corner of US Highway 441 and Morningside Drive. Several residents of neighborhoods located nearby the proposed store site voiced their concerns including; light pollution, traffic flow, noise, property values, etc. Our city manager and our legal counsel explained that these 3 ordinances did not include any site plans that would deal with these issues and were not even specific to building a Wawa store since that use for the property has not been formally requested although it is very likely to be.
The first ordinance considered was the final reading requesting the voluntary annexation of about 1.25 acres of wooded property just to the west of the Shell station. This property is currently in Lake County not in the City of Mount Dora. The owner is requesting that it be annexed into the city. This is possible because it abuts to the Shell station property which is in the City. This request was approved by a 7-0 vote.
The second ordinance deals with "Future Land Use". Mount Dora Planning and Zoning Commission recommended and City Planning staff agreed that this property is appropriate to be used for commercial use and matches the other commercial property use along US Highway 441 such as Target, medical offices and gas stations which are located nearby. The ordinance was approved 7-0.
The third ordinance deals with rezoning the 1.25 acre wooded parcel from its current Residential use to C-3 (Commercial uses like the Shell station, Target, the auto dealerships across 441, etc.). This rezoning fits with our Land Development Code. I doubt if anyone would seriously consider buying that property to build a residence in that location. The City, Lake County and the developer are working cooperatively to resolve the issues previously mentioned such as buffers, lighting, parking, traffic safety, sidewalks and the like. This ordinance was recommended by City staff and the details (requirements) will be dealt with in the Site Plan. There will be more opportunities for public comments and participation once the Site Plan is completed. This motion passed by a 6-1 vote with Mark Slaby voting no.
Founding father, John Adams said; "Government is intended for the common good: for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family or class of men." That's one very long sentence but I think Mr. Adams' words are still true today.
Thanks for your interest in Mount Dora! Marc Crailm District 4 City Council Representative