It’s tough to find folks that don’t like green space. It’s long been a valuable asset in cities that strive to improve the quality of life for residents.
The City of Mount Dora is in the exploratory stage of adding a 12-acre park with panoramic views of Lake Dora to its public green space. The hilltop park would also include approximately 700 feet of lakefront.
The potential park would adjoin the Wekiva Bike Trail and include two unused parcels of city-owned land at the end of Boathouse Row totaling approximately two acres. It would also require the purchase of three connecting parcels of orange groves owned by Mount Dora Christian Academy. The 9.53-acre property would provide an expansive view of Lake Dora. A pedestrian bridge over Old Highway 441 could provide safe access to the park’s lakefront.
The market estimate obtained by the City of Mount Dora for the Academy-owned property is $1,343,800. If the purchase is viable, funding options may include grants, park impact fees, traditional loans, a bond, naming rights, a portion of current sales tax, private funding or ad valorem tax revenue. The city owns land near W.T. Bland library possibly of interest to the school, so there may be an opportunity for a property trade.
The park has the potential to help alleviate downtown’s parking shortage if city engineers deem an underground garage is appropriate.
“Residents’ input would be necessary to determine the park’s use and amenities,” said Mount Dora Councilman Mark Slaby, who asked city staff to examine the opportunity and its viability. “The park’s entrance, parking and traffic flow would also have input from neighboring residents.”
In addition to providing more amenities to residents, recreational opportunities and good schools lure skilled Millennials to an area. That workforce is often necessary to attract new businesses to an area, including Mount Dora's planned Innovation District.
Mount Dora City Council and the public will learn more details about the park's viability at upcoming work sessions.