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The small City of Mascotte may have another 750 or so residents in the near future after the city council gave preliminary approval to rezone 187 acres to allow construction of a 299-unit development known as Loucks Island.

The development would be located west of the intersection of Smith Road and County Road 3.

The approval for the rezoning from low-density single-family residential to low-density multi-family residential, which city staff said is consistent with the city’s current Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map, would help the developer build townhomes on the property. Staff recommended approval of the measure.

The vote for approval came on what is known as the first reading, meaning the council will have to hold a second vote before the rezoning is formally approved.

The conceptual site plan calls for 299 lots, but the developer said he may include some townhome units in the project.
The conceptual site plan calls for 299 lots, but the developer said he may include some townhome units in the project.

Tim Loucks, the landowner who applied for the rezoning with BL Land Investments, Orlando, told the council that a move to multi-family zoning would allow for greater “diversity of layouts.”

Addressing the council and a small but vocal gathering who expressed opposition to the development, Loucks said, “some of our citizens think we are building three-or-four story apartments. We are not building condominiums or apartments.”

Loucks added: “The density is identical (to current zoning). These townhomes give us a better diversity of how we design them. When we’re done, we’ll probably end up with 270 or 250 lots. These are not row homes.”

The proposed development is reflective of the continued growth of the bedroom community.

A Mascotte city staff report said that a principal feature of the Loucks Island development is to meet the growing needs of the residential population that exists and is expanding along the Southwest area of Lake County.

“The additional population will be reflective of the wide cross-section of residents drawn to Central Florida,” the report said. “The residents will be drawn from Lake, Polk, Osceola, and Orange County.”

Mascotte’s population was 7,241, according to 2021 U.S. Census, and Louck’s Island would represent roughly a 10 percent increase in population. Louck’s Island would be located adjacent to the existing 999-unit, 251-acre Herons Landing development.

Meanwhile, population growth in Mascotte continues apace and the new developments reflect the rapid influx of residents of the little city over the past several years. In 2018 a 407-unit development called The Gardens at Lake Jackson opened and earlier this year the council gave preliminary approval to a 944-acre, 2,800-home development called Langley Estates.

GrowthSpotter previously reported that the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) indicated that the city’s population of 7,321 was up more than 10 percent from the 2020 population of 6,609. Five years ago, Mascotte’s population was about 5,515.

GrowthSpotter’s report said BEBR research predicted the city’s population would increase by approximately 12.55% over the next five years. But based on the current growth rate and pending development approvals, it could double over that period.

Mascotte is located between the fast-growing cities of Groveland and Leesburg.

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