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Lake County Developments

Rezoning sought for land on Lake Saunders to allow attainable housing

The highlighted site falls within the Mount Dora - Lake County joint planning area and would be served by the city's utility department.

A developer is seeking a rezoning and future land-use amendment (FLU) in Lake County to construct a mixed-income attainable housing project at 1757 Bay Rd. overlooking Lake Saunders.

The property, owned by the James E Conner Life Estate, is located within the Mount Dora joint planning area but has yet to be annexed into the city.

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Based in Winter Park, Atlantic Housing Partners is a leading developer of affordable and mixed-income rental communities, including at Eudora Groves in Mount Dora.

Planning consultant Greg Beliveau, with LPG Urban and Regional Planners, states in his overview of the project that it will contain 165 apartments and 10 single-family homes, each with an attached garage apartment, known as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), at a density of 15.5 units per acres. That would be consistent with urban areas within municipalities, which range from 18 units per acre to 35 units per acre. It would be a transition between 12 units per acre allowed under the Urban High-Density future land use and the 18 units per acre allowed by the City of Mount Dora.

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Atlantic Housing Partners is proposing to build 165 apartments and 10 homes with ADUs on land overlooking Lake Saunders.

The single-family homes would be purpose-built rental units, and the developer would be bound by a condition that they must have at least 2,000 square feet of living space, not including the garage apartments, which must have at least 500 square feet of living space. All exterior colors, including doors, would be earth tones. The rental homes would be “harmonious,” but not identical. Exterior features may include front or wrap-around porches, architectural shingles, stone or synthetic brick veneers and/or decorative roof treatments.

The maximum height of the apartment building would be set at 60 feet.

The 18.2-acre site includes 6.2 acres of wetlands, but an environmental assessment did not reveal any protected plant or animal species on the site. The site plan shows a 50-foot buffer between the development line and Lake Saunders.

The project, should it move forward, would connect to the city’s utility system.

Atlantic Housing Partners is proposing a 4-story apartment building with a maximum height of 60 feet. The building would have a center section, and left and right wings.

Lake County officials say the application is being reviewed by county staff and other local agencies, including the Office of Planning and Zoning, Public Works, Building Services, the Florida Department of Public Safety Support, Lake County Schools, and the City of Mount Dora. County Case Manager Marellys Moreno, Community Redevelopment Area Coordinator, did not respond to emails or phone calls for comment.

The request is to amend the future land use designation from Urban High Density to Planned Unit Development, based on the land’s maximum development potential. The companion rezoning request would amend the zoning from RMRP (Mobile Home Rental Park district) to Planned Unit Development. The rezoning to PUD would allow for both the single-family rental units with attached garage apartments and the 165-unit apartment complex.

The county has not yet set a date for the public hearing.

Beliveau declined to discuss the project or plans to seek annexation into the City of Mount Dora in the future, but he addressed the topic in the project narrative. “Lake County does not have an Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA) with the City of Mount Dora allowing for non-contiguous annexations; however, pursuant to the existing JPA agreement, annexation is feasible once the property is contiguous to city limits.”

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In his report to the county, Beliveau states that Lake County has a housing shortage, and the proposed Planned Unit Development zoning would provide 41 additional “attainable units” over the existing maximum allowed density in the Urban High-Density land use category.

“The County faces a constricted housing market that lacks both supply and variety of housing. The request will provide two different types of housing products. First, the report states that the design places the proposed apartment building close to the lake, consistent with the orientation of the condo buildings to the south,” the report states. “The single-family homes are concentrated closer to Bay Road. The proposed housing types will increase the housing variety in the area and add to the limited housing supply.”

Already, the area south of U.S. 441, east of Lake Saunders and toward Eudora Road, and north of Old Hwy. 441 is intensely developed, according to Beliveau’s report.

“This area has a mixture of mobile home developments, multi-family, RV parks, condominiums, and single-family of assorted lot sizes. A mixed commercial space is directly due east that abuts a multi-family complex of several hundred units. Therefore, on close inspection, the subject parcel would be classified as in-fill development compatible with existing development trends. The subject property is unique in that it is fairly large in comparison to the other properties in the immediate area.”

The property is immediately adjacent to commercial and civic uses. To its north are the Roll Air Storage building and the Manoogian Guru Orthopedic Center. The Busy Bee Day Care and the Veterans of Foreign Wars post are located to the east of Bay Road.

The PUD would be considered in-fill development.

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