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Lake County Developments

Homebuilder proposes townhomes on site of former Clermont motel

Pillar Homes plans to build 68 townhomes on the site of the former Clermont Motor Lounge, which was demolished in 2013.

A rezoning that would allow for an infill townhome development on 8.5 acres at the major intersection of U.S. 27 ad State Road 50 is moving forward to a public hearing before the Clermont City Council. The hearing is scheduled for April 26.

Development company Pillar Homes will make a presentation on the planned unit development, CitySide Townhomes, which will include 68 single-family attached townhomes directly north of the Crown Lounge and south of Highland Avenue.

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This site is the former home to the Clermont Motor Lodge, which was demolished in 2013.

The 68-unit CitySide Townhomes northwest of the U.S. 27-State Road 50 interchange would be walking distance to grocery stores and restaurants.

“We’ve been land banking this property for years,” waiting for the right timing, said Pillar Homes Manager Michael Boutros. “I think the biggest asset is that it is within walking distance to two grocery stores, two financial institutions, restaurants, medical offices and various neighborhood services. Walkability is huge.”

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The current C-2 zoning on the property would allow for a big box retail warehouse, but Boutros said the townhome community is much better suited for the site. He said apartments were never seriously considered. A rezoning ordinance was introduced during the April 12 council meeting.

The city had a year-long moratorium against apartments in 2020 and even though it has since expired, the city council has rejected several multifamily projects in the past two years.

The applicant has provided a conceptual site plan prepared by Stringfellow Planning & Design.

In addition to the townhomes, which would be 24 feet wide by 50 feet deep and two stories in height with two-car garages, the property would include:

  • A community pool
  • Activity lawn
  • Promenade
  • Dog-walking trail
  • Playfields
  • Mail kiosks
  • Cabanas

Each townhome lot would be a minimum of 24 feet by 100 feet, or 2,400 square feet. According to the city staff review, this would require a waiver to the code that requires a minimum of 3,500 square feet.

About half of the units would be rear alley-loaded. Parallel parking would be provided on the streets in front.

The applicant is also requesting one-way streets as part of the design to offer rear-loaded garages. This would mean a reduced right-of-way width of 45 feet. The city staff does not oppose this reduction with the condition that the internal roads and alleyways would be privately maintained with an easement dedicated to the city.

The applicant is also proposing dedicated parallel parking spaces along the one-way streets.

To address traffic concerns, Pillar Homes is requesting multiple access points to better distribute traffic onto the existing transportation network.

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The project supports the city’s objective for in-fill development, as called for in its Redevelopment and Renewal of Blighted Areas policy in the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

The property proposed for the townhomes is surrounded by an electrical substation, a utility corridor, vacant residential, offices and a single-family home. Commercial uses sit to its south.

Boutros said development attorney Cecelia Bonifay with Akerman will introduce the project at the public hearing and Planner Alex Stringfellow will make a formal presentation.

“A lot of the town’s existing townhomes do not reflect what today’s townhomes can reflect and how they are built,” Boutros said. “This will be an upgrade from what already exists in Clermont.”

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