First Wellness Way sector rezoning effort has developer looking to future code

The first neighborhood planned in Lake County’s Wellness Way is outlined in yellow.
The first neighborhood planned in Lake County’s Wellness Way is outlined in yellow. (Lake County Property Appraiser)

UPDATED: MAY 17, 2016 5:38 PM — A developer of the first new subdivision proposed for the planned Wellness Way sector in Lake County wants to rezone a 66-acre inactive orange grove sandwiched between Clermont, Winter Garden, the Orange County line and north of Hartwood Marsh Road.

Extreme Groves LLC, an affiliate of land owner Uncle Matt's Organics, is asking to increase its current land use density from Rural with one dwelling unit per five net acres to Urban Low Density, with four units an acre. But the company has proposed to build only 1.85 homes per acre, which would be the requirement if Wellness Way's unique code is formalized.


Extreme Groves has listed Meritage Homes as the potential purchaser of the proposed 122 single-family lots.

The Lake County Planning and Zoning board recently approved the change. Next it will move to the County Commission on July 26.

A part of the land, some four-and-a half acres, would be set aside for an agricultural research facility where scientists could focus on organic growing, greening, and the possibility of alternative crops.

The research facility fits into the Wellness Way guidelines because it creates jobs in the area, said Brian T. Sheahan, Lake County's director of Community Safety & Compliance, and of Keep Lake Beautiful.

While the development would lie inside the boundaries of Wellness Way, it is not required to meet the requirements of the Wellness Way plan yet, because its adoption has been questioned in court and hasn't been finalized, Sheahan said.

However, the developer has said it has the intent of building under the Wellness Way development standards.

A seven-subdistrict future for the tourism corridor faces initial review by County Commissioners on Tuesday. While a battle over height limits for I-Drive attractions has grabbed the most attention, the plan's vision is much bigger than that.

That effort to embrace a more intricate development code, even before it becomes law in Lake County, is similar to the cooperation Orange County planners have received in the past year from developers of Destination Shoppes, Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, and the UNIQ Hotel with the I-Drive Vision Plan code, which has still not been fully adopted.

Editor's Note: This story was updated to correct the name of the homebuilder listed as a potential purchaser to Meritage Homes, not Mattamy. 

Teresa Burney can be reached at 352-455-1955 or at Teresaburney4@gmail.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitterand LinkedIn.