The Lake County Board of Commissioners recently held a public meeting for a final vote on the contentious McKinnon Groves development, but ended up delaying the vote again. McKinnon Groves is a 661-home development on 367 acres in Lake County, situated on the border with Orange County and the Lake Avalon Rural Settlement. The Lake Avalon Rural Settlement is a designated area just north of Horizon West that maintains a rural lifestyle for residents, such as homes being on a minimum of 5 acres and allowing horses and livestock on the property.
At the hearing, which lasted over 5 hours, officials from both Orange County and City of Winter Garden spoke out in opposition to the development according to the Orlando Sentinel. Orange County was represented by District 1 Commissioner Nicole Wilson, who represents the residents in Lake Avalon. Commissioner Wilson voiced concern that the development is not in line with the surrounding communities, there is not adequate services and infrastructure to support the development, and that it is the definition of urban sprawl. Commissioner Wilson spoke about McKinnon Groves extensively during her online virtual office hours.
The City of Winter Garden was represented by Ed Williams, the Winter Garden Planning Director. McKinnon Groves changed their development plans to a single entrance along Hartwood Marsh Road as a concession to residents in Lake Avalon, but Ed Williams stated that doesn’t work for the City of Winter Garden, as all traffic traveling eastbound would travel through Winter Garden on Marsh Road. Winter Garden recently lowered the speed limit on Hartwood Marsh to 25mph and implemented a heavy truck ban on the over-utilized road.
As with most of the area, most of the land is former Orange Groves that is planned for development, as oranges are no longer viable in this area to produce. Similar to Horizon West, this area in Lake County has been master-planned and is called Wellness Way, which dictates how land can be utilized in the future.
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