Will Mount Dora Bite Bailey’s Poison Apple?

Developer Tim Bailey* is continuing his efforts to get his commercial project “Park Village” aka “The Parks of Mount Dora” approved by both Orange County and Mount Dora before voters have a chance to squash his dreams if Amendment 4 passes in November. Amendment 4 would require voters to approve large changes to county land use plans.

Unfortunately for Tangerine, our own county is supporting this commercial monstrosity due to the potential tax revenues. Bailey’s political connections don’t hurt either. He’s been working on Mount Dora painting a vision of tax revenues for them too. A workshop between Orange County, Mount Dora and Tim Bailey is scheduled for July 23, 2010. There will be another meeting with Orange County Planning and Zoning on September 16, 2010. It will go back to the Board of County Commissioners in October.

*.The proposed site of his new commercial development is adjacent to Stoneybrook Hills. The Publix plaza next door is full of never-leased retail/business space. We need this commercial project like we need, as my father would say, a hole in our heads. {See comments below}

Parks of Mount Dora 2nd Transmittal Approved

The Parks of Mount Dora transmittal hearing was a success for the developer and not for us. Despite citizen comments that showed Mayor Crotty’s flip-flop on development issue, the vote was unanimous in support of Tim Bailey’s project. The audio recording is public record.  Select the June 29th meeting. Next select the 5th hour and listen.

Mount Dora Shoots Down Commercial Development

Site of Proposed Project by Tangerine Blog

Story by Jeff Titelius of the Mount Dora Examiner

Plans for the Parks of Mount Dora commercial development were shot down last week by the Mount Dora city council members in a unanimous decision – 7 to 0. The 60 plus acre development was proposed for a site in Orange County just over the border of Mount Dora in Lake County and was to include 350,000 square feet of retail space with a movie theatre, book retailer, specialty shops and restaurants; 10,000 square feet of office space; and 60 residential units – along Route 441 adjacent to the Stoneybrook Hills development just north of Tangerine.

Why does Mount Dora in Lake County have the final say in this proposed complex planned for Orange County? The proposed Parks of Mount Dora development, located in a joint-planning district between Mount Dora and Orange County, would have had to rely on the city of Mount Dora for water and sewer services. Upon investigating the impact to the infrastructure, it was decided that the development would have put too huge a strain on the city’s resources and therefore Mount Dora rejected the development plans altogether.

Plus the demand is not yet there. A number of planned developments within the city have been approved but not yet built – a case of ‘If you build it, they will come’ does not necessary apply given the state of the economy, the depressed real estate market and the overall lack of consumer spending with discretionary spending on hold for the time being.

Tangerine Blog : The Parks of Mount Dora is also known as Park Village. Tim Bailey is a managing partner for this development.

Parks of Mount Dora Rejected by Mount Dora

The Parks of Mount Dora project, aka “Park Village” was soundly rejected by the Mount Dora City Council last week.

“It may be time to consider [commercial] development on [U.S.] 441, but certainly this is an inappropriate location,” Mayor Melissa DeMarco said. “It’s too much in the wrong place.” Orlando Sentinel

Almost from the beginning, representatives for Parks of Mount Dora LLC knew they faced an uphill battle in persuading the small Lake County city to approve the complex.

Attorney Mark Thomson, who represented the developer, called it a “very challenging situation” seeking approval from Orange and Mount Dora.

Since December, the group has undergone a massive public-relations effort similar to a political campaign. It launched a Facebook page that had 229 fans as of Thursday. They mailed colorful slick brochures to hundreds of area residents. Parks of Mount Dora representatives also met with residents asking them what kind of shops, restaurants and amenities should be included in the development. In turn, residents who supported the project flooded Mount Dora council members with hundreds of e-mails. At the city meeting, the developer passed out green T-shirts to pump up support.

“We’ve been talking to the people in the community, and I would say that 95 percent of those we’ve spoken with are hugely in favor of this,” said Beth Hughes, a spokeswoman for Bailey.

Let the truth be told. If Tim Bailey is hearing a 95% approval rating of this project, he’s not talking to the local residents. He bought the property he wants to develop as a gamble after participating in meetings where he was made fully aware of resident’s opinions. If he’s so sure about resident opinions, let him bring this up after Hometown Democracy is approved by voters. Tangerine Blog doesn’t  think he’ll get very far.

Tangerine Dodged a Bullet Last Night

Due to the efforts of the entire Mount Dora and Tangerine communities, we dodged a bullet in the form of Park Village aka The Parks of Mount Dora. Not all communities are as lucky as we are. According to Dan Lobeck, Sarasota attorney and President of Control Growth Now, a project known as the Villages of Lakewood Ranch South, will result in urban sprawl and won’t deliver on the neotraditional development promised before it was approved.  This project is similar to the Park Village project in that it was supposed to offer smarter development and an environmentally friendly design.

The development was approved despite a 5-to-3 denial by the Planning Commission. Some of the most scathing comments came from planning commissioners who usually support developers. Jody Hudgins commented that the plan clearly failed to fulfill fiscal neutrality requirements and called it a “dangerous” plan which “puts the county at too much of a risk.” John Fellin called it “smoke and mirrors” and said, “I feel like I’m being scammed.”

The development was also opposed by the Council of Neighborhood Associations, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Control Growth Now and others. So much for the public interest against a politically powerful developer.

The entire story of this mess,  “Approval of Villages Shows the Emperor has no Clothes” can be read at this link.  After you read it take a moment to count your blessings. Tangerine is not perfect but a lot better than it would have been with the Park Village project. And stay in the loop. We’re not heard the last of Tim Bailey and his band of merry real estate salespeople. So send a thank you to the Mount Dora City Council members and congratulate them for their courage and wisdom.

Mount Dora Says No!

The Mount Dora City Council voted NO to Tim Bailey’s mega shopping center project Park Village aka The Parks of Mount Dora  7-0 at the May 18th meeting. Thank you Mount Dora City Council!

Park Village aka Parks of Mount Dora 5/17/10 Update

Edit at 9:20 pm Tim Bailey now says  “Things certainly have changed quickly. As you know we meet with the City Of Mt Dora last week and they suggested that the Developers Agreement that they wanted with us could not be done in a normal council session and should be done in a separate workshop. With this in mind, we agreed to withdrawal from this Tuesday’s agenda. Unfortunately, we have just found out that the City Of Mount Dora will not officially approval our withdrawal from the meeting. At this point, we are asking everyone to please show up, wearing something green and provide support in the event that the City decides to vote on final approval without a finished developer’s agreement.”

Edit at 8:05 pm: Tim Bailey has REQUESTED that the agenda item be delayed and a workshop set up to iron out the details.  However, the City Council DID NOT grant the request. The Park Village project will get approved or not at tomorrow night’s public hearing. This is from a verifible source.

Edit at 8:00 pm: Unsubstantiated rumor has it that the “withdrawal” of the Park Village project is a ruse by Tim Bailey to stop people from coming to the Mount City Council Meeting tomorrow at 6:30 pm.  Mount Dora says the meeting is still set to go on. Plan to be there on principle!

According to The Parks of Mount Dora [Park Village] Facebook page:

We had a good meeting with the City of Mt. Dora and Orange County to discuss the developer’s agreement. After much discussion, we have decided to withdrawal from the Tuesday Mt Dora City Council meeting agenda and discuss all of these issues at an upcoming workshop session. As everyone can tell this is a long and arduous process but we all should be patient with the process. Thanks for your continued support!

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