CLERMONT, FL-Talk about embarrassing situations. Clermont city council members in this Orlando bedroom community of 8,600 permanent residents know all about them. One, in particular, has them stymied–approval for a $4 million, estimated 40,000-sf, two-story new city hall building. The building is 45 feet high, three feet over the legal limit.

The project hasn’t been approved. The city’s legal staff is combing the building code to find an exception to the 45-foot height limit. If it can’t find a legal out, city council will have no alternative but to grant the project a variance, legalese for a technical green light.

The 45-limit height restriction was written into the building department’s books in the days when the city’s fire truck ladders couldn’t reach higher than 45 feet. Today, however, the ladders can stretch to 60-foot levels, making the old regulation technically, but not legally, moot, real estate lawyers familiar with the city’s predicament tell

The building was designed by Winter Park, FL-based C.T. Hsu & Associates, an architectural firm with international credits. Clermont is in Lake County, 25 miles west of Downtown Orlando.

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