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CLERMONT, FL-Newly arrived residents in this booming bedroom community, 25 miles west of Downtown Orlando, have temporarily shut the door on the development of a 25-acre, 300-unit apartment complex that would ring 12 lots in their subdivision.

Their vocal protests were enough to convince the Clermont planning and zoning commission Sept. 6 to deny a renewal permit to Orlando developer Maury L. Carter & Associates Inc. on an estimated $15 million project. The developer hopes to override the denial by taking its permit renewal application directly to the full city council in 30 days.

The company’s principals, Maury Carter, chairman and his son, Daryl, president, couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline for comment on what they might do if the city council backs up the planning and zoning commission.

The Carters are prominent land brokers, developers and philanthropists in this growing city of 16,500 permanent residents, up from 8,500 in 1990, according to the U.S. Census. The Carters received a city development permit two years ago that would expire by Oct. 1 of this year if no ground-breaking took place.

The Skyridge Valley subdivision, where many of the protesters live, wasn’t built when the Carters first received their permit in 1999.

The Carters’ project site is across Citrus Tower Boulevard from the Villages at East Lake, another apartment complex that opened earlier this year.

In its presentation to the planning and zoning commission, the Carters maintain the location for their venture is ideal for the area’s total residential and cultural development. The 300-unit apartment project would be adjacent to the Lake-Sumter Community College-University of Central Florida campus, the South Lake Hospital and the new USA Triathlon National Training Center.

The planning and zoning commission rejected the Carters’ permit renewal application on grounds the project would heighten already dense traffic congestion in the area; deplete the amount of the area’s fresh drinking water supply; and increase the danger to more school children using the area’s roads.

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