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CLERMONT, FL-In a close 3 to 2 vote, city council gave Orlando-based Maury L. Carter & Associates Inc. another two years to find a developer to build Highpoint at Clermont, a planned 300-unit, estimated $15 million venture located in one of the hottest multifamily and retail submarkets in Central Florida, 25 miles west of Downtown Orlando.

In renewing Carter’s conditional use permit, the council overrode its own planning and zoning commission. Impassioned anti-development pleas from environmentalists and Skyridge Valley subdivision residents almost swayed the elected officials.

“It was a close one, but we feel the safeguards and the landscaping we are planning to put into the project will make area residents feel more kindly to the project as it is developed,” Pat Chisholm, a broker at Maury Carter & Associates, tells GlobeSt.com.

Chisholm says his firm is confident it can select a developer over the next 12 months. “The demand is there; it’s a great location; and the two year renewal period gives a developer time to plan the project and break ground,” Chisholm says.

The zoning division rejected Carter’s application for development permit renewal Sept. 6, as previously reported by GlobeSt.com.

The division accepted arguments from residents and environmentalists that the project would heighten already dense traffic congestion at Citrus Tower Boulevard and State Road 50; deplete the area’s fresh drinking water supply; and increase accident risks of school children crossing roads in the area.

Highpoint at Clermont will be north of Oakley Seaver Drive and South Lake Hospital. The property will be adjacent to the Lake-Sumter Community College-University of Central Florida campus and the new $8 million, 300-acre USA Triathlon National Training Center.

A projected rent schedule hasn’t been completed but is expected to be in the $700 to $950 per-month range that exists at the nearby Villages at East Lake that opened earlier this year.

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