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ORLANDO-Gov. Jeb Bush is scheduled to rule today on one of the most controversial commercial-residential projects ever proposed in Central Florida.

After nine years of zero activity on the 1,433-acre, estimated $1.2 billion Sugarloaf Mountain mixed-use undertaking in rural south Lake County, Orlando developers Karick and Stephen Price and Willoughby T. Cox want the governor to back a state judge’s ruling in July that gave them more time to sell off or develop the project themselves.

Real estate brokers and lawyers intimate with the 10-year-old issue tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity they are betting Bush will back Judge Donald Alexander on the five-year extension.

The governor’s staff sent the hot potato back to Lake County elected officials last week but Lake commissioners bounced it right back to Tallahassee where the decision is expected later today. Lake County rejected the developers’ extension request last year.

This is the first land development issue of its kind Bush has had to deal with since taking office three years ago. The late Gov. Lawton Chiles gave the project more time in 1994 under a similar extension request.

Insiders intimate with Tallahassee protocol tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity that the developers’ Tavares, FL lawyer Cecelia Bonifay of Orlando-based Akerman Senterfitt Eidsen has the odds riding with her on a victory.

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