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SORRENTO, FL-First it was Clermont in south Lake County that Central Florida developers discovered 10 years ago as the area’s hidden commercial and residential hot spot. Today it is Sorrento and Mount Plymouth, sister communities, in still largely rural northeast Lake County, 28 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando.

Lake County commissioners vote on developer Jay E. Folk’s planned Sorrento Village, a community of 866 townhomes and single-family residents on a 312-acre tract south of State Road 46 at County Road 437. Area residential brokers and construction sources familiar with the project tell GlobeSt.com the estimated development cost is at least $80 million or about $90,000 per home.

Sorrento residents have told elected county officials they oppose the project because of the radical change the venture will bring to their quality of life and because the proposed development density of 2.8 homes per acre. Residents argue the county code for most of Sorrento’s land currently allows one home per five acres. The county’s zoning board, comprised of a citizens advisory panel, has recommended the project be approved by the full county commission.

To overcome opposition from area residents, Folk’s firm, Real Property Acquisition Group LLC, has offered the county 19 acres for the construction of a new elementary school in Sorrento where two similar schools are already approaching 80% over capacity status, according to county school board sources. The developer is also offering land for the development of a community center, public park and library, and a sheriff’s substation.

The 2000 US Census placed the permanent population in Sorrento at 765. But local historians tell GlobeSt.com about 3,500 residents currently live in Sorrento and neighboring Mount Plymouth.

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