UPDATED MAY 13, 2019
The City of Clermont’s award-winning Master Plan is our road map as we design the future of our city for the next five, 10 and 20 years. Like any plan, it is meant to be a guide and is intended to adapt to changing circumstances.
There are 32 projects in the overall masterplan, including green streets, streetscape, trails, parks and infrastructure improvements. While much of the focus is on the Downtown-Waterfront District, the Master Plan offers insight on how to keep our growing city connected and how to protect the very charms that have drawn hundreds of thousands of people to this internationally recognized city that is one of the nation's top places to live and also a training ground for the world's elite athletes.
It all started in 2012, when Darren Gray became Clermont’s city manager. Many people asked about his plans for Clermont’s future. So he turned that question to our citizens and listened to what they wanted. In 2013, he held a series of community visioning sessions. Over 1,000 residents attended. Time and time again, they told him that they wanted a vibrant downtown.
In March 2015, our City Council adopted the Master Plan with three priorities – to enhance, connect and grow our community. The city then embraced a bold, new brand that identified Clermont as the Choice of Champions®. For many months after that, the team from GAI Consultants studied the research that came out of the visioning sessions and worked with city planners and other staff to create a strategic master plan that would enhance Clermont's many assets and charms -- especially in the Downtown-Waterfront District. In 2016, the Master Plan won the Florida Redevelopment Association state award and Lake-Sumter MPO regional award.
VICTORY POINTE -- COMPLETED 7/18
We are delivering on our promises. In July 2018, we completed our first major project of the Master Plan — Victory Pointe.
Not only is it a stormwater filtration system, but it’s also an urban passive park and event venue. Already it has encouraged development and redevelopment downtown by allowing businesses to maximize their sites. It’s also encouraging foot traffic from the Waterfront to our Downtown shops and restaurants.
We’ve also made great progress with some other projects in our Master Plan.
BOAT RAMP -- OUT TO BID
We have completed design plans for a new, larger boat ramp based on valuable feedback from key community groups. A project bid from Traverse Group is on the May 28 City Council meeting agenda for $2.49 million. (It was initially placed on the May 14 agenda, and was moved due to some good news: Lake County Commissioners will be considering partial funding of the project at their board meeting on May 21.) Permitting has been submitted to all agencies. We plan to begin construction in June, and we expect to have the project completed by the end of 2019. A lot of behind-the-scenes work has been done on the boat ramp, including surveys for boundary, topographic, tree, wetland locations, borings and geotechnical aspects; underground utility locations; and an environmental survey.
The existing boat ramp by Victory Pointe will be relocated to the southern bank of Lake Minneola, known as the former Bell Ceramics site. This will shift motorized watercrafts away from the many non-motorized watercrafts that launch from the Clermont Boat House and Victory Pointe. The new ramp will double the launch pads to four, increase parking by 50 percent, add mooring slips for peak traffic and have new restrooms.
KEHLOR RECREATION CENTER -- UNDER CONSTRUCTION
We love our seniors! That's why we're building them a bigger, better senior center right in front of the old one in Kehlor Park, on the east end of downtown. Construction started in December 2018, after City Council approved the $488,000 project. The walls and roof already are up and we estimate opening in Summer 2019. The existing building served us well for over 60 years and was repaired many times; it will stay open until the new building is complete. The new building was designed to be consistent with the look of other city buildings downtown and around the city. Amenities will include a multipurpose room sink, refrigerator, restrooms and storage.
WI-FI TRAIL -- LIVE IN LIMITED LOCATIONS
Installation has begun for our Clermont Wi-Fi Trail, with an estimated completion by the end of 2019. In March, we went live in limited locations along our Waterfront District -- Champions Splash Park, Waterfront Park, Clermont Boat House, Clermont Boat Ramp, Highlander Pavilion and Victory Pointe (northern portion). A contractor was selected in November 2018 to complete the project in phases beginning with the Waterfront and then expanding into the Downtown business area. This free offering will enhance safety and navigation for our South Lake Trail users. Plus, it will be able to support events with data and live broadcasting along our waterfront and downtown.
CITY LIMIT SIGNS -- CONSTRUCTION HAS BEGUN
Construction began in April 2019 on our city limit signs, and we expect them to be completed this year, too. These large towers, similar to the 8th Street entryway to Downtown Clermont, will be located on our east and west boundaries on State Road 50 to delineate Clermont from surrounding counties and cities. The gateway entry feature on Lake Avenue and State Road 50 will be on the north side of the road, while the feature on 12th Street and 50 will be on the south side of the road.
DOWNTOWN-WATERFRONT DISTRICT -- IN PROGRESS
The next part of the Master Plan strikes at the heart of our Downtown. This area includes Montrose, Minneola and Osceola streets between West and Lake avenues. The proposed improvements include streetscape, landscaping, bathrooms, lighting, upgrades for event lighting and music, banners and beautification. We plan to construct this $12 million project in three phases to allow for continued business operations and traffic flow in Downtown.
- PHASE 1 -- DESIGN COMPLETE
Design plans are now complete for Phase 1, which includes West Avenue (Montrose to Osceola streets) & Osceola Street to 7th. It is planned to be constructed in the later part of 2019.
- PHASE 2 -- IN DESIGN
Design plans are underway for Phase 2, which includes Minneola Avenue (7th to 8th streets) & 8th Street (Montrose Street to Osceola Street), Legacy Loop & Meet Us in Middle Plaza. We plan to construct this in 2020.
We are working on plans for a refurbished park at the 8th Street Pier named “Meet us in the Middle” Plaza. After a valuable community feedback meeting, we have gathered residents' ideas and input and are applying them to the design. We envision creating an attractive and lively stop along our South Lake Trail at the 8th Street Pier, next to Lilly’s on the Lake. The plaza would mark and celebrate the half waypoint of the state’s Coast-to-Coast Trail, since Clermont is exactly 101 miles from each coast. A destination would be created for sports tourist, visitors and event attendees to highlight the center of the trail.
In addition, we envision creating Legacy Loop Trail and smaller trail projects to encourage South Lake Trail users to come into downtown. The Legacy Loop Trail will be a permanent bypass of the Waterfront from 7th Street to just west of Victory Pointe. This will direct traffic into Downtown and provide a bypass of the VIctory Pointe event area during large events. Part of the trail already has been completed in front of the new Suncreek Brewery and adjoining restaurants.
- PHASE 3 – ON DECK
Phase 3 will cover Montrose Street (West Avenue to Lake Avenue) & City Hall Plaza. We plan to construct it in 2021. Phase 3 will create a focal point at City Hall Park to anchor downtown visitors, making it a destination and a gathering point in the heart of Downtown Clermont.
NEW PUBLIC WORKS BUILDING -- IN DESIGN
We also have plans for a new Public Works Building in a relocated area. The facility currently is being designed. In June 2018, the City Council approved its relocation to Hancock Road along with the purchase of 18 acres. The current facility off of County Road 561 has been in service for over 30 years and is in the far western corner of our service area. It is fully depreciated and will be better located in a more central area of the city’s service area.
Questions? Please call 352-241-7339.