City of Clermont’s Master Plan
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 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 us 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.
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.
We have completed design plans for a new, larger boat ramp based on valuable feedback from key community groups. We expect to have the $2 million project completed by the end of 2019. 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.
Additionally, our new, larger senior center is coming along well 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 are already up and we estimate opening in June 2019. The existing building served us well for over 60 years but became irreparable; it will stay open until the new Kehlor 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.
And installation has begun for our Clermont Wi-Fi Trail, with an estimated completion of 2019. It will enhance safety and navigation for our South Lake Trail users. Plus, it will support events with data and live broadcasting along our waterfront and downtown. A contractor has been selected to complete the project in phases beginning with the waterfront in 2019 and then expanding into thedowntown business area.
Our City Limit Signs are out to bid and we expect them completed this year, too. These large towers, similar to the 8th Street Entryway, will be located on our East and West boundaries on Highway 50 to delineate Clermont from surrounding counties and cities.
The next phase 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.
A focal point will be created at City Hall Park to anchor downtown visitors, creating a destination and a gathering point in the heart of downtown Clermont.
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 has already been completed in front of the new Suncreek Brewery and adjoining restaurants.
We are also working on plans for a refurbished park at the 8th Street Pier named “Meet us in the Middle” Plaza. We envision creating an attractive and lively “Meet Us in the Middle” Plaza along our at the 8th Street Pier. This would be along our South Lake Trail next to Lily’s. 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.
We plan to construct this $12 million project in 3 phases to allow for continued business operations and traffic flow in Downtown.
Phase 1 – West Avenue (Montrose to Osceola streets) & Osceola Street to 7th. To be constructed in 2019.
Phase 2 – Minneola (7th to 8th) & 8th (Montrose to Osceola), Legacy Loop & Meet in Middle will be constructed in 2020.
And Phase 3 – Montrose (West to Lake Ave) & City Hall Plaza. Will be constructed in 2021.
We also have plans for a new Public Works Building in a relocated area. 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. In June 2018, the City Council approved its relocation to Hancock Road along with the purchase of 18 acres. The facility currently is being designed.
Questions? Please call 352-241-7339.