Hotly contested development planned for Mount Dora tabled for 2 more weeks

A controversial new multi-use development was tabled by the Mount Dora City Council on Tuesday night.

After close to four hours of discussion, the council voted to delay action on the topic until their next meeting.

The land in question is located off State Road 46, about a 10-minute drive from downtown Mount Dora.

This proposed development could potentially be the first development located in an area referred to by the city as the Wolf Branch Innovation District, which is an 850-acre district that aims to create jobs and educational facilities.

According to plans, this specific development would include residential units, office and retail space, hotels, and more.

The $1.6 billion-plus project has been in the works for close to two years by Apopka-based AMCO Development, said Aaron Hakim of AMCO development. 

In February 2023, the Mount Dora City Council voted against the hotly contested development, but AMCO appealed the decision, which went to a special magistrate. The magistrate ultimately recommended that the council move forward with the proposed development.

At their scheduled meeting on June 4, the city council had the option to accept, deny, or modify that recommendation. They have until June 22 to make that decision.


FOX 35’s Hannah Mackenzie caught up with Hakim after the council voted to table the decision.

"It’s unfortunate that there’s another delay. There’s been a lot of delays through this road," Hakim said. "More and more these days, developers are looked as villains, unfortunately. You try to please everybody, but even though, you know, unfortunately, you probably are not going to be able to please everybody."

According to the city’s attorney, if they deny the recommendation, it could lead to a hefty lawsuit with AMCO. To which the city manager said would be "doomsday for Mount Dora".

More than one dozen residents spoke out against the development on Tuesday night. Most addressed concerns over the development’s construction impacting the aquifer and the current infrastructure's inability to accommodate the growth. The main sticking point, however, was the height of the proposed buildings.

Currently, Mount Dora’s zoning regulations state no building will stand over 100 feet tall, but with this development, many of the proposed buildings would far exceed that height. According to plans, three of them would be built between 150 and 175 feet tall.

The board has another meeting on June 18, four days before their June 22 cutoff date.

FOX 35 will keep you updated on the story.