Site of the charter school in question.

The City of Clermont Council, Manager, and Attorney held a closed session during its regular Council meeting on April 9th. The purpose was to discuss settlement and legal expense issues related to pending litigation involving the City of Clermont’s approval of a Conditional Use Permit(CUP) to build a K-8 grade Charter school on a 5-acre site located at the intersection of Citrus Tower Boulevard and Steve’s Road.

Last Fall, residents living close to the proposed site had strongly opposed a school being built on that site and urged the city council to deny the permit.  Lake County School Board Member Marc Dodd also voiced his objection to a charter school in that area of the city.

A neighboring property owner filed a suit stating that proper notice had not been given.  A circuit judge agreed and overruled the permit. It appeared that Charter Schools USA would not have a school on that site.

And that should be the end of the story, except, it isn’t.

City Attorney Dan Mantzaris explained to council that the judge incorrectly applied county public notice requirements to city zoned property. “County code has different notifications than the City’s Conditional Use Permit”, said Councilman Ray Goodgame. “City of Clermont is taking the position that the judgment made by the Circuit Judge is incorrect.”

The City is appealing the judge’s ruling not because it is determined to have a school on that property but is concerned that the decision could impact the City of Clermont’s future conditional use permit applications.  Attorney Mantzaris counseled Council that the city and its staff could face confusion in processing future applications if the appeal was not filed.


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