HORIZON WEST – Because of its proximity to surrounding growth areas and the highly trafficked County Road 535, a rural area in unincorporated Orange County, which self-identifies as Lake Mabel, has experienced intense development pressure.
Located on the official border of the Horizon West community just north of Walt Disney World, the roughly 200 acres in the Lake Mabel neighborhood has a zoning code of R-CE, (Rural Country Estate), with a future land-use designation of Village, which allows only one dwelling unit per every 10 acres.
But that could change following the possible implementation of amendments to the county’s Comprehensive Plan — a document the county uses to manage growth via future land-use designations for all the properties in unincorporated Orange County.
The multiple proposed amendments to the comprehensive plan regarding Lake Mabel are the result of the county’s Rural Residential Enclaves Small Area Study. A two-year long study focused on four rural areas in Orange County surrounded by denser development to gauge the best way to preserve their rural character while also allowing for some development to come in. The areas were Rocking Horse, Berry Dease, Chickasaw South and Lake Mabel – the only one of which is located in District 1.
Policy recommendations for Lake Mabel were discussed with about 40 area residents and property owners during a community meeting held Dec. 5 at Dr. Phillips Elementary School, where Marcos Bastian – Orange County’s chief planner – outlined the recommended changes to the comprehensive plan regarding Lake Mabel during the community meeting.
The recommended amendments seek to officially designate Lake Mabel as a Rural Residential Enclave with a density of one dwelling unit per acre and a minimum lot size of one acre — a provision that irked some property owners who bought land in the area with the idea that it would remain with the current standard of one unit per 10 acres.
The proposed language also suggests to maintain the existing R-CE uses and standards, to allow lot splits, prohibit development clustering and allow special exceptions consistent with R-CE zoning designation.
Anyone with questions or concerns may contact Marcos Bastian by phone at (407) 836-5518 or via email at [email protected].