Today, Rosemont is home to an estimated 9,279 people and includes approximately 1.81 square miles of land (including Lake Orlando and the project site). Key neighborhood features include the Rosemont Preserve park along the west and northwest edges of Lake Orlando, and Rosemont Elementary school at the neighborhood’s western edge. Surrounding land uses are heavily residential and industrial, with pockets of commercial uses located primarily along the major OBT and John Young Parkway/Lee Road corridors. The neighborhood itself is approximately 46% residential; the remaining 56% is a combination of non-residential land uses.
Taking its name from the previous landowner and late State Senator Walter Rose, Rosemont officially dates back to October 11, 1971 when the Rosemont Section 1 plat was approved by Orlando’s City Council. In its early stages, the development of Rosemont was spearheaded by the master developer MGIC-Janis Properties, which was founded by Jay Janis, the future under-secretary of HUD during the Carter Administration. Prior to development, the land was a mix of pasture, citrus groves, and undisturbed wetland and natural lands.
Its centerpiece, the 183-acre Lake Orlando, was originally named “Lake Wekiwa.” The Rosemont neighborhood encircles Lake Orlando with a circumferential road named Lake Orlando Parkway. This road was originally named “Lake Wekiwa Parkway”; both the lake and road were renamed sometime between the platting of Rosemont Section 9 in October of 1977, and Section 10 in March of 1978. Despite the revised nomenclature, Lake Orlando and the Rosemont neighborhood still exist and function within the Little Wekiwa watershed.
The neighborhood’s second focal point – the Lake Orlando Golf Club, as it was known – was in operation in the early 1970s as construction on platted residential properties began. During operation, the Golf Club featured an 18-hole course, pro shop, and a clubhouse. Practice facilities were also located on site, including an aquatic driving range, putting green, and chipping and pitching area. The course was designed by Lloyd Clifton, Sr. who, during his lifetime, designed over 20 courses and consulted on over 200 throughout the state. Three sets of tees allowed for play on the par-72 course between 5,079 and 6,494 yards. Notably, all 18 holes of the course had water features. The Lake Orlando Golf Club remained in operation until 2014, suffering from the decline of golf as a sport which affected many similar communities across the state.
The Rosemont neighborhood has more “golf-side” residences than lakeside. For these residents, both the presence and absence of the Golf Club as a functional operation have had a significant impact. During times of operation, the Golf Club provided convenient recreation and a well-manicured golf course as a backyard while presumably bolstering property values. In its current state, the defunct property provides little more than maintenance and safety issues while inarguably providing no benefit to property values – perhaps serving as a detriment to them.
Fourteen main Rosemont plat sections were approved by June 6, 1983. The neighborhood has taken shape through these original plats, and subsequent subdivisions and re-plats. By 1985, 76% of all existing single-family homes, 87% of condominium units, and 52% of all multi-family units had been constructed.
The subject property encompasses a total of approximately 128 acres of land formerly known as the Lake Orlando Golf Club. The property contains three parcels, one of which lies in unincorporated Orange County. The main golf course parcel is made up of two non-contiguous areas that have one common parcel number. Table 1.1 below shows the critical data for each of the three parcels.
Though the property’s main address is 4224 Clubhouse Road, the parcels have multiple frontages on other surrounding streets, including: S Lake Orlando Parkway, N Lake Orlando Parkway, Lake Breeze Drive, and Rosamond Drive. There is also over a mile of waterfront along Lake Orlando, including a two acres peninsula that extends into the lake.