Commission Meeting Agenda Item

Agenda Item

Consideration of Casa Montessori Phase II — Major Modification to Site Plan — MJM 07/17-001 — A Project Proposing an Additional One-Story, 3000-Square Foot Private School and After-School Day Care Building with 11 New Parking Spaces on the Casa Montessori Site Located at 309 Orange Street (Alternate Key Numbers 2669241 and 1121485)


Growth Management

Staff recommends approval of the Casa Montessori Phase II — Major Modification to Site Plan — MJM 07/17-001 with waivers from the following provisions:

Chapter 10, Section 10-3).a).2). ― All commercial properties must have a minimum of 160 tree caliper inches per acre.

Chapter 10, Section 10-3).b).B).2). ― Landscaping Buffer Class “B” requirements along the west elevation boundary.

Chapter 10, Section 10-3).g). ― Building foundation planting requirements.

Chapter 20, Section 20-3C).3).A). ― New buildings should adopt one of the four recommended architectural styles: Frame Vernacular, Craftsman/Bungalow, Mediterranean, or Mission.


On June 26, 2017, Town staff received a Major Modification to Site Plan application and plans submitted by applicant BranamJames Construction, LLC, on behalf of property owner, Erojas Investment Properties, LLC, for the construction of a new school building at the Casa Montessori site.

The Casa Montessori site is located at the corner of South Highway 27/441 and Orange Street and is addressed as 309 Orange Avenue. The existing site has been in operation since 2014 as Lady Lake Montessori Preschool and Elementary; a private school that offers year-round programs for children 15 months of age to 15 years of age and includes programs such as after school care and summer camps.

At this time, the applicant is proposing to expand operations by adding another one-story 3,000-square-foot building that will house approximately 20 additional pupils and four school staff members. Additional improvements include the provision of a drop-off facility, 11 new parking spaces, and landscaping upgrades along the north, west and south boundaries, on an approximate .59-acre parcel along Hwy 27/441 and Orange Street, identified by alternate key 2669241. The property is zoned Heavy Commercial (HC) and the Future Land Use is Commercial General – Retail Sales and Services (RET), which allows for the proposed land uses and is compatible and consistent with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

The site plan was reviewed to determine if it is in compliance with the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) including parking, setbacks, landscaping, engineering, environmental protection and commercial design standards. The applications were determined to be in compliance with the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) and the Comprehensive Plan.

The Civil engineering site plans, consisting of nine sheets submitted on 24” x 36” sheets and certified by Alberto Guida, Professional Engineer with the New York Group & Co., are dated May 7, 2019. Landscaping and irrigation plans consisting of three sheets drawn and certified by Paul L Velander, Registered Landscape Architect with Velander Landscape Architecture, LLC, are dated May 9, 2019. Architectural exterior elevations consisting of one sheet by Alberto Guida, Professional Engineer with the New York Group & Company.

Town staff, Neel-Schaffer Engineering, Fire Inspector Kerry Barnett, and Building Official Ron Rowe completed reviews. The following items are included in the packet:

Site Plan Review completed by Growth Management on 6/4/2018 (Satisfied).

Review No. 6 for the general site development completed by Neel-Schaffer Engineering, dated 5/7/2019 (Satisfied).

Review by Fire Inspector Kerry Barnett dated 4/2/2019 (Satisfied).

Review by Building Official Ron Rowe dated 4/8/2019 (Satisfied).

Review by Lady Lake Public Works dated 5/31/2018 (Satisfied).

Lake-Sumter MPO comments dated 8/23/2018 (Satisfied).

FDOT comments dated 6/4/2018 (Satisfied).

St. John’s River Water Management District Permit No. 68994-4 ― Minor Modification to Permit No. 42-069-68994-3 ― for storm water management on the redevelopment of .603 acres for Casa Montessori Phase II, dated 9/30/2016.

FDOT Drainage Connection Permit No. 2018-D-592-002 dated 1/9/2018.


In accordance with Chapter 10-Landscape and Tree Protection, the site is required to provide 137.6 tree caliper inches based on its .86 -acre site development area (160”x .86).

The applicant will be providing 89.0 tree caliper inches. The following number of trees are being planted:

4 Red Maple Trees

12 Crape Myrtle Trees

7 Japanese Privet Trees

4 Southern Live Oak Trees

In addition, the applicant will be planting approximately 375 shrubs throughout the site as well as groundcover plant material with sod and mulch.

Due to the existing overhead power lines along Highway 27/441 frontage and the road widening projected to commence in 2020, sidewalks will be constructed along the west section and significant changes to that frontage are expected. Lastly, staff is in favor of approval of the site plan as presented in that the Casa Montessori Phase II expansion was originally approved on 1996; since that time the Town’s Land Development Code has undergone several significant updates.

Two historic trees will be removed. The arborist report is attached.


In accordance with the Land Development Regulations, Chapter 20, Section 20-3C).3).A)., new buildings should adopt one of the four recommended architectural styles: Frame Vernacular, Craftsman/Bungalow, Mediterranean, or Mission.

Casa Montessori would like to continue with the architectural exterior building elevation depicted on the existing Building 1. Building 2 will primarily consists of a single-story Ranchette style building exhibiting architectural shingles and stucco.

Town staff is in favor of granting the waiver since the applicant is proposing the Ranchette style which is consistent with the architecture of adjacent Building 1. Waivers have been reviewed and granted on a case-by-case basis for other projects along the Highway 27/441 corridor in the past.


On August 23, 2017, the Lake-Sumter MPO reviewed the major modification to site plan application and approved the Request for Exemption Letter from requiring the applicant to perform a Tier 1 Traffic Impact Study (TIS) based on the generation analysis. The project is expected to generate approximately ten AM Peak Hour Trips (with six entering and four exiting), 48 AM Peak Hour trips, and 149 daily trips. Further, it was noted that the proposed project would have little impact on the local roadway network, especially with the SR 500 widening project. Staff is in support to approve the exemption. Lastly, the MPO identified that if they continue to expand in the future, there will be a need to conduct a traffic impact study that includes the total project to assess operation of the roadway network, especially the access along Orange Street.

Fiscal Impact

Not applicable.

Funding Account

Not applicable.