Water-Related News

Clermont’s plan to move boat ramp to preserve draws fire

A controversial plan to add a new boat ramp in Clermont is expected to draw supporters and detractors to a City Council meeting Thursday.

No sooner had the city sent letters to residents most affected by the proposal than protest signs began appearing: “Save Hiawatha Preserve No Boat Ramp.”

The city’s current boat ramp is located on the south shore of Lake Minneola, between the Historic Village and the Clermont Boathouse. The Boathouse is the gathering place for the area’s scull and sweep set, as well as for school-aged sailors. The only motorized vessels there are safety boats.

The current boat ramp is on what is now known as Victory Pointe, right where the city plans to put its Triathlon Beach. Moving the triathlons west from Waterfront Park to Victory Pointe, where they will be closer to downtown Clermont, is one part of the city’s current downtown development plan. They can’t build Triathlon Beach without moving the boat ramp, and Hiawatha Preserve is where officials have made plans to put it.

The Preserve is Clermont’s big passive park on the west side of Lake Minneola. The proposed boat ramp site, just north of the roundabout at the Preserve, is the last bit of undeveloped Lake Minneola shoreline in the city, and the houses directly north of the site are in unincorporated Lake County.