Some Lake Co. residents hesitant about Plaza Collina site park

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Some Lake County homeowners are hesitant about a new county park near their homes.

County leaders want to build on a large parcel near Clermont because parks are scarce in the south end of the county.

It would be built near the junction of State Road 50 and Max Hooks Road on the Plaza Collina site between Clermont and Groveland.

Most of the neighbors Channel 9 spoke with who live in the area agree a new park is needed, just not in the their backyard.

Clermont is a very busy area of the county with families who say they want a park, but some nearest the 140-acre overgrown site said no.

"We're in a rural area. Most people want it rural. If they want to go in the city, they'd have bought in the city," said homeowner Steve Weathers.

The only park in the area is in Clermont. People who live in unincorporated Lake County can use the city park and their kids can play in the baseball leagues, but they have to pay a higher fee than city residents do.

It's why county leaders said they want to build something in the south end of the county similar to the $9 million North Lake Regional Park in Umatilla.

While many residents in the area said they have embraced the plan, some worry about noise, traffic and wonder whether Lake County leaders, who recently voted for a small tax increase to take care of the existing parks, will have the money to maintain it.

"This irritates me, that they'll come up with federal money to buy something and they never have the funds to operate it. They don't think about operating something like that," homeowner Tom Weathers said.

Construction could still be four years away. But those opposed say if they don't stop it now, the park is a done deal.