Lake Smart variance draws questions

If you drive Lucerne Park Road often and wondered why land had been cleared at the edge of Lake Smart just east of the Lake Point Landing subdivision, the answer may disturb you. This is the site of a new two-story home served by a septic tank, a permit for which reportedly has already been approved.

The house will also be located slightly closer to the lake than city regulations normally allow thanks to approval of a construction setback variance at a public hearing in November.

The owner sought the variance to avoid having to build a triangular-shaped house, according to city officials.

The lot is lower than the road, so it will be interesting to see how the .82-acre site is engineered and how much fill will be required to prevent flooding. The building code requires the first floor and the slab for the air conditioner to be above the 100-year flood elevation, in which a large portion of the lot appears to lie.

Roger Griffiths with the Lake Region Lakes Management District said he is concerned that if the home is threatened with flooding, it could trigger a demand to lower the regulated level for that portion of the Winter Haven Chain, similar to what occurred on Lake Henry a few years ago. In that case, complaints about minor flooding at a golf course led to the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s decision to lower Lake Henry. That decision angered other lakefront homeowners who owned boats because it made the lake too low for navigation.