Another large active adult community proposed along State Road 44

Another large active adult community in Sumter County has been proposed on 1,065 acres west of Interstate 75 along State Road 44.

The Panasoffkee Preserve Project at County Road 475 would include 2,000 active adult residential units, 500 single-family homes, 350 apartments and 20,000 square feet of specialty retail space.

Sumter County commissioners Tuesday night approved transmitting a land use amendment that would enable the project to the state Department of Economic Development. State review is required for developments of regional impact, like The Villages.

The developer is Walton Acquistions Florida of Cummings, Ga., a subsidiary of Walton International of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which has offices in a dozen cities worldwide.

According to the development application, the project will be built in phases with expected completion by 2035.

Water and sewer services would be provided by Wildwood, but the developer is not seeking annexation into the city, said Dana Boyte of Dewberry Engineers of Orlando, a project consultant.

Mark Jacobson of Walton Development & Management of Scottsdale, Ariz., said the company has worked on the project for about 1½ years. He said a construction timetable has not been set because the first step is getting the required state and county approvals.

“Our first goal is to get through that process,” he said.

Boyte said the proposed active adult housing will be predominately single-family with a variety of housing styles such as craftsman and farmhouse. She said some apartments may be included.

A comprehensive traffic study by Traffic & Mobility Consultants of Orlando estimated the development will generate 14,103 daily trips.

The project is outside the current urban development boundary and is surrounded by farm land and large residential lots. But the company’s rezoning application maintains that the project would not be urban sprawl.

“The proposed site will complement the rural qualities of the community by supporting a diverse and efficient resource-based economy,” the application states, adding that this kind of project cannot be developed easily on the urban fringe because of the difficulty in obtaining enough contiguous land.

The Panasoffkee Preserve Project is the latest active adult community proposed in Sumter County. The developer of Wildwood Springs, where 3,000 homes are planned along County Road 468 near U.S. 301, is seeking a land use change to make it an age-restricted community. The first phase of 400 bungalows in the WholeLife project across County Road 466A from Pinellas Plaza are expected to rent to people age 55 and older.

The city of Wildwood recently withdrew a request to add property to its joint planning area after Sumter County officials said the city first needs to adopt standards for age-restricted communities.

“Until that is thoroughly thought out, I would not entertain any expansion,” said Commissioner Doug Gilpin.

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