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The Villages
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Villages behind ‘Buffalo Hide & Cattle Co.’ grazing at potential site of 8,000 new homes

A company that is turning a proposed 8,000-home Wildwood neighborhood into pasture land is linked to The Villages.

The Buffalo Hide & Cattle Co., which apparently controls 4,000 acres proposed in 2008 for the Landstone development, was created earlier this year by an employee of a law firm that represents The Villages in banking and real estate. The land is south of County Road 470 about two miles east of U.S. 301, not far from the Coleman federal prison.

Under the letterhead of Villages general counsel Brian Hudson, Amy Young registered the limited liability company with the state in April. Her letter to the state’s corporation registration section asks that correspondence be directed to her at The Villages of Lake-Sumter Inc., 1020 Lake Sumter Landing.

A form she submitted listed the company’s mailing address in Coleman and its street address on County Road 468 in Wildwood, according to documents provided to Villages-News.com.

The proposed Landstone development was Wildwood’s largest residential project when it was proposed in 2008. But the recession and collapse of the real estate market delayed construction and the property was sold.

The Wildwood City Commission Monday night rescinded the planned Landstone development and developer agreements.

On Tuesday, Special Magistrate Archie O. Lowry Jr. recommended changing the development of regional impact zoning to agriculture at a meeting of the Wildwood Planning and Zoning Board. The recommendation is subject to commission approval.

If The Villages hopes to bank the pasture land for future development, however, Lowry may not be sympathetic.

At Tuesday’s meeting, he challenged the rationale that rezoning the property to agriculture is a way to prevent urban sprawl.

A memo from city development director Melanie Peavy in support of the zoning change said it would discourage urban sprawl by focusing development where public services already are in place.

But Lowry said it was difficult to buy that argument.

“It makes me wonder, why did the city approve this in the first place?” he said.

In light of the urban sprawl rationale, Lowry said it will be difficult to propose later that the land should be developed unless local conditions change.

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