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The Villages
Sunday, April 18, 2021

Developer tries to sell Lady Lake Commission on idea of smaller lots for family subdivision

A developer made a second pitch to the Lady Lake Commission on the idea of smaller lot sizes for a family subdivision on Lake Ella Road.

It was strike two.

Bob Holston of Holston Properties and Development LLC presented on Monday night his revised plan for Lake Ella Estates.

A representative for Holston made an unsuccessful pitch for the subdivision in December.

Holston’s revised plan trims the subdivision down to 265 units from 279. It provides slightly larger lot sizes for the homes.

“For the last 50 years lots have gotten smaller. In the past 15 years, they have really gotten smaller,” Holston said.

“Seniors, millennials and professionals want smaller yards. Smaller yards are easier to maintain. Larger yards take time and money,” Holston said.

He added that smaller yards don’t require the amount of pesticides that end up in lakes and streams.

Holston said the development would have 2.5 acres of open space in the front and a large park in back.

This map shows the location of th 67-acre site (in yellow) on Lake Ella Road.

“It’s a place for dogs to run and catch frisbees,” Holston said.

But his pitch didn’t capture the imaginations of some commissioners.

Commissioner Tony Holden said a homeowners association at the development likely wouldn’t have any teeth.

He spoke of the HOA in the 53-unit development in which he lives, and serves on the board.

“The only power you have is to put a lien on the property. They’ll be parking everything they own on wheels in the front yard,” Holden said.

He added that in close quarters, barking dogs can fray neighbors’ nerves and the HOA is powerless to effectively regulate anything.

Commissioner Dan Vincent, a resident of Water Oak, shared his own HOA woes.

He said that of the 1,100 occupied homes at Water Oak, “less than 300 pay dues.”

Mayor Jim Richards, a retired engineer, voiced concerns about drainage at the development.

Commissioner Paul Hannan, absent Monday, sent word ahead of the meeting indicating his concern about more cars on Lake Ella Road feeding into the heavy traffic on Rolling Acres Road.

Commissioner Ruth Kussard offered the only support for the project. She said family housing is sorely needed in the town.

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