Villages of Southern Oaks will nearly double the size of The Villages

 The Villages Land Co. has submitted master plans to Wildwood for 1,620 acres of the massive Villages of Southern Oaks development.

The plans for three areas were recommended for approval Tuesday by Special Magistrate W. Grant Watson at a meeting of the Wildwood Planning and Zoning Board. The city commission likely will take up the plans later this month.

The largest area of 992 acres extends from near State Road 44, between Lake Okahumpka and the Florida Turnpike, nearly to County Road 468.

It will be bisected by Meggison Road with golf cart trails along the roadway. It includes a golf course, a golf pitch-and-putt area, a recreation center and about a half dozen neighborhoods. A golf cart bridge across the turnpike is at the center of the community and commercial lots are planned at each end on SR 44 and CR 468.

The second area (Phase 3D) of 471 acres is south of the turnpike along U.S. 301. It contains a significant acreage of wetland preserve and water retention basins integrated with residential areas. The community will have an entry gate on U.S. 301 and a pedestrian path.

The third area (Phase 10A) is west of the Village on Fenney on land acquired recently near the Coleman city limits. It includes a recreation center with drainage basins and wetland preserves around the outside of the residential area.

Watson also recommended approval of a site plan for a Southern Oaks utilities maintenance facility, which will be a cluster of three single-story buildings on the northwest side of CR 468. Buildings include a 1,200-square-foot-office building, a 5,000-square-foot office building and a 1,500-square-foot utility maintenance facility on 4.1 acres.  

At the last city commission meeting, commissioners approved the master plan for Phase 5C and 5D, an area north of the turnpike and east of CR 468.

Wildwood added 5,664 acres to the Southern Oaks area last year, nearly doubling the number of permitted homes to 49,339. The number of permitted homes often is higher than the number actually built. Condominiums and apartments also are allowed in Southern Oaks.

If all permitted homes are built, Southern Oaks would nearly double the size of The Villages, which currently has about 65,000 homes.

Southern Oaks also may include up to 11.2 million square feet of non-residential uses such as commercial and up to 1.4 million square feet of government or office space.