Leesburg Commission OKs annexation of Buddhist meditation center into city

Leesburg commissioners have approved three ordinances that will allow a meditation center owned by the Vietnamese American Buddhist Association to become part of the city.

The Vietnamese American Buddhist Association’s meditation center sits on 21.05 acres west of Hwy. 27 and Plantation Boulevard.

Commissioners backed the annexation plan at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday night after hearing the second readings of three ordinances connected with the project.

The first ordinance cleared the way for the center, located on 21.05 acres west of U.S. Hwy. 27 and Plantation Boulevard, to be annexed into the city. The second amended the city’s comprehensive plan by changing the future designation on the property from Lake County Urban Low Density to Leesburg Institutional. And the third amendment changed the zoning of the property to planned unit development.

The property will continue to be used for the growing meditation center. Several cabins are planned on the site but none will be set up for permanent living arrangements.

This maps shows the location of the Vietnamese American Buddhist Association’s meditation center off Hwy. 27 near Plantation Boulevard.

The meditation center property partially wraps around a neighborhood located just off U.S. Hwy. 27 on Palm Way, Palmetto Drive and Plumos Drive. The center also is surrounded by property designated for residential, utility and non-agricultural uses. Wooded areas are located on the opposite side of U.S. Hwy. 27. And a small motel and entertainment center are a short distance away on U.S. Hwy. 27.

The Leesburg Planning Commission gave its blessing to the three ordinances in March and commissioners heard the first readings in April. The Metropolitan Planning Organization has indicated that the facility won’t create much of an impact on traffic. And the city has determined that a “positive fiscal impact” will be derived from the annexation and development of the property in the form of increased tax revenue added to the general fund.