Sumter County commissioners approve plan for development at I-75 and State Road 44

Sumter County commissioners Tuesday gave final approval to a major residential and industrial development planned west of Wildwood near the Interstate 75 and State Road 44 interchange.

Plans call for 1,320 single-family homes and 750 multi-family units adjacent to what now is the Sumter LLC Industrial Park, which was approved a decade ago. The development on 449 acres also will include 1.35 million square feet of industrial space.

The developer is Sumter LLC of Sarasota, represented by Greg Beliveau of LPG Urban and Regional Planners of Mount Dora. The property is next to the Three Flags RV Resort on its eastern side.

Commissioners approved mixed use zoning for the project, reclassifying it from industrial, agricultural, institutional and educational zoning. They also approved a comprehensive plan change to allow the development.

According to project plans, wetlands will account for about 157 acres and nearly 45 acres will be devoted to recreation, including a walking trail with benches, a children’s playground and an athletic field. Buffers will separate residential areas from industrial space using existing trees when possible.

An extension to the Wildwood sewer system will be built under an agreement between the developer and the city. A water well is planned on the property.

As a development of regional impact, the project required review by the state Department of Economic Opportunity. No objections were raised by state officials, who offered technical assistance suggestions.

The county set a dozen conditions on the development, including a requirement for a 15-foot vegetated buffer along the north and east property lines. Other requirements include a property owners association to handle maintenance and a traffic impact analysis before a site development permit is issued.

The first phase of the project must begin within five years or a new plan approval would be required.

Commissioners agreed to allow a five-foot setback from side property lines, 15 feet from rear property lines and 20 feet from front roadways. Lot widths range from 40 to 70 feet.

Of 27 notices sent to adjacent property owners, four were returned with no objection and two with objections.