Wildwood approves annexation of 770 acres that could be part of Villages of Southern Oaks

Wildwood commissioners Monday approved annexation of about 770 acres that could become part of the Villages of Southern Oaks development.

The property includes three parcels near the intersection of county roads 501 and 470.

The annexation was requested by The Villages Land Co., the Southern Oaks developer, on behalf of the Sanders Transfer Co. and Duval Farms, who may be the current land owners.

Two smaller parcels are north of CR 501 and west of CR 470. A larger parcel is east of CR 470, set back from the road, next to a 4,130-acre property that was zoned agricultural two years ago.

The parcels that could become part of the Villages of Southern Oaks are marked in dotted lines.

A decade ago, an 8,000-home development was proposed for the large agricultural property. Two years ago, Buffalo Hide & Cattle Co., an entity linked to The Villages, persuaded Wildwood officials to designate the property for agricultural instead of mixed-use zoning. At that time, the land was earmarked for use as pasture land.

The two smaller annexed parcels could be used for commercial or residential development since they border CR 501. But the larger annexed parcel currently has no road access and borders the pasture land.

Last year, Wildwood added 5,664 acres to the Southern Oaks area, 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, a sprawling development that stretches from U.S. 301 east nearly to CR 470 on both sides of the Florida Turnpike.

If all permitted homes are built, Southern Oaks would nearly double the size of The Villages, which had about 65,000 homes before the development began.

Southern Oaks also is authorized to 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.