Leesburg commissioners will hear the first readings of five ordinances on Tuesday night that seem to indicate The Villages is gearing up to start developing close to 1,200 acres along County Road 48.
The ordinances have been requested by The Villages Land Company, which is currently building homes and commercial structures at a fast clip in the Villages of Southern Oaks in Sumter County. The property in Leesburg appears to be an extension of that aggressive building plan, which could include between 40,000-65,000 homes in the new Sumter County portion of Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
The Leesburg ordinances would:
- Allow for the annexation of 226.7 acres located east of County Road 48 and south of Austin Merritt Road. The property would be zoned for mixed-use development.
- Grant a large-scale comprehensive plan amendment to the overall property, which has been designated as a portion of the Villages of West Lake. That change would allow for 6,185 dwelling units, 1 million square feet of commercial/retail space and 100,000 square feet of government/office use. It also would allow for mining on the Villages of West Lake parcels.
- Rezone the land to age-restricted development from planned unit development, commercial/industrial planned and agriculture.
- Give approval to the development agreement for The Villages property, which creates two separate areas, A & B, and a binding written agreement between the city and The Villages Land Company for long-term development. It establishes the density, land uses and processes to be followed during the development, as well as design standards for The Villages project and others that could be built under the age-restricted designation.
- Establish the maximum density in the city’s age-restricted development at 30 units per acre, with the exception of a town center and medical campus, which calls for a 3.0 floor area ratio. Allow The Villages Land Company to pursue agriculture and silvicultural uses on the property. Recreational vehicles, short- and long-term rentals and sales would be permitted, as would wireless communications towers and antennas.
- Allow for residential (single-family detached, single-family attached and multi-family); medical campuses; town centers; retail; office; hotel; convention/performing arts center theater; independent-living, assisted-living, skilled nursing and memory-care facilities; hospice; civic and community facilities; stormwater, wastewater and water treatment facilities, recreation, parks, golf courses and multi-use trails.