Growth in The Villages

To the Editor:

Many people do not realize that the growth in The Villages is necessary to sustain economic activity. They complain about our urban sprawl when a hard look at the issues should be noted.  Here are few of the issues IF THE VILLAGES WERE TO STOP GROWING:
1) Villages would have to lay off employees. The growth requires more planners and coordinators.
2) Contractors would be severely cut down and the local economy would be impacted negatively.
3) County taxes would stop growing and the burden of improving roadways would fall on existing residents. (Note roads are always improved after the growth, not during, so those remaining pay for the cost).
4) In that light roadway improvement may slow down and some projects may stop entirely.
5) Businesses would notice a decrease in  the customer base which may force some to close, but at the least lay off workers.
5) Property values would level off and the market would become better for existing homeowners (which may improve selling price once the new houses are filled).  Apartments may have a higher rate of vacancy due to younger villages workers moving away  (lack of job growth).
6) However taxes may increase to fund existing infrastructure (roadways, the Lake-Sumter Bridge, etc).
7) Retail shops and mini-malls would stop being built.  Existing shops may increase prices to cover decreased customer traffic and due to less new competition.
However it would take some time to see these occur … but they would occur.  I am sure you may think of a few more I haven’t listed.

Jeff Atwood
Village of Fernandina