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The Villages

The Villages gains initial approval for family housing area in Wildwood

Family housing will be a major component of the Villages of Southern Oaks south of County Road 470.

At a meeting of the Wildwood Planning and Zoning Board, Special Magistrate Grant Watson Tuesday recommended approval of a comprehensive plan amendment and a zoning ordinance enabling The Villages to create a community support district that would feature family housing for business and development employees.

The district south of CR 470 near the Coleman federal prison would be an exception to the age-restricted zoning throughout Southern Oaks. The plan amendment requires state review because it is part of a project of regional importance. Approval by the city commission is required for both the amendment and ordinance.

Watson also recommended approval of modifications to simplify Wildwood’s zoning process. The changes were requested by The Villages.

The family community is part of development plans that include a charter high school, a second charter elementary-middle school and a commercial town center.

Community support districts could feature a variety of housing types including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. Multi-modal paths for golf carts, walking and bicycling also are planned.

Locating family employee housing in the community could mean shorter commutes to and from work.

The community support districts are required to meet Wildwood environmental, density and utility standards. They also will not increase the number of permitted homes, which is about 60,000 for all of Southern Oaks from State Road 44 to the city limits of Center Hill.

Earlier this year, Wildwood approved an ordinance that allows The Villages to build nearly 15,000 homes south of CR 470.

Changes to Wildwood’s zoning procedures include elimination of public hearings for some permits like temporary uses and on-site security. Instead, these will require approval of the development services director. The changes also simplify transportation requirements.

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