IMPORTANT UPDATE: LADY LAKE HAS PULLED THIS ITEM FROM THE AGENDA FOR THE SPECIAL MEETING SET FOR MONDAY, SEPT. 21. LEARN MORE AT THIS LINK: Lady Lake removes Sumter County water request from agenda
Lady Lake leaders next week will hear another pitch to pipe water from the town to a proposed development in Sumter County.
Jonathan Huels of Lowndes Law of Orlando on March 2 attempted to persuade the Lady Lake Commission to look favorably on providing water to a 109-unit housing development on 18.23 acres of land near the intersection of County Road 466 and Cherry Lake Road. The site is located adjacent to the massive new apartment complex being constructed on the Sumter County side of Cherry Lake Road.
Huels got a mixed reception from commissioners in his presentation earlier this year. Commissioners Ruth Kussard and Tony Holden were vehemently opposed to sharing the town’s water. Commissioners Paul Hannan and Dan Vincent were more open to the lucrative possibility of selling water for the development. Mayor Jim Richards indicated he’d like more information before reaching a decision.
This time the pitch will come from a respected local voice, Greg Beliveau of LPG Urban and Regional Planners Inc. of Mount Dora. He has frequently appeared before the Lady Lake Commission and has a good rapport with officials. Beliveau will provide “further analysis” of the town’s water situation. You can take a sneak peek at his presentation at this link: Water analysis from Greg Beliveau of LPG Urban and Regional Planners Inc,
His presentation will take place at a special conceptual meeting of the commission at 5 p.m. Monday at Lady Lake Town Hall.
In 2019, the town’s average withdrawal of water was 730,193 gallons per day. The town’s Consumptive Use Permit allows 1.118 million gallons per day through the year 2026.
Selling the water could represent a financial windfall for Lady Lake, which could potentially pocket $678,327 in water impact fees, $842,084 in sewer impact fees and an additional $42,000 in annual surcharge revenues.
The town is already committed to providing water to the apartment complex, under a pact sealed more than a decade ago. The adjacent housing development being proposed is not part of that pact.
Commissioner Kussard has argued that the town’s water should be held in reserve for development on the horizon that will be located within the town’s borders. Holden has pointed out that selling water to a Sumter County development isn’t going to result in real estate tax revenue for the town.
The property in question is located near The Villages, about a stone’s throw from the Haciendas of Mission Hills, whose residents originally objected to the apartment complex. Because the land is not a holding of The Villages, Florida’s Friendliest Hometown will not allow connection to The Villages’ water and sewer system.
Do you think Lady Lake should sell its water to the development in Sumter County? Share your thoughts in a Letter to the Editor at this link: https://www.villages-news.com/submit-letters-editor/