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The Villages
Monday, April 19, 2021

Sumter County’s development services director has died at age 60

Karl Holley

Longtime Sumter County development services director Karl Holley died Sunday.

Holley, 60, who served in the job since April 2012, supervised zoning applications and development issues. He regularly presented zoning change requests at meetings of county commissioners and made recommendations.

County Administrator Bradley Arnold said he could not comment on the cause of Holley’s death or whether it was related to COVID-19. Holley did not attend county meetings for the past couple months.

He reviewed plans for projects that ranged from a 199-foot communications tower to expansion of an RV park, alligator farming and mixed-use subdivisions. He oversaw a major revision of the Sumter County zoning code in 2015

Last September, Holley was a key figure in a six-hour zoning hearing on The Villages plan to build apartments on the site of the former Hacienda Hills Country Club. He also participated in a decision nearly two years ago to replace the Zoning and Adjustment Board with a special magistrate.

Holley, who spoke German, began his career as a senior planner in Macon, Georgia, in June 1988. He later served as an economic development specialist, planning division manager and planning and zoning director in Marietta, Georgia, before spending more than seven years as community development director in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

His educational degrees included master of city planning at Georgia Institute of Technology, master of technology at Southern Polytechnic State University and bachelor of arts in politics and government in 1986 at Mercer University.

He was a member of a half dozen professional planning organizations including the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Association of State Floodplain Managers.

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