A plan for development of pastureland on County Road 466 won unanimous approval Monday night from the Lady Lake Commission despite concerns about traffic.
The Meucci property is located across County Road 466 from Spring Arbor Village and on the opposite side of Cherry Lake Road from the new Lake Sumter Apartment Homes.
Mayor Ruth Kussard attempted to extract a promise that improvements would be made to Rolling Acres Road and Cherry Lake Road to support the traffic that would flow in and out of the 576 apartment units and 359 single-family homes in the development that would also include commercial space.
The mayor said traffic in that area is already too heavy.
“This project will make it even worse,” the mayor said.
She also expressed concern about increasing traffic on Chula Vista Avenue in The Villages, which has been a sore point with residents.
Greg Beliveau of LPG Urban and Regional Planners said the developer of the project would be paying $825,000 in road impact fees, although there would be no guarantee that money wouldn’t be used elsewhere in Lake County.
Beliveau also tried to calm fears about traffic by indicating that the project wouldn’t be happening overnight.
“We would be lucky if we are even in Phase 1 in three years,” he said. “It has a very long build out time.”
The Meucci property is currently tranquil pastureland where cows graze and hay is grown and sold.
Shirley Janye Henjum Meucci, the family matriarch, died Jan. 3 at age 93. She was a member of Hope Lutheran Church in The Villages and had been living at American House assisted living in Wildwood at the time of her death. She moved to The Villages in 1996. She left three sons, including Triston Meucci, who is frequently seen taking care of the property.