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The Villages
Monday, September 20, 2021

County administrator threatens eminent domain for Buena Vista extension

Bradley Arnold

Sumter County officials hope the courts will resolve an issue with buying land for the $19.3-million extension of Buena Vista Boulevard south of State Road 44.

The county is seeking two parcels appraised at $1.28 million and $781,600.

Both are owned by Wildwood Villages LLC, which is in bankruptcy, complicating the acquisition.

The Buena Vista extension will connect to Meggison Road. A route was approved after meetings with area residents.

Commissioners approved the county’s offers for these properties Tuesday night, which puts the owner on a timeline to work out the sales.

County Administrator Bradley Arnold outlined the process in two July 22 hand-delivered letters to Matthew Kish, attorney for Wildwood Villages LLC.

“If we are unable to agree upon a price for the purchase of your client’s property, it will be necessary for Sumter County to file eminent domain proceedings to ensure that construction deadlines are met,” Arnold wrote.

The letters stated that the project will require about 13.8 acres and a drainage easement for the more expensive property and 60,548 square feet for the other. Access easements for construction vehicles also will be needed for both properties.

Arnold said the board’s approval was a key factor in speeding court action on the purchase.

He said the Buena Vista extension is an important component of the overall traffic plan for the area.

“It’s required for relieving the traffic,” Arnold said. “It’s required for not creating problems at the intersections on (SR) 44.”

Wildwood Villages LLC filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Aug 28, 2020, in the Middle District of Florida. Wildwood Villages LLC listed assets up to $3.15 million and debts up to $3.42 million.

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