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The Villages
Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Villages wins approval for 2,000 homes on 387-acre site near prison  

As many as 2,000 homes could be built on a 387-acre site on both sides of County Road 470 in Wildwood as part of the massive Villages of Southern Oaks development.

Special Magistrate Lindsay C.T. Holt recommended approval of a site plan for the area near the Coleman federal prison at a meeting Tuesday of the Wildwood Planning and Zoning Board. City commissioners may act on the plan later this month.

The Southern Oaks development, which stretches from State Road 44 to the Center Hill city limits, will nearly double the size of The Villages. Last year, Wildwood officials authorized The Villages to build up to 14,455 homes south of CR 470.

This aerial view shows the 387 acre site tha spans both sides of County Road 470.
This aerial view shows the 387-acre site that spans both sides of County Road 470.

The bare-bones site plan offers little detail. About a quarter of the property is designated for open space and wetlands with the rest marked residential. The roughly triangular-shaped site would be bounded by an extension of Marsh Bend Trail, Central Parkway and Bexley Trail. CR 470 is not marked on the plan although it bisects the property.

Three roundabouts are indicated where the streets meet with a trail tunnel under Central Parkway. A small area is designated as non-residential, but no golf courses or recreation centers are marked on the plan. You can see more by viewing this link: 2021-09-07 Planning & Zoning Board – Full Agenda-1470 (dragged)

Although The Villages plans to build a family neighborhood for workers in the area, this property would carry age-restricted zoning like the rest of the Southern Oaks residential development.

Property owners are listed as The Villages Development Co., Buffalo Hide & Cattle Co. and Bexley Sumter of Sumterville.

Buffalo Hide & Cattle Co. is a Villages-related entity formed in 2017. More than a decade ago, part of the property was zoned residential for the Landstone project, which never was built. The cattle company led an effort four years ago to rezone the area to agriculture, although it later was rezoned to age-restricted development for The Villages expansion.

Bexley Sumter, formed in 2012, last year bought 2,236 acres along the Caloosahatchee River in south Florida for about $8.5 million.


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