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The Villages
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Wildwood population to grow to 130,000 increasing need for roads and water

In 30 years, the once tiny city of Wildwood is predicted to balloon to more than 130,000 residents, according to a proposed 2050 comprehensive plan.

Prepared by the S&ME consulting firm, the plan was scheduled for consideration Tuesday by the planning and zoning special magistrate. After state review, it is expected to come up for city commission adoption in May.

At their meeting Monday night, commissioners also heard the first reading of a proposed ordinance requested by The Villages Development Co. to annex about 567 acres to the city for further expansion of the Villages of Southern Oaks.

The annexation would add a large parcel along County Road 471 east of Sumterville and smaller parcels along the south side of County Road 470 as The Villages continues its development march southward to the city limits of Center Hill.

The proposed comprehensive plan found that Wildwood’s population growth will cause deficient housing and roadway capacity by 2050 and a significant demand for water and sewer services over the next two decades.

S&ME recommended the city streamline its comprehensive plan by condensing land-use categories from 28 to 18, eliminating redundant policies and removing elements no longer required by statute.

The consulting firm also suggested that Wildwood add policies to support the planned Florida Turnpike expansion.

The city’s current comprehensive plan for 2035 was adopted in 2010 and amended many times due to growth. In 2010, Wildwood’s population was 6,500 and reached 21,000 residents a year ago.

During the last quarter of 2021, Wildwood’s development services department processed 1,298 projects including 940 residential permits in the Villages of Southern Oaks and 60 in the Village of Fenney.

Due to The Villages governmental structure as unincorporated, Wildwood includes a portion of The Villages north and south of County Road 466A and the entire Villages of Southern Oaks development south of State Road 44. It also stretches northward to include Oxford near County Road 466 and U.S. 301.

Founded in 1973, S&ME has offices in Orlando and throughout the southeastern United States. It provides engineering, design, environmental and construction services to industrial, commercial and governmental customers. The company was chosen from among eight consulting firms in October 2020 to complete the Wildwood plan.


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