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The Villages
Monday, June 5, 2023

Villagers worried that zoning change will bring more traffic to County Road 101

Despite opposition by Villages residents, Sumter County commissioners approved a comprehensive plan amendment Tuesday night that would designate 395 acres in the Oxford area for rural residential instead of agriculture.

The property lies east of U.S. 301 and west of County Road 101 near The Villages.

County Administrator Bradley Arnold said the amendment, initiated by the county, would clear up issues with the area, where some lot sizes are less than the minimum 10 acres required for agricultural zoning.

The amendment changes the minimum lot size to five acres, but Arnold said it is unlikely to be a location for intense development due to the lack of water and sewer lines.

Passage of the amendment allowed commissioners to immediately approve a petition to rezone two five-acre parcels in the designated area to rural residential from agriculture.

An analysis by the Florida Department of Transportation found that full development of the site “would significantly increase the trip potential” by 6,333 daily trips to 6,750 and by 667 peak hour afternoon trips to 710.

That analysis concerned Villagers who live just east of CR 101.

Village of Summerhill resident Alan Saikkonen said he lives about 40 feet from the county road and that the county should delay the amendment until a comprehensive traffic study can be completed.

“That scares us,” he said of he FDOT analysis. “That level of traffic would be intolerable for us.”

Village of Belle Aire resident Gail Lazenby, who had a long career in public safety including The Villages Public Safety Department, said the amendment “opens the door” to development that would add to “an awful lot of activity” on CR 101.

Arnold said traffic studies will be done when development plans are brought by property owners.


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