Sumter County to hold public hearings about plan to create more housing for workers

Wildwood, Fruitland Park and other cities aren’t the only local places where commercial and residential development is booming.

Nearly a dozen projects outside any city limits are under review by Sumter County, according to a development services report presented Tuesday to commissioners.

The county board also scheduled public hearings on June 26 and July 10 on zoning changes to allow higher density residential neighborhoods. The June 26 hearing will be held at 5 p.m. at Colony Cottage Recreation Center. The July 10 hearing will be held at 5 p.m. at the Sumter County Courthouse Historic Courtroom in Bushnell.

The zoning changes to allow apartments and condominiums would provide housing for workers, according to county development services director Karl Holley.

“Ancillary development and employment growth, especially in low-to-medium wage jobs, have increased demand for both renter and owner occupied housing affordable to service and retail sector employees,” Holley wrote in a memo to commissioners. “There are a number of locations within the county where developers have expressed interest in higher density residential development.”

Among the county projects, a site plan and building permit were approved for a Wawa gasoline station and convenience store on U.S. 441 in Summerfield.

Plans and permits also were approved for Citrus Cardiology Consultants, which will construct a medical office building and four additional buildings on four acres south of State Road 44 near Lake Okahumpka.

The Sumter Industrial Park, with six lots on 231 acres north of SR 44 and east of Interstate 75, is under review. Also under review is the Warm Springs Self-Storage project in Coleman.

McLeod Commerce Park on County Road 470 near Sumterville has been approved and the county is awaiting a final plat.

Several RV parks are on the drawing boards.

Among them is Wildwood RV Village North, which will have 126 new lots on 15 acres. An application was submitted April 6. The adjacent Wildwood RV Village, which also is undergoing significant improvements this spring, is located north of SR 44 near Interstate 75.

Sunshine Village mobile home park in Webster submitted a development plan on May 25.

The county also is considering a petition submitted March 7 to change 36 acres to commercial from agricultural zoning for a mobile home park on SR 44 at the Lake County line.

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