Commissioners to Take Up Villages of Fruitland Park Proposal

Image of development site

The proposed Villages of Fruitland Park development site at the Sumter County line and C.R. 466-A is the northwest corner of Fruitland Park.

Fruitland Park — City Commissioners will hold a workshop meeting on Monday, August 12 to discuss preliminary plans to develop a portion of the Pine Ridge Dairy site, located along the western edge of the city bordering the Sumter County line adjacent to The Villages.

Community Development Director Charlie Rector requested the special meeting so he and interim city manager Rick Conner can better gauge commissioners’ concerns about potential development of the site.

Rector, Conner and other city officials have been holding preliminary discussions with representatives of The Villages, who may acquire and develop almost two-thirds of the 987-acre site.

“We have been briefing city commissioners individually on our discussions but we hope a workshop meeting will give us a real consensus of commissioners’ concerns and priorities,” Rector said.

The 987-acre Pine Ridge Dairy site could accommodate as many as 3,500 low-density, medium-density and multi-family housing units under current city ordinance.

Thusfar discussions with the developers have focused on significantly less densities, Rector added.

“Everything is very preliminary at this stage and we won’t have any reliable numbers until developers submit conceptual plans for review by the Planning and Zoning Board,” Rector said.

According to the 2010 Census, 4,078 people lived in Fruitland Park with an average household income of $51,338 and an average age of 34.7.

If the entire Pine Ridge Dairy property were developed at the maximum density currently allowed, new residents would outnumber current Fruitland Park residents, Rector said. Average age and per capita income would also increase, Rector added.

“Development of the Pine Ridge Dairy property could dramatically change the landscape in Fruitland Park, with a substantial infusion of new revenues from impact fees, property taxes and the like as well as a significant impact on local businesses and employment,” Rector said.

Last month city commissioners asked LPG Urban & Regional Planning and Consulting in Mount Dora to conduct an Impact

Analysis of potential development. Rector said that analysis should be ready before the end of August.

“This workshop meeting is the first of many steps commissioners will take in order to make the most knowledgeable decisions about the future of our city,” Rector said.

The meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m.

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