of The Villages-News
By Marv Balousek
Published November 28, 2019
Wildwood commissioners heard the first reading of an
ordinance Monday night to annex 8,354 acres south of the Coleman federal prison
that someday will become part of the ever-expanding Villages.
The proposed ordinance may be voted on at the commission’s
Dec. 6 meeting. The property is over a mile south of County Road 470 and east of
County Road 471, along County Road 526 and north of Center Hill. The prison is
north of CR 470.
In July, Wildwood commissioners voted to annex about 700 acres in the same area.
If the latest annexation is approved, the Wildwood city limits and future
Villages growth would extend nearly as far south as Bushnell.
An agreement between Wildwood and The Villages Land Co.
allows construction of 14,455 homes, 1.8 million square feet of
commercial/office space and 110,000 square feet of office/government space as
well as recreational areas on land south of CR 470.
An estimated 40,000 to 65,000 homes can be built on 16,000 acres in south
Wildwood, including the massive Villages of Southern Oaks development south of
State Road 44. Another 2,800 homes can be built on 1,127 acres in Leesburg,
where The Villages acquired property last fall.
Two years ago, 4,130 acres along CR 470 north of the proposed annexation were
zoned agricultural at the request of the Buffalo Hide & Cattle Co., a
Villages-related entity. The land earlier was planned for homes in the Landstone
development, which was abandoned after the 2008 collapse of the real estate
Commissioners approved a site plan Monday night for three buildings on that
property, including a 22,610-square-foot maintenance building, two office
buildings of 13,280 and 6,000 square feet and an 800-square-foot restroom
The buildings will be on 37-acre site, off the highway on an unnamed road, and
also will include two parking lots for pickup trucks with trailers and standard
car parking lots.
Earlier this month, Special Magistrate Grant Watson approved a special exception
to allow the buildings in an area zoned agricultural.
The buildings will be served by a well and septic system and could be related to
Wildwood’s recent decision to allow limestone mining on undeveloped
Commissioners also approved an ordinance that revises franchise agreements with
several companies to supply electricity, natural gas, wastewater and fresh water
services to The Villages area in south Wildwood.
The 30-year agreements allow the city to receive franchise fees of 5 percent of
gross revenue and to approve fees charged to consumers.
Companies include South Sumter Utility Co., Southeast Wildwood Water
Conservation Authority, South Sumter Electric Co. and South Sumter Gas Co.
Those companies are not allowed to infringe on Wildwood’s existing agreements
with Duke Energy, SECO and TECO. Wildwood supplies wastewater and fresh water
services directly to the rest of the city.