October 3, 2018
Message From Tracey Barrett, Stop The Coastal Connector:
Meeting Thursday Oct 4th at 10 am to discuss changes to the Marion County Comprehensive plan.
Every 7 years the comprehensive plan is reviewed in Marion County. We are trying to insert language that will strongly protect our farmland preservation areas. The first meeting is Thursday Oct 4th at 10am. If you are interested in protecting our beautiful horse farms, please attend This plan is a vision for Marion county’s future to 2035. Please show you care by attending. If we want changes we have to show up. The meeting is in the usual BOCC meeting area.-the Commission Auditorium (601 SE 25th avenue, Ocala, Florida 34471).
Bellow are updates on some of the changes going on in Marion County:
- A large portion of our farmland preservation area has been designated an opportunity zone. This zone includes WEC and Golden Ocala and some of Live Oak. Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 designed to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities. This includes housing, infrastructure and businesses. The map is attached.
- 80th Avenue will be a 4 lane from 326 down to 200.
- A new exist will exist on 75. It will be between 326 and 27. It is called 49th St and will help Fed Ex get on the highway but it will extend west to 225A.
- The Convention Center may be built on 80th with two attached hotels. This is in addition to the hotel at the stadium. This land was zoned for a school. WEC also wants 64 more acres of commercial zoning. That is 2.79 million square feet and considered a regional shopping center
- On Top of the World is developing their vested land south of Westport high school on 80th Ave. They want three commercial sites on 80th that were previously approved to be on 60th.
- OTOW will add housing south of existing property and connect it to 484 as a public road. This new road will be 4 lanes and called SW 115th and go through OTOW property as a public road.
Some of these changes (4, 5, and 6) have been expedited to Tallahassee. Nov 20th there will be a meeting for the BOCC to approve these changes to the Comprehensive Plan.
In conclusion, the Convention Center and commercial projects open up our Ag land to future development. If you want to preserve our farmland you need to come to the meetings. Now that the elections are over it is business as usual. We need them to know we are still involved.