Ears up! We’re watching these developments.
What’s Gotten Into Horse Farms Forever?
In our watchdog role, if a development or roadway is proposed that affects horse farms in the rural area and especially in the Farmland Preservation Area, the HFF® staff gathers the facts, attends the meetings, contacts county staff and the developer, confers with our professional counselors, then prepares a draft position paper for our board of directors. Our nine directors then study the position paper and supporting documents and a meeting is held to review the recommendation of the HFF® staff. The board then makes a determination as to whether taking a position on the matter aligns with our mission statement, and further if the proposed matter is a compatible land use and concurrent with the Comprehensive Plan. The board then formalizes our position. That position is either opposition, neutral, support or no position depending on the circumstances.
Over the 4 years since our inception, HFF® has taken just 9 formal positions – 2 regarding roadways and 7 regarding development. Of those 9 formal positions – 4 were in support, 3 were in opposition and 2 were neutral. Please refer to our website for the position papers. Here are 3 real world examples of those different positions.
Marion County Five-Year Strategic Plan Takes Farmland Preservation Into Account
Every five years, the Marion County Commission adopts a five-year Strategic Plan to help guide growth and development. The draft Marion County Administrative Strategic Plan 2022 – 2026: Empowering Marion for Success, was presented to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) at a workshop held on July 7, 2021. The purpose of the workshop was to present the draft plan to the County Commission and receive their input on staff’s recommendations.
Future Growth is Here: Map of 36,000 Permitted Residential Units Presented at Budget Planning Workshop
The Marion County Commission held a Strategic Planning workshop on February 2 to kick-off the annual budgeting process. County staff presented updates on the Financial Projection, Animal Services and Fleet Facilities plan, Health Self-Insurance plan, and a Classification and Compensation Study.
In addition, a map and a list of the residential development projects approved within the last five years in the County and in the City of Ocala, was presented by Tracy Straub, Assistant County Administrator of Public Works and Growth Services.
Zoning 101 – Distinguishing Between a Regional Activity Center and a Rural Activity Center
The “R” in RGAC stands for Regional. Areas with this zoning emphasize high-density uses and activities. According to the Marion County Comprehensive Plan, Objective 10.3, the Regional Activity Center (RGAC) Overlay is to “allow for compact, high intensity, high density multi-use development which may include a mix of the following uses: retail, office, housing, cultural, recreational and entertainment facilities, hospitality facilities (hotels and motels), and industrial uses that serve a regional area.”
From Gilbert’s Hardware to Dollar General: Rural Activity Centers in the FPA
You may be wondering why a Dollar General store is being built in the Farmland Preservation Area? Marion County’s comprehensive plan allows for limited commercial and residential development in designated Rural Activity Centers (RAC) (Policy 2.1.21) The new Dollar General store is located in the Flemington RAC.
We work hard to keep you informed, and to represent our members' interests in preserving our horse farms, farmland and the unique character and culture of Marion County's 193,000 acre Farmland Preservation Area.
Join the herd. Every voice matters.