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DEVELOPMENT THREATS

Ongoing

United Voices Support the Farmland Preservation Area

United Voices Support the Farmland Preservation Area

The decision about the future of the Ocala Jockey Club (OJC) was made on June 21 and while not everyone is happy about the Marion County Commission’s vote, every person and elected official who spoke either, in favor, or against the application had one thing in common: a strong desire to protect the Farmland Preservation Area from incompatible uses.

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CR 318/I-75 Interchange Slated for High Density Development –  Includes Sunny Oaks RGAC

CR 318/I-75 Interchange Slated for High Density Development – Includes Sunny Oaks RGAC

The proposed 453-acre Sunny Oaks PUD is a catalyst project that will forever change the rural and scenic character of the intersection at CR 318 and I-75 in Irvine. The community and local residents are justly very concerned about the long-term impacts of the proposed 4 million square feet of commercial and warehouse space on traffic and their quality of life.

Because this project is located within the Farmland Preservation Area (FPA), Horse Farms Forever has recently spent hundreds of hours researching the proposed Sunny Oaks Zoning Request. We consulted with our land use attorney, key stakeholders and land use planners to better understand the complex legal issues and the scope of the previous development agreements and determine if there was a role for the organization. This is a summary of what we found.

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Classic Mile RAC Reconfiguration

Classic Mile RAC Reconfiguration

In 1994, about 15 acres of the overall 540-acre property was designated Rural Activity Center (RAC), which allows for limited commercial development in the rural area. The owner of Classic Mile, Mr. Domenic Martelli, has requested that about five acres of the RAC be moved to front along W. Hwy 40, since the current RAC backs up to one of the horse barns and covers over one of the entrances to the farm on SW 140th Avenue.

According to the July 26, 2021, Marion County’s Planning and Zoning Agenda item, the shift of the RAC’s location will create a net increase of about 1.5 acres to result in an overall 15.13-acre RAC. This change to the Future Land Use Designation from Rural Land to RAC is about 5.2 acres. There is a subsequent decrease of RAC back to Rural Land of about 3.7 acres to create a net increase of 1.5 acres designated as RAC. The requested change in the RAC boundary will continue to comply with the RAC designation standards.

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Golden Ocala Equestrian Land Proposals

Golden Ocala Equestrian Land Proposals

Horse Farms Forever, Inc. has been in negotiations since late last year with the Golden Ocala Equestrian Land organization (GOEL) regarding their proposal for the Ocala Jockey Club. In September, we reached a multi-layered agreement with GOEL for them to replace the B-2 zoning on two very high-profile properties, the 256-acre Crupi parcel and the 247-acre Plumley parcel, with A-1 zoning and to develop these properties into farms of 10-acres or larger. In return, Horse Farms Forever agreed to support the GOEL proposal to develop the 1,000+ acre Ocala Jockey Club complex into less than 100 farm parcels of 3-acres or more, thus reserving over 70% of the remaining acreage for equestrian activities including polo, eventing, driving, rodeo, and other equine activities. The development of this property would include a hotel and RV park within the complex which will significantly reduce the in/out traffic.

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The County Commissioners say YES to the Farmland Preservation Area, and NO to the ATV Racetrack!

The County Commissioners say YES to the Farmland Preservation Area, and NO to the ATV Racetrack!

At their meeting on June 17th, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted as follows:

To deny Comprehensive Plan Amendment 20-L05 submitted by Blitch Plantation, LTD to amend the future land use designation from Rural Land to Rural Activity Center for 18.2 acres.
To deny Application 200507Z to rezone 18.2 acres from Rural Land to Rural Activity Center; but to approve the rezoning for 5 acres within that parcel with land use already designated as Rural Activity Center. This means that the 5 acres with the future land use designation of Rural Activity Center now has the zoning to match, and development that is allowed within a Rural Activity Center can now take place there.
To deny Application 200508SU to permit ATV racetrack with ancillary recreational uses, limited ATV sales and repair, RV Park, and event venue requested as a Special Use Permit in RAC and A-1 Zoning Districts.

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Do you know of a development threatening the Farmland Preservation Area? Contact us!

Resolved

The County Commissioners say YES to the Farmland Preservation Area, and NO to the ATV Racetrack!

The County Commissioners say YES to the Farmland Preservation Area, and NO to the ATV Racetrack!

At their meeting on June 17th, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted as follows:

To deny Comprehensive Plan Amendment 20-L05 submitted by Blitch Plantation, LTD to amend the future land use designation from Rural Land to Rural Activity Center for 18.2 acres.
To deny Application 200507Z to rezone 18.2 acres from Rural Land to Rural Activity Center; but to approve the rezoning for 5 acres within that parcel with land use already designated as Rural Activity Center. This means that the 5 acres with the future land use designation of Rural Activity Center now has the zoning to match, and development that is allowed within a Rural Activity Center can now take place there.
To deny Application 200508SU to permit ATV racetrack with ancillary recreational uses, limited ATV sales and repair, RV Park, and event venue requested as a Special Use Permit in RAC and A-1 Zoning Districts.

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Today is Hearing Day: Participation Options

Today is Hearing Day: Participation Options

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets today at the McPherson Governmental Campus Auditorium, 601 SE 25th Ave., Ocala, to consider adoption of the Blitch Plantation (Rudianyn) proposal for Double Gate ATV Park and Recreation. Here is the agenda and full application.

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Residents, farm groups oppose ATV park in rural Flemington

Residents, farm groups oppose ATV park in rural Flemington

The 240-acres project would include an ATV track, sales, service and an RV park located in the pastoral area designated as part of Marion County’s Farmland Preservation Area. A proposal to build an all-terrain vehicle recreation and entertainment complex, with included track, sales, service and an RV park at Flemington, has many in the rural community up in arms.

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Always Watching

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.

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