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Do you know of a development threatening the Farmland Preservation Area? Contact us!
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.”
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.
Cost of Community Services studies conducted over the last 30 years show working lands generate more public revenues than they receive back in public services. Their impact on community coffers is similar to that of other commercial and industrial land uses. On average, because residential land uses do not cover their costs, they must be subsidized by other community land uses. Converting agricultural land to residential land use should not be seen as a way to balance local budgets.
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.
November 5, 2020: The Marion County Board of Commissioners met yesterday to discuss the proposed amendment to the Golden Ocala – World Equestrian Center’s (GO-WEC) Development Agreement. The main issues discussed at the meeting were about water and wastewater treatment, roadway and intersection improvements, and fire safety.
The Amendment proposes changes to the original Development Agreement. It outlined several infrastructure improvements and other infrastructure needs. The meeting was the continuation of the first public hearing for the Development Agreement Amendment. The second public hearing will be held on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 2:00 PM. The public hearing for the proposed changes to the Golden Ocala Comprehensive Plan Amendment (20-D01) and PUD Rezoning Amendment (20200201Z) applications will also be held on December 16.
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.
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