HFF Position: Golden Ocala Equestrian Land Proposals: Crupi, Plumley and the Jockey Club
Horse Farms Forever, Inc. entered negotiations 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 Jockey Club complex into less than 100 farm parcels of 3-acres or more, thus reserving over 60% 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 contained within the complex which will significantly reduce the in/out traffic.
While Horse Farms Forever strongly favors maintaining 10-acre or larger parcels within the Farmland Preservation Area, the GOEL agreement to replace the Business zoning with Agricultural zoning on the high-profile Crupi and Plumley parcels in return for HFF’s support of clustering the Jockey Club farm sites into 3-acre or larger tracts and thus allow a much larger common area for equine activities was smart planning. The fact that for all 3 of these properties, Crupi, Plumley and the Jockey Club, the total acreage divided by the number of farm sites results in a 10-acre or greater average was impactful in the unanimous decision of support for the agreement from our Board of Directors.
The Golden Ocala Equestrian Land organization and the Roberts family are to be complimented for the tremendous investment they have made in the Marion County equestrian industry.
The mission of Horse Farms Forever is to inspire conservation of horse farms through education, awareness and idea exchange so as to preserve the character and culture that horses and the Farmland Preservation Area make unique to Marion County. We are watchful of government and others to preserve horse farms and farmland for future generations, especially in the Farmland Preservation Area.
Horse Farms Forever is registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a charitable organization and approved as a tax-exempt 501 (C) (3) corporation by the Internal Revenue Service.
Horse Farms Forever does not have a political mission. Our status as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization does not allow us to participate or intervene in political activities. The organization will neither advocate on behalf of political candidates nor advocate for the passage of legislation.