Florida’s population is growing and with that growth the state’s transportation systems will also need to grow. With the required growth of the state’s transportation systems, it makes sense for the Florida Department of Transportation to conduct feasibility studies of potential routes for these future transportation needs, including the Northern Turnpike Extension.

The Horse Farms Forever position on transportation is clear and consistent.

  • Any new road projects within the Farmland Preservation Area should use existing rights-of-way. This position aligns with Marion County’s Comprehensive Plan Policy 3.3.1 Elements of Rural Character which states: “Transportation: New transportation corridors intended to be used specifically for the construction of expressways or limited access roadways shall avoid the Farmland Preservation Area…”
  • HFF did not oppose the Coastal Connector Tollway. Instead, what we opposed were the routes through the heart of the most prime and precious Marion County horse farms and the Farmland Preservation Area. Our goal was to help the leadership of the FDOT understand the impact of their proposed routes. Once provided with the facts, they had the good judgement to abandon those proposed routes.

The proposed alternatives routes for the Northern Turnpike Extension avoid the Farmland Preservation Area and other major Marion County horse farms. Thus, at this time Horse Farms Forever takes a neutral position on the proposed alternatives to the northern extension of the turnpike.

In our watchdog role, HFF will continue to closely monitor the situation to assure there are no detrimental impacts to the Farmland Preservation Area. In addition, we will be attending the two upcoming public meetings.

Date: December 7, 2021
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Place: College of Central Florida
Levy Campus, 15390 US-19
Chiefland, FL 32626

Date: December 9, 2021
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Place: College of Central Florida Citrus Campus
3800 S Lecanto Highway
Lecanto, FL 34461