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On March 6, 2020 the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) released the M-Cores Avoidance and Enhancement Areas maps for the three proposed toll roads. The Northern Turnpike Avoidance and Enhancement Areas map designates the Marion County Farmland Preservation Area as “Will Not Impact” in hot pink.

This is such great news as it means the FDOT acknowledges the Farmland Preservation Area is off limits!

The inclusion of the Farmland Preservation Area in the hot pink areas was due to the leadership of Marion County Commission Chair Kathy Bryant. She has been attending the M-Cores meetings for several months and at the last meeting, she made the request to designate the Farmland Preservation Area as “Will Not Impact.”

Please thank Commission Chair Bryant for her leadership on this important issue that affects the livelihood and way of life for so many in Marion County.

In 2018, Marion County came together with one loud voice to stop the FDOT from planning the Coastal Connector toll road through the middle of the Farmland Preservation Area which includes many of the county’s most iconic horse farms.

Although the Coastal Connector was abandoned by FDOT, there is a new threat, something called the West Ocala Beltway.  This beltway, which was proposed by Mr. John Rudnianyn, a private landowner in Marion County, would once again cut through the protected Farmland Preservation Area.

This proposed West Ocala Beltway is another reason we need to remain vigilant and proactive.  Please help us in our efforts by joining Horse Farms Forever.  Your support allows us to have a seat at the table.

There is a meeting for the M-Cores Northern Turnpike Connector Task Force (which may include southern Marion County) in Ocala on March 25th to take public comments about the proposed road.  We will be there representing our members.

To be clear, the proposed West Ocala Beltway is not part of the M-Cores task force and was not proposed by FDOT.

M-Cores Northern Turnpike Connector Task Force Meeting

March 25, 2020 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Hilton Ocala, 3600 SW 36th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34474

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