Many venues are coming back from hiatus with changed schedules. There are fewer events this season, but still plenty of safe, outdoor equestrian fun to be had. Heads up for these July-August opportunities!
In Horse Farms Forever’s short history, we have been faithfully supported by a core group of Founders. This week, the following Founders chose once again to affirm their commitment to our mission. Here, they share why, in these times, the need for a watchdog organization is even more relevant than it was during the toll road threat of 2018.
In the Sidelines article, you will learn more about our new Director of Conservation Strategies, Busy Shires Byerly and why she is uniquely qualified to help Horse Farms Forever as we begin helping farm owners explore their options for conservation of their property. There are over 1,200 horse farms in Marion County. Preserving those farms not only ensures that the character and culture of this special place remains, it protects a thriving horse industry, which contributes over $2.6 billion to the economy and employs over 20,000. As we launch into this important phase of Horse Farms Forever’s history, we are thrilled to have Busy’s passion and expertise to bring to bear on this monumental challenge.
In this edition of Behind the Gate, Horse Capital TV visits with president/CEO Doug Cone, who makes a convincing case for Horse Farms Forever’s role in managing growth and protecting Marion County’s global brand.
Horse Farms Forever is grateful to announce tremendous growth at the grassroots level. This is solid evidence of a growing movement to protect the Farmland Preservation Area (FPA) of Marion County.
Every new member makes us stronger. We welcome the following new and renewing businesses who have chosen to stand with us: Agricon, Cloverly Farm, Fox Hill Paso Fino Farm, Lane’s Mark Farm, Oakmont Rehabilitation & Wellness, Ocala Jockey Club, Photonic Health, and Michael J. Saxe.
With the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes moved to Sept. 5 and Oct. 3, the Belmont took an unusual position as the first jewel in the Triple Crown this year. Last Saturday’s race, held at New York’s Belmont Park, was shortened to 1-1/8 miles and run with limited audience attendance.
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.
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.
The County Commissioners report receiving over 200 letters in opposition to the Double Gate ATV Park Land Use and Zoning changes, and Special Use Permit. Thank you for speaking out! As a supporter of the Farmland Preservation Area, you are in strong company. Take a look at some of these letters: