Ocala Farmland Protected From Proposed Development
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Posted by Ocala Star Banner
A proposed 207-unit development off Northwest 60th Avenue was denied by the Marion County Commission on Tuesday after an hour-long debate about controlling sprawl in the county’s designated urban growth area versus the need to protect farm land.
The commission voted 3-2 to deny development of the land, which is surrounded mostly by 450 acres known as Piney Woods Farm, owned by the family of retired Marion County Circuit Judge Hale Stancil, 75, who pleaded with officials to deny the development.
Commissioners Michelle Stone, who represents that area of the county, and Kathy Bryant voted for approval of the development, which was proposed to be built on the west edge of four-lane Northwest 60th Avenue, across from the Ocala Palms retirement community.
Commissioners Craig Curry, Carl Zalak and Chairman Jeff Gold voted to deny the development. Marion County staff recommended approval, with conditions. The planning and zoning board recommended denial a few weeks ago, but the application was revised before Tuesday’s commission meeting.