Stop Development in Marion County, Florida

Stop Development in Marion County, Florida

April 5, 2022
Petition to
Marion County Commission Board County commissioners
Signatures: 1,517Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Gina M Capone

To the Commissioners, Delegates, Senators, State and Federal Officials and Governor;  

1)    220203Z - B. Smith Hialeah, LLC, A-1 to PUD (Sunny Oaks), 453.91 Acres

2)      15.2.2. 2022-6079 22-L01 - Golden Ocala Equestrian Land, LLC. and Marjorie G. Edwards Irrevocable Trust, Rural to WEC, 1029.51 Acres

Dear Sir and Madam; 

I am a citizen of Marion County, Florida and a concerned resident. I do not support development in our agricultural areas, farmland preservation areas, headsprings, rivers and aquifers. I am writing to be an advocate for rural communities and farmland preservation. 

I do not support two developments that are being fast tracked on route 318 in Marion County.  I ask for your help to stop the amendments to the comprehensive plan. I believe this will become a dangerous precedent to preserving our way of life. 

On March 1st, our commissioners showed us they will not protect the unique assets, character, and quality of life in Marion County. They voted to amend our comprehensive plan without a formal study and did not protect the county’s rural, equestrian, and agricultural properties as an asset to its character and economy while providing clear, fair, and consistent standards. 

Developers are proposing to change our agriculture land use to commercial, urban and industrial zoning and this will damage our unique assets, character and quality of life.   

The Farmland Preservation Area (FPA) was formed in 2005 by the local commissioners of Marion County. It was their effort and recognition to preserve the land as it is some of the richest nutrient Karst soil that has high amounts of calcium producing strong healthy horses and livestock. It also has a rich source of water and vegetation. The FPA is approximately 193,000 acres and makes up one-fourth of Marion County. 

By creating land development regulations, Marion County Commissioners shall protect, conserve, and enhance environmentally sensitive lands and locally significant natural resources by regulating development that adversely affects these resources. 

The Commissioners have the responsibility to protect our surface and ground water quality. They are to protect our habitat and endangered species, and endangered vegetative communities. They are to protect conservation areas from intrusive or detrimental activities such as light, sound, or other human activities associated with more intense land uses that may jeopardize the viability of the natural systems and populations within a resource area. 

The County Commissioners are to establish minimum tract size and dimensions and lower density in environmentally sensitive areas while establishing urban growth boundaries within which public facilities shall be provided.  The Farmland Preservation Area and agricultural rich farmland is not the place for urban development.  

The Route 318 corridor will increase traffic on a two lane rural road with more than 17,000 trips per day, while building massive commercial, urban and industrial construction that will affect farmland families along the route, forever.   

Marion county and those counties surrounding our boundaries are connected in a tight ecosystem. I believe the commissioners must proactively protect our citizens and the lands they own. 

According to the University of Florida, “urbanization is one of the boldest impacts on the water cycle.” Storm water is rain that runs off impervious surfaces like rooftops, driveways, roadways, parking lots, and industrial developments. It is a major cause of water pollution. It carries, trash, bacteria, heavy metals and other pollutants. We do not want this to damage our farms, our way of life and our livelihood. 

The two developments being proposed are against the public interest, not compatible with the current land uses and any policy change will affect our comprehensive plan in a negative way for future generations in Marion County. 

I ask you to vote against the amendment and not allow development in the Farmland Preservation area or on sensitive agriculture farming communities. I ask that you help us to stop these two developments from going forward. 

Support now
Signatures: 1,517Next Goal: 2,500
Support now