Village of Southern Oaks seeks permission for as many as 20,300 homes

As many as 20,300 homes could be built in the Village of Southern Oaks, which includes 4,518 acres south of State Road 44 and east of U.S. 301 on both sides of the Florida Turnpike.

The land was acquired recently by The Villages and Wildwood officials are in the process of annexing and rezoning the land to make way for the massive development.

The Village of Southern Oaks is a separate project from the Village of Fenney, which currently is under construction along County Road 468 about three miles south of State Road 44, the current southern border of The Villages.

An overview of the Villages of Southern Oaks.
An overview of the Village of Southern Oaks.

At a special meeting Tuesday of the Wildwood Planning and Zoning Board, Special Magistrate Archie O. Lowry Jr. is expected to consider rezoning the land to Age-Restricted Development and another ordinance that sets development standards for the project including conservation, wetlands and wildlife habitat requirements.

Age-Restricted Development is a new Wildwood zoning category that requires most residents to be at least age 55. The zoning requires mixed-use development, including residential and commercial, and a variety of housing types.

About 1.7 million square feet of the land is designated for non-residential use, including recreation, commercial, medical, office and other uses. Another 288,000 square feet is designated for governmental use. A trail system would encourage walking, biking and other transportation modes.

A large portion of the land currently is used for agriculture and that would continue until it is developed.

Earlier this year, The Villages announced the purchase of 8,000 acres near the turnpike which could accommodate 14,000 homes. But the proposed Wildwood ordinance would permit 20,300 homes on 4,518 acres of the property.

At their meeting Monday night, Wildwood commissioners also approved an ordinance to annex 17 parcels totaling about 365 acres of The Villages land east of U.S. 301 and north of CR 468.

Commissioners also heard the first reading of an ordinance to annex 6.7 acres at U.S. 301 and County Road 462 west for the new city police station. They also approved a $39,445 contract to install a new floor at the Wildwood Community Center.