The Villages Daily Sun

Agreement Clears Path To Extend Buena Vista Boulevard

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Posted: Monday, December 18, 2017 9:28 am

Routine county government action taken Tuesday on a transportation agreement revealed one hot new fact about The Villages expansion south of State Road 44.

The Sumter County Commission action cleared a path for the Developer, in partnership with the county, to extend Buena Vista Boulevard at Brownwood across SR 44 to County Road 470 near the Florida’s Turnpike interchange.

Commissioners ratified an agreement that acknowledged the Developer’s final payment on a loan through Florida’s Infrastructure Bank for the widening of U.S. Highway 301 south of CR 42 in Marion County. The agreement also codified the public-private partnership’s decision to forego development of a limited interchange at CR 468 and the turnpike.

“It also releases the Florida Department of Transportation from Sumter County or The Villages from a date-certain improvement of the interchange of U.S. 301 and the turnpike at Wildwood,” County Administrator Bradley Arnold told the Daily Sun. “This improvement will be processed as an outcropping of the FDOT’s project development and environmental study, which will be concluded in 2018, to widen U.S. 301. So, this amendment will release The Villages from constructing the one-half interchange at CR 468 and the turnpike and acknowledged Sumter County’s desire to eliminate the interchange, since the traffic will be better served by the future Buena Vista extension south of SR 44 to CR 470 and the utilization of the existing interchange at CR 470 and the turnpike.”

Also: The Wildwood City Commission at its Dec. 11 meeting unanimously approved a large-scale comprehensive plan amendment that designates 41 acres due south of Brownwood as acceptable for age-restricted use from a previous classification as general commercial and employment center neighborhood mixed use. While classified as age-restricted, the 41-acre site is suitable for compatible commercial and institutional components as well as residential uses. Although The Villages filed the amendment, the property subsequently was sold to an affiliate of Central Florida Health, the parent of The Villages Regional Hospital and Leesburg Medical Center. And Central Florida Health officials have announced their plans to develop an emergency department on that site.

Also: In related development activity, the commission at the Dec. 11 meeting approved a resolution that amends The Villages of Wildwood development of regional impact to permit both single-family and multifamily components. It affects only that area in and around Brownwood and Grand Traverse Plaza at Brownwood. And site work has started on the property around the Village of Alden Bungalows and north of the Brownwood Care Center.

Also: Around 10,000 people moved to Sumter County from points throughout the world from 2015 to 2016, according to newly released Internal Revenue Service migration data. Total migration to Sumter was 42.8 percent greater in 2015-16 than the year before, the data showed. And it meant around 27 people moved to Sumter every day during that time period, which explains why the Census Bureau earlier this year ranked The Villages metropolitan statistical area as the fastest-growing MSA in the country and Sumter as the seventh fastest-growing county in the country. Not surprisingly, nearly 10 percent of the people moving to Sumter and The Villages came from Lake County, 6.7 percent from Marion County and 2 percent from Hillsborough County.

Also: The migration data also revealed some interesting data abut the wealth of the people moving to Sumter. Although not a pure indicator of income transfer, the IRS data offered a glimpse into the new residents’ earnings through their adjusted gross income — or gross income minus deductions as permitted by law. Those 10,000 new residents in Sumter filed 5,730 federal tax returns that claimed total AGI of about $491 million or about $49,100 per taxpayer, according to the IRS data. So, that translates into about 1.75 persons per tax return for a possible average household income of nearly $86,000.

Also: That 1.75 persons per tax return also aligns with recently released Census Bureau data that found The Villages once again has the highest percentage of married persons out of any U.S. metropolitan statistical area. Married persons account for about 62 percent of the population in The Villages MSA.

Also: The wealth element found in the IRS data also aligns with recently released Census data that found median household income grew faster in the county, because of The Villages, than anywhere else in the state over a nine-year period that started just prior to the Great Recession and ended Dec. 31, 2016. What’s compelling, however, is that income growth contributed to a proportional decrease in the county’s overall poverty rate during the same time period.

Also: Growth south of County Road 466A continues to have a pervasive influence on the VHA. Members of The Villages homeowner advocacy and community service group learned at Wednesday’s annual general meeting that The Villages homeowner advocacy and community service group has exceeded the 16,000-member threshold. The resident lifestyle club now reports 16,182 members, according to membership Chairwoman Kathy Porter, of the Village Rio Ponderosa.

David R. Corder is a senior writer with The Villages Daily Sun. He can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5241, or