The goal to link The Villages lifestyle north and south of State Road 44 becomes closer this week.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Sumter County Commission will consider a measure to vacate a roadway at Lake Deaton Plaza for one of the two golf cart bridges that would cross the state highway into the Southern Oaks region.

The measure to close Chelsea Terrace, on the east side of Rohan Recreation Center, would provide direct golf cart access to the Publix-anchored neighborhood retail center from homes planned in the Village of Chitty Chatty and other planned communities on the south side of SR 44.

Farther west, state Department of Transportation officials are reviewing building plans for another golf cart connectivity bridge across SR 44.

In advance of building that bridge, The Villages Developer recently completed construction of a golf cart connectivity bridge across a Brownwood Community Development District pond to the east of the town center’s Barnstorm Theater.

Also: The quickened pace of multimodal and roadway connectivity accounts for the earlier than expected reopening of County Road 501. The Villages in partnership with Sumter County recently widened CR 501 to four lanes south of Warm Springs Avenue to just past the newly completed Corbin Trail roundabout. County officials anticipate a Dec. 7 reopening of CR 501, which includes a new entrance at Corbin Trail into the villages of McClure, DeSoto and Fenney. It also will permit resumed access via county roads 501 and 470 to the Florida’s Turnpike interchange from all points in The Villages.

Also: Construction started recently at the Corbin Trail resident gate at the Village of Linden. Building footer-and-pier work has passed inspection. Although currently restricted to the public, the entry into Linden and farther south into the Village of Monarch Grove eventually will link to a connectivity bridge over the turnpike and then to Meggison Road, a north-south roadway that would connect Brownwood at Wildwood with The Villages of West Lake at Leesburg.

Also: All of this lifestyle connectivity work flows with the rapid pace of home building in the Southern Oaks region. Year-over-year single-family home-building permits increased by 21.7 percent in Sumter County to 1,708 during the 10 months ended Oct. 31.

Also: Buyer demand for those new homes, and the lifestyle that accompanies them, accounts in part for the continued increase in home values. Year-over-year home prices increased on average by 5.14 percent in September in The Villages metropolitan statistical area, according to CoreLogic’s latest monthly home price index report. That’s almost an average 1 percent month-over-month increase in home prices, according to the Irvine, California-based real estate data and analytics firm that supports the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index.

Also: The continued increase in Sumter’s documentary stamp taxes, a tax on transferred property, shows strong buyer demand. In October, year-over-year doc stamp tax collections increased by 10 percent to $1.24 million. But recent buyer demand increased at an even greater rate, with month-over-month doc stamp tax collections increasing by almost 28 percent in October.

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