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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Although some seek change, many say leave Silver Springs, Ocala National Forest undeveloped

Although many residents have expressed a desire to see Ocala, and specifically the Silver Springs and Ocala National Forest areas, grow, others have disputed the need for development and replaced that with a call for preservation.

Ocala-News.com has received dozens of letters and hundreds of comments from residents all throughout Ocala and the surrounding communities about possible retail and commercial development.

In Silver Springs and the Ocala National Forest, that conversation has included lots of mixed reactions.

“Most of the people who live here are satisfied with life in the Forest,” says Cheryl Marcum. Marcum, who lives four miles east of 314A, says the forest area should be left to be as it is.

“We find that only new people who move out here, are not satisfied with being ‘remote.’ The Ocala National Forest, which is technically where we live, prohibits, expansion that interferes with wildlife. When people move out of a city, or are used to having everything at their disposal, and move to a vast rural area, and are dissatisfied, maybe they should move back to the city,” says Marcum.

Silver Springs resident Colleen O’Brien says that anyone that moves out to the area should understand the options they have available.

“Drive around a little bit and you will find several really good restaurants. We have a feed store, hardware store, discount stores, hair cutters, realtors, liquor stores, thrift stores, family restaurants, barbecue, ice cream, Irish fare, pizza and Chinese. We moved out here to get away from all that stuff you want” says O’Brien.

“Someone said there was no grocery store within a 25 mile radius of the Ocala National Forest area communities. No way is it 25,” said Silver Springs resident Jack Stackman, citing Walmart on Silver Springs Boulevard as a viable option for those in the area.

What are your thoughts about the Silver Springs area? Share them in a letter to the editor.