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Friday, July 16, 2021

Lake Diamond developer hoping for re-approval of apartments

The developer behind the Lake Diamond and Golf and Country Club community is asking Marion County to approve a site plan after a previous approval expired. 

Rogers Engineering, on behalf of Diamond Ridge at Lake Diamond, will bring the issue before the Marion County Commission after having the matter heard by the Marion County Development Review Committee. 

“This site plan was approved on October 5, 2015 and expired on October 5, 2017,” reads a document from the engineering group to the county. 

According to the company, the project was not constructed during the approved plan’s time period “due to the decline in the demand for multi-family housing in Marion County,” and specifically, in the Diamond Ridge community.

Since then, Marion County and Diamond Ridge have experienced an increase in the multi-family market, to the point that the “need for this project has made it feasible to construct and operate,” reads the engineer’s letter.

In its 2022-2026 Strategic Administrative Plan, Marion County officials indicated that 10,000 to 18,000 new residential units would be needed over the coming 10 years. Although the current inventory of vacant lots across Marion County exceeds 18,000, the plan indicates that many of the lots “are not nearby employment areas, and nearby services” or “lack infrastructure or amenities.”

In Lake Diamond, the tract in question runs along Lake Diamond Avenue, which is located at 16 Golf View Drive in Ocala. 

The Development Review Committee (DRC) votes on items like site plans, subdivision master plans and preliminary plats. It consists of five voting members including the county engineer, and makes motions for approval or disapproval of agenda items. Those recommendations are passed along to the Marion County Commission, who makes the final decision for approval or denial.