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Monday, December 27, 2021

More Marion County residents share thoughts, concerns on community growth

In response to recent Letters to the Editor that discussed the continued growth in Ocala/Marion County, more residents wrote in and shared their thoughts and concerns on the topic:

“I totally agree. I have been here five years and it feels to me like the population has tripled. The wildlife is suffering terribly and the traffic is unreal. Too many accidents. I moved to Ocala from the Midwest to live where it had a lot of green space. It is disappearing at a fast rate. Very sad,” says Lisa Walls, Ocala resident.

“I don’t understand why people are so upset about something that they can’t change. The growth is and has happened. I don’t fault county leaders for approving building. I fault them for doing it with no plans for the infrastructure. Our roads are overcrowded and our schools are overcrowded. Most secondary roads are 20-plus years beyond needing repair and a lot of roads aren’t even paved in the county yet. Our officials need to get a plan and quick. We love living here, we’re just hoping for better planning,” says Belleview resident Mark Hooks.

“Please do not allow Ocala to become just one more sprawling Florida development of strip malls and housing with no character and too much traffic. We have an opportunity to develop with character and vision to make Ocala also known for its quality of life and its desirable feel as a community,” says John Bourland, Ocala resident.

“I agree with previous writers. We moved to Ocala in 1997 and since 2002 in Rolling Hills, living in the woods on dirt roads close to nature. We chose Ocala because of the rural and small town nature, which now has been destroyed by mass housing constructions. I have nothing against growth but this is insane. The traffic caused by all those moving to Ocala is unbearable, even on county roads near West Point High School. Traffic jam from one light to the next. The mass housing constructions are not needed. If people want to move here, they can buy their own piece of land and build their own home. And the county needs to fix the roads, widen some where possible to take the burden off the traffic. Constructing a toll road through the county is also not the answer. The county commissioners need to put their heads together, listen to the public, and put a slow down to “so-called growth.” The argument that it brings jobs is also a joke. We, as business owners, are hiring like many other business, and we are unable to get more employees,” says Ocala resident Edy Blum.

Would you like to share your thoughts with us? Share them in a comment or by writing a Letter to the Editor.

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