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Ocala
Saturday, December 18, 2021

Ocala residents voice concerns over continued growth in city, county

More Ocala residents wrote in to share their thoughts and concerns on Ocala/Marion County’s continued growth and the issues that it brings to the area:

“As to the folks saying they don’t want to have any more population growth and traffic crowding, I say please feel free to move. I, for one, love to see growth and progress. I especially love to see the progress that brings jobs for the needy to bring people out of poverty. I am over 50. The aging population has increased thanks to the lower property taxes and insurance. Many of the same complainers moved here too from other places. To them, I say I am thankful that growth also brings new medical facilities and doctors and nurses committed to serving the geriatric population in Marion County and the surrounding area. Oh, and how about the flow of medical professionals’ dollars pumping into our economy? And yes, thank God that they give generously to programs and charities that serve our less fortunate, again enabling us to continue to pay lower taxes. Win, win, win, and win,” says Ocala resident Gloria Kimmel.

“We moved to Ocala in 2005 and were thrilled at how easy it was to get around. Fast forward 16 years and we are still traveling on the same roads, albeit some wider and a few new ones. Sitting at a traffic light behind 10 to 15 cars three-wide is what Highway 200 is now. I would like to use side roads, but they are two lanes opposed and easily clogged. Being a resident on the south side, I have noticed the boom in new developments and feel the increased road usage. I would hope the area next to Freedom Library will remain undeveloped. Let them truck the cows in every day. Open areas are never ugly and it is possible to keep them nested between the developments. I do hope consideration is given to catch up on new roads and expand existing roads to meet the needs that this increased population poses,” says Richard Sharp, Ocala resident.

“I agree with all those who are tired of the building, the traffic, the nonsense. We moved here for peace, quiet, and country rural lifestyle. Our roads had all beautiful animals. Now there are tacky, rude, new people that have Seco install these bright lights and the area has become crappy. I am not able to use my telescope for star gazing anymore.
Now they want a New York, Chicago, and even L.A. lifestyle. They even want a toll road that will run through Dunnellon. We do not want this. You know what? Leave and get out. Go to where there is noise, growth, and all those ugly things we do not want here. I blame the city council and whoever is in charge of allowing our city to become tacky like the metropolitan cities of this country. More townhouses to be built in our area, really? More building approvals must stop. It is truly sickening,” says Ocala resident Marta Varnell.

“When we retired in 2017, we moved out of northern Virginia to escape the traffic, noise, crime, and everything that pertains to a big city. We selected Ocala due to its slow pace, nature, wildlife, low traffic, low crime, and clean air due to forests. Not even five years have passed and construction is overwhelming, air is getting polluted, littering is a huge problem along the boulevard as well as Marion Oaks Minor, traffic is heavy, forests are disappearing, and there are no more birds around my area. Early in the morning, Marion Oaks Boulevard is dangerous: people rushing to work practically pushing the car in front, kids sitting on the bicycle line while they wait for the bus, construction trucks and equipment destroying the roads. It seems that Ocala will become another South Florida, and it will only be a memory of all the nature that we used to enjoy. Traffic will increase a lot more than it is now and the roads are not prepared for the heavy load. Convenience Stores, such as 7-Eleven and Wawa, are being built everywhere, and with them comes more gas stations that charge whatever they want, with the danger of them being targeted as places to pass drugs and other criminal activities as it happens in other cities where they are located. It is a shame that such a beautiful city as Ocala used to be becomes another overpopulated, high crime, and undesirable city. Please do something to regulate this destruction of nature,” says Matilde Leopold, Ocala resident.

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