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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Ocala resident voices concerns regarding “out of control” growth in Ocala/Marion County

To the Editor:

Ocala’s growth is out of control. Farm land is being gobbled up at a rate never seen before, and that’s a bad thing. Housing developments are gobbling up land and resources at a pace never seen in the history of Marion County – much faster than the roads and services can keep up with.

Who is it, then, that has such disdain for Ocala and Marion County that our environment and water resources are up for sale? Who, we ask, would betray Ocala and Marion County in such fashion and why?

Look no further than the people that we all select at the voting booths to serve our best interests. Our so-called leaders claim they cannot stop anyone from using their land or selling it to others to use in any way they want, as long as the land is zoned for the intended use. How much of this out-of-control development is being done by the original land owners?

My hunch is that our county is being gobbled up by big development companies from outside Marion County and outside of Florida. The profits, in my humble view, are leaving Marion County. I do not know where our commissioners and planners live, but my gut tells me they live in protected and gated communities with acres of buffer land around them.

Additionally, more and more people are reporting sightings of bear, coyotes, foxes, eagles, and snakes in their neighborhoods, but that’s what you get when the developers and their bulldozers destroy wildlife habitats. Does Marion County require environmental impact studies before rubber stamping plans for 400-home subdivisions?

Sadly, we cannot stop landowners from using their land as they see fit within zoning guidelines. However, our elected leaders can and should regulate the pace at which it can go forth. I’m not running for office, but if I was, I’d run on a platform of a strict moratorium on all further building until we can do extensive environmental impact studies to determine the affect on our water table, our traffic horror, the impact on Marion County wildlife, and the emotional impact on our people. To my knowledge, none of that is being done.

It appears that the concerns of citizens are just an inconvenience to our officials. I think that if we wanted to live in Miami or Tampa, we would have been there years ago. God bless Marion County and her fine people. Take a step back from this maddening rush to make Ocala another Tampa.

Bill Vaughn
Ocala resident

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