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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Ocala resident shares thoughts on growth in southwest Ocala

To the Editor:

There are three very important topics that need to be brought to the attention of the City of Ocala.

The first topic is that the area of Marion Oaks is growing extremely fast. Construction is outrageous, which in a way is good because it’s increasing the housing value, but of course it will also increase taxes in a time when everything from food to gas has practically doubled in price.

However, these constructions are changing our environment and the deforestation is reducing the wildlife we used to enjoy, from birds to wild turkeys, bobcats, and bears. This part of Ocala is just becoming a concrete area little by little.

The second topic is that so many new houses and new occupants bring at least two new cars on the road per household. The roads are not prepared to receive that influx of traffic.

Most sections of Marion Oaks Boulevard are just one lane and a bike lane, which clearly shows that the city is issuing construction permits without any analysis and/or concern about traffic, bottlenecks, or accidents. In these days, it is hard to come out and walk as before, because it has to be done on the roads and it is becoming very dangerous.

The third topic is that the city is also giving many permits to gas stores. As we speak, we have in some cases, as in the area where Sam’s Club is located, three gas stations in one block. It seems that there is no coordination or analysis, and customer needs are not being taken into consideration when companies apply for these kind of permits.

In southwest Ocala, we do not need any more gas stations. We need a Costco in order to help citizens to have better pricing on everyday items. Sam’s Club has good prices, but even when they are under the same umbrella as Walmart, they do not carry Great Value brand as Walmart does. On the other hand, Costco carries most popular brands as well as Kirkland, their own brand.

Ocala is a beautiful place. I hope that something is done to stop the excess of gas stores and to offer a better environment and security in our area.

Matilde Leopold
Ocala resident

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