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Ocala
Saturday, February 4, 2023

Several residents discuss Ocala/Marion County’s growth

In response to recent letters, three residents recently wrote in to share their thoughts on the topic of growth and development in Ocala/Marion County.

“It does not seem to matter to our governmental authorities in Ocala or Marion County that our beautiful Ocala/Marion County is being destroyed. I have read letter after letter from residents voicing their disgust with the destruction of a once-beautiful piece of Florida. Having recently spent some time in the Tampa area, I saw first-hand that we are not the only part of Florida that governmental officials are allowing to be ruined in the state. Does it ever stop?” says Ocala resident Nancy Avellino.

“My husband and I moved from New Jersey to Ocala in 2009 when we both retired, and we bought a beautiful 12-acre farm off W Highway 40 that is surrounded by horse farms. It was quiet and the views from our farm were beautiful. But now, there is so much building going on with lots of road noises and constant debris on the roads. Large cement plants also start their mixing and truck loading as early as 4 a.m. We are looking to maybe move to southern Georgia to get away from the fast Florida development. I have more issues with current proposals for new highways that may cut through Marion County’s beautiful farm lands where I used to be able to look up into a dark sky full of bright stars,” says Laurel Grasser, Ocala resident.

“Ocala is a city that has nothing for people who live here and nothing for new citizens who have relocated here. In order for a city to grow, you need infrastructure and development, such as transportation that will take you all around the city (not just on the east side of the city). The southwest side of Ocala has no transportation. Not everyone has a car to get around the city, not to mention the people living in Marion Oaks, Belleview, and Dunnellon that work in Ocala and the surrounding area. We have no family activities. The zoo we once had in the Shores is gone. There are definitely not enough apartments. Yes, we need development in Ocala, and the country area can stay country,” says Ocala resident Noel Tulley.