Leesburg Commissioners voted Monday night to give initial approval for a new development of The Villages in its city limits, approving Age-Restricted Development (ARD) zoning for 2,631 acres near the Florida Turnpike.
Commissioners also approved a development agreement between the city and TheVillages Land Company LLC allowing up to 7,900 dwelling units and 535,000 square feet of retail in what the developer is calling "The Villages of West Lake."
A second affirmative vote is required for the project to move forward, which is scheduled for February. The city created a new zoning designation of ARD to accommodate The Villages, and will rezone the land from Planned Unit Development.
The land lies along the Florida Turnpike and near its intersections with C.R. 470 and S.R. 48. Leesburg commissioners previously approved a sale of 1,938 acres to The Villages in May 2017 that set the stage for this West Lake development.
The new Villages land also abuts Sumter County, which is in the middle of a swarm of Villages development. And in May of last year, Wildwood approved rezoning of 4,500 acres for The Villages.
More than 1,100 homes and condos were sold in The Villages MSA in 2016, up 34 percent from the year prior, according to Florida REALTORS. That annual mark was likely surpassed for 2017, based on the pace of sales achieved midway through the year.
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