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Friday, December 8, 2023

Wildwood agrees to have Leesburg supply natural gas to Villages of Southern Oaks 

The Villages of Southern Oaks will include up to 17,000 homes and more than 1 million square feet of commercial and recreation space, according to an updated 30-year agreement approved Monday night by the Wildwood City Commission.

Commissioners also approved a franchise agreement that allows Leesburg to supply natural gas service to the area.

The revised development agreement increases the permitted density up to 30 units per acre and allows urban agriculture and recreational vehicle development.

Those changes open the door for multi-family housing such as apartments or condominiums. Greater density is allowed for a medical campus and town center.

Design standards also are part of the agreement. Maximum building height is 35 feet or 50 feet with sprinklers.

A section on recreational vehicle development would permit campgrounds for trailers and motor homes as well as cabins, tiny houses and tree houses connected to utilities.

Commissioners approved a separate ordinance Monday night setting standards for tiny-house communities.

When Southern Oaks was announced over a year ago, it was to include up to 11,000 homes. A later document authorized up to 26,000 homes.

The development is on both sides of the Florida Turnpike extending from the Village of Fenney, not far from the intersection of U.S. 301 and County Road 468, more than three miles north to State Road 44 and west past Buena Vista Boulevard.

According to the natural gas franchise agreement, a fee of 6 percent of annual gross operating revenue will be charged to Leesburg as part of the 30-year agreement, which can be reviewed every five years. Leesburg is responsible for building and maintaining the infrastructure to provide the service.

Many existing Villages neighborhoods do not have natural gas service and most of Wildwood also does not have it.

Commissioners also approved two Southern Oaks plats, one for 104 single-family homes on 59 acres and the other for 84 single-family homes on 41 acres.

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