Leesburg city commissioners have agreed to sell a 515-acre tract of land to The Villages in exchange for The Villages constructing a rapid infiltration basin system for the city.
The system will have the capacity to treat up to 9 million gallons of wastewater per day.
The tract where the filtration basin is located is north of the Florida Turnpike and is south of the Village of Dabney, which is the latest construction project in The Villages to be built in Lake County. The agreement allows The Villages to use the property for the construction of age-restricted housing as well as commercial and industrial development.
The 1,200 acres The Villages has acquired more than doubles the amount of land owned by the The Villages in Leesburg. In 2018, The Villages finalized a deal to purchase 1,127 acres of land along County Road 470 from the city for about $7.54 million. That property, which eventually could include 2,800 houses, is being developed.
When The Villages’ land sale was originally contemplated, the south 515 acres was part of the transaction. However, for engineering reasons associated with reuse water discharge, the “south side” was removed from the final sale. Furthermore, mutually agreed upon restrictions were placed on the property limiting the property’s future use to ensure that the city would always have an area to dispose of reuse water, which is a vital component of the wastewater treatment process. The idea being, when a reasonable way was devised to manage reuse, the city would sell the property to The Villages.
Since time has passed and Villages development in Leesburg is now in full gear, The Villages proposed to purchase the south 515 acres.