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Pennbrooke Fairways residents worried about plan for massive neighboring development with roundabouts

Pennbrooke Fairways residents are worried about a plan for a massive neighboring development with roundabouts.

They expressed their concerns Monday night before the Leesburg Commission.

The Village Palms development will have three entrances onto State Road 44, just south of the Pennbrooke Fairways retirement community. The Village Palms development will be a mixed-use subdivision which is not affiliated with The Villages retirement community, just west of the Lake/Sumter County line.

The plan for the development calls for 1,260 residential units which will consist of 562 detached single-family homes, 300 multi-family apartments, 134 duplexes and 264 townhouses. Three roundabouts would be constructed in the development as well as 130,000 square feet of commercial space which may include a 120 room hotel. The plan calls for the construction of 42,000 square feet of professional and medical offices.

Planning & Zoning Director Dan Miller told the commissioners that the plan met all city requirements for the proposed zoning change from Lake County agricultural to Leesburg city planned unit development.

Several residents of the Pennbrooke Fairways development expressed concerns regarding the impact on traffic along State Route 44. Judith Martucci who lives on Timbercrest Drive in Pennbrooke Fairways said that the 55 miles per hour speed limit was not being followed as many cars and trucks often reach speeds of 70 mph. She pointed out that there are no traffic control lights from County Rad 468 to Morse Boulevard in The Villages, a distance of over three miles.

Joe Fuller who lives on Pennbrooke Park Way expressed concerns regarding fire and EMS services being provided by the city or Lake County. He wanted to know if The Villages is going to help with fire and EMS services. Others said that Leesburg should put in stoplights and turn lanes to make SR 44 safer. More residents complained about the traffic noise and asked about installing sound barriers.

The commissioners voted to send the Village Palms plan to the state for review. The second reading of the ordinances will be held during the commission meeting on Feb. 12 when the proposal to approve or deny the request will occur.

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