• Development could double size of Lake County community


    FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. - Thursday evening residents will get a chance to react to development plans by the Villages that would make Fruitland Park Florida's fastest growing city.

    A developer wants to scoop up about 620-acres of land along Pine Ridge Dairy Road to build nearly 2,000 new homes.

    The plan has its supporters, but also plenty of opponents.

    Some residents told Channel 9's Berndt Petersen that they don't mind change, but not change that drastic.

    Some said they don't want their town to be like the Villages.

    The piece of farm land  that would be developed sits on the far western edge of Fruitland Park in Lake County.

    The developer of the Villages, a giant retirement community, has plans to spread out across the Sumter County line. 

    The plan would bring more than 3,600 new residents to the area.  That would double the population of the Fruitland Park.

    City leaders said it would also double tax revenue, piling up more than $10 million in fees tied to the construction. 

    But some said a bigger Fruitland Park doesn't necessarily mean better.

    "I like it, the small town community, I really do.  I have a feeling that some people are going to be against [the development] because it is a small town and we like it," said resident Dotty Elliott.

    The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the city's community center.

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    Development could double size of Lake County community