Another resident voices concern over topic of Ocala/Marion County growth

An Ocala resident recently submitted a letter to share her thoughts and concerns regarding the topic of growth in Ocala/Marion County.

“We moved here to Ocala in 2021 from beautiful and diverse Hunterdon County, New Jersey. We lived there 37 years, raised our family and watched it go from safety and peace with five acre zoned housing, horse country, farms and wine country to five times the population with homes crowded townhouses on top of each other, traffic, overbuilt commercial storefronts (most are now empty and neglected), crowded low-income housing, too many cars, pollution and soaring private house prices.

We moved to Ocala for beautiful countryside, horses, World Equestrian Center, quiet people, diversity and pride of homes. We now learn that our SW 60th/SW 80th Avenue access road, which has horse farms and more than enough traffic, will add hundreds more homes. If that happens, we’ll be leaving in about a year.

We are active seniors, own horses and love this community. We take care of the current nighttime drag races on State Road 200, local crime issues and taking 50 minutes to go 8 miles during rush hour. But I didn’t sign up for overcrowded two story homes looking into my house, taking 15 minutes to get out of our development, road rage, constant traffic, more crime, etc. All this so that builders could install 100 cheaply built homes on 50 acres.

I pray that doesn’t happen, but there’s always someone with more money waving it at the county politicians who will build until the county blows up. Cities and apartments are where hordes of people choose to live. When they gather their income and decide to move to the countryside, I pray that there is still beauty and a countryside to go to.

My husband and I grew up in crowded New York City, worked our whole lives, and lived with crime (surrounded by crime and crime victims). We gained the ability to choose where we wanted to raise our family and, eventually, where we would retire. It’s not fair to kill the options of how and where to live for future generations. God bless and help beautiful Marion County.

Catherine Alfonzo
Resident of Ocala

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Jessica C. Bell