Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rural-CCD conflict part of The Villages' story

NPR featured this story on The Villages, Florida today. This age-segregated community in central Florida (each house must have a resident who is 55 or older and no one under the age of 19 is permitted to live in the community permanently) has grown phenomenally over the past decade, from about 8,300 in the 2000 Census to an estimated 80,000 now. This Community Development District (CCD) lies primarily in Sumter County, Florida, population 71,614, but it also includes parts of Lake and Marion counties, which are more densely populated than Sumter.

The NPR feature focused to a great extent on the artificiality of the community and on the fact that everything is owned by the developer, resulting in a blurring of public and private. But the story also noted the conflict between Sumter County's rural and agricultural interests and those of The Villages and its residents. That part of Robert Siegel's report is not featured in the brief excerpt of the story on, but you can learn more about it by listening here.

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