WEC development receives special use permit, can now construct proposed building 20 feet taller

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Posted July 1, 2022 | By James Blevins

Mary Robert’s Equestrian Operations, LLC, in conjunction with Arena House Shows of Ocala, received a special use permit (SUP) by the Marion County Board of County Commissioners last week, June 21, during the board’s regular meeting.

The county board voted 5-0 in favor of a height increase from 75 feet to 95 feet concerning an approximate seven-acre portion of a 270.60-acre parcel.

The height increase pertains to the new proposed commercial building just south of the main entrance to Northwest 80th Avenue at the World Equestrian Center, according to county officials. The height increase does not pertain to the new hotel currently under construction.

Zero letters of opposition to the SUP were received, according to the county. Both county staff and the planning and zoning commission recommended approval of the SUP with some conditions.

Condition one, the maximum building height could not exceed 95 feet; condition two, all development of the site shall meet the requirements of the existing planned unit development; and condition three, the applicant shall submit a shadow study with the site plan and prove that the new maximum height will not cast more shadow on parcels to the east, adjacent to Southwest 80th Avenue.

David Tillman, engineer for the applicant, asked that the third condition be pulled from the list of requirements.

“There’s no way that it’s not going to catch more shadow on the adjacent property,” he said to the commission. “This was properly advertised. Next-door neighbors were notified. There’s been zero comment on it outside of us not wanting this condition. There is going to be more shadow cast. There’s no way to prevent it. It’s 20 feet taller.”

The commission ultimately voted unanimously to approve the SUP without the third condition included.

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