Paul Erhardt

Almost daily, someone asks us when West Villages Marketplace, our grocery anchored neighborhood center, will open or when we will have a town center. The team who works here is as eager as the residents and neighbors to enjoy those amenities and services, so we are all working hard to make those plans come to life!

West Villages Florida is in the process of becoming a town, and by that, I’m not talking about a municipality or a government. We are growing a community of neighborhoods, schools, businesses, places of worship, entertainment and recreation. We are becoming a destination, a home, a place to put down roots and make memories. This process involves complex steps and approvals from many different entities.

This endeavor began with a large vision about five years ago when the partnership purchased the former Thomas Ranch. As developers, we are committed to creating a town that fits the land and reflects the vibrant lifestyle people love about southwest Florida.

Our goal is to enrich people’s lives by creating something so beautifully vibrant and thoughtfully designed that it changes your day for the better, a place where better opportunities are being created for generations to come and where aspirations and realities merge in collaborative innovation.

Below is a snapshot of the process and procedures our team follows as we work to make West Villages the best place to “Live Life Your Way”:

Before almost any plans are made, engineers and environmental experts conduct a detailed site analysis to determine location of flatwoods, improved pasture, freshwater marshes, etc. Since we are dedicated to having the development fit the land, this information is vital.

Designate proposed uses, such as retail/commercial, residential, multifamily, etc.

Hold neighborhood public meetings. Here we show maps of the land and surrounding area and images of proposed ideas for usage.

• Submit site analysis and preliminary plans to the City of North Port. For portions of land in unincorporated Sarasota, the plans are submitted to Sarasota County. Several weeks or months later we receive plans and comments back from the City/County. This can go through two to three rounds.

• After staff review, the plans are recommended to the planning and zoning advisory board. Following their approval, the plans go to the City/County Commission for a public hearing and for a vote by the commission.

• Along the way we are involved with permitting from other entities such as the Army Corps of Engineers, Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Before a shovel hits the ground, we’ve planned the details of utilities, roads, building and signage design and materials, landscape design, size and location of each homesite, number of parking spaces, open space and so much more.

I hope this helps explain the process, thought, investment of time and resources, planning and commitment implemented behind-the-scenes in bringing West Villages to life.


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