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East County Thursday, Apr. 1, 2010 7 years ago

TAKEOVER: Ranch plans annexation

by: Michael Eng Executive Editor

Download City Support's proposed map here.

APRIL FOOLS — Attention Palm-Aire, University Park, River Club, Braden Woods and Tara residents: You soon could become a resident of the city of Lakewood Ranch.

City Support, a new pro-incorporation group, last week released revised boundaries for the proposed city. The new map shows Lakewood Ranch’s borders stretching west to Lockwood Ridge Road, north to State Road 64 and south to University Parkway. The new borders more than double the size of Lakewood Ranch and include more than 10 East County neighborhoods, which all would be annexed to Lakewood Ranch should the incorporation proposal pass.

City Support released the new map following Fishkind & Associates’ revised feasibility study that concluded the tax revenue produced within Lakewood Ranch’s original boundaries would not be enough to sustain the city.

Incorporation advocates are optimistic the revised city limits — and the addition of the new neighborhoods — will produce a more favorable result. The map has been submitted to Fishkind for review.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” said Dustin Buchheister, a City Support founder. “These other neighborhoods have benefited just by being near Lakewood Ranch. It’s time they give a little in return.”

When the incorporation is complete, residents of the annexed communities will experience some changes. Each community will have the name “Lakewood Ranch” added to it — University Park would become Lakewood Ranch University Park, for example — to help tie the community together.

In a bold move, City Support already has funded the installation of Lakewood Ranch’s sandhill crane logo on the entrance signs to several East County communities (see photos).

Moreover, several school names would change to reflect the new city. Braden River Elementary would become Lakewood Ranch Elementary, Braden River Middle would become Lakewood Ranch Middle, and Braden River High would become Lakewood Ranch High Too.

City Support members also are working with the Florida Department of Transportation to have some road names changed. If the application passes, State Road 70 would become Lakewood Ranch 70.

For more on this story, click here.

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