Lakewood Ranch Herald

Lakewood Ranch district moving toward resident control

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Back in 2002, they were calling it “the hole in the doughnut.”

It was the former Taylor Ranch, a 326-acre tract of land surrounded by Schroeder-Manatee Ranch property.

Developer Pat Neal bought the property, which sits in the middle of the Lakewood Ranch Country Club, for $9 million in 2002 with plans to develop 446 single-family homes.

Manatee County approved the property as Lakewood Ranch’s sixth community development district, allowing Neal to sell $15 million in bonds to finance utility, road, and recreation infrastructure.

It now appears that District 6 is fast growing up.

Tuesday, Richard N. Williams, a Lakewood Ranch resident and attorney who has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, took the District 6 seat on the Inter-District Authority.

Previously, that seat was held by Dale Weidemiller, a member of the Neal Communities staff.

The change signals that District 6 is on course to become resident, rather than developer, controlled.Tom Green, chairman of the Inter-District Authority, which is responsible for Town Hall operations, asked Williams for an update on District 6.

Elections are set for November, when three additional residents will be elected to the District 6 board, Williams said.

At that time, District 6 will shift to resident control.

Districts which have already made the shift to resident control include District 1 - Summerfield and Riverwalk, District 2 - Country Club and Edgewater, District 4 - Greenbrook, and District 5 - Country Club.The remainder of Lakewood Ranch is included in the super-sized stewardship district.

For more, see Wednesday's Herald.