8,800-acre Corrigan Ranch annexed into Fellsmere

FELLSMERE — The City of Fellsmere has grown by more than 8,800 acres after the Fellsmere City Council unanimously approved the Corrigan family’s annexation request Thursday evening.

Three people from the general public addressed the Council prior to the vote – two in support and one with concerns.

Sandra Allan, who owns almost five acres on 85th Street, questioned the density of the future development and the plans for that development.

“I’m not sure what the future holds,” Allan said, raising concerns that the annexation could change Fellsmere’s character. She later added, “I think it could be a great thing for the City of Fellsmere.”

Dorothy and Alvin Thomas, of N. Willow Street, both encouraged the Council to approve the proposed annexation, saying it would bring more revenue to the city and be of general benefit.

“The Council needs to do what’s best for the City,” Alvin Thomas said.

The Corrigan family has 8,845 acres of land on the southeast side of Fellsmere, abutting the Sand Lakes Restoration Area, managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District, and straddling Interstate 95 south to 26th Street. The eastern edge of the property is essentially 90th Avenue.

Corrigan representative Christopher Marine told the Council prior to the vote that the ranch land has been with the family since the late 1940s and will, in part, remain a cattle ranch. The annexation provides the family with an option to transition out of agriculture in the future, he added.

Of the 8,800 acres, 2,100 will be set aside as conservation and preservation lands. And half the remaining developable property will be earmarked as public green space.

The maximum number of homes that could be built on the property is approximately 10,000, according to the annexation agreement. And a maximum of 12 million square feet is planned for non-residential “regional employment activity centers” and industrial uses.

“Welcome to the City gentlemen,” Mayor Adams said to Marine and David Corrigan after the unanimous vote, which prompted applause from the audience.

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