Richard Dempsey, ALC Brokers $7.8 Million Deal in South Lake County

Changes in zoning and presence of sand skinks made for challenges in sale of 380± acres of residential development land


Photo of Richard Dempsey, ALC

Richard Dempsey, ALC

LAKELAND, FL, November 8, 2019 — SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate Senior Advisor Richard Dempsey, ALC recently brokered a deal for the sale of 380± acres of residential development land in south Lake County, Florida for $7.8 million.

“The deal was very challenging and took almost two years to complete,” said Dempsey. “The two primary factors in extending the transaction timing involved a sector plan change by Lake County and the presence of sand skinks.”

The implementation of the South Lake Sector Planning Area, referred to as the Wellness Way Area Plan (WWAP) resulted in a loss of a significant number of previously approved dwelling units. Combined with the presence of sand skinks, this served to effectively reduce the value of the property and reduced development approvals.

A sand skink is a small lizard that lives just beneath the surface of the soil. Sand skinks were originally listed as a protected species as it was believed they can only be found in certain habitats of the sandy ridges of central Florida. However, experts agree that sufficient scientific data exists to remove the protected status for sand skinks. Unfortunately for these, and other property owners in this region, it is time-consuming and difficult to navigate the removal process.

“For this transaction, persistence and creativity by all the parties involved resulted in a deal that met the goals of both the buyer and seller,” said Dempsey.

Learn more about Richard Dempsey at

Media Contact:

Heather Celoria
Marketing Manager

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