The VHA wants to thank the following people for providing answers to questions from VHA members and Villages residents for the VHA Town Hall meeting: Dr. Gary Lester – Vice President Community Relations; Brittany Wilson – Assistant District Manager; Capt. Robert Siemer – Villages District Supervisor Sumter County Sheriff’s Department; Pat Breeden – Undersheriff Sumter County Sheriff’s Department; Deborah Snyder –Public Works Director – Board of Sumter County Commissioners.
The next VHA Town Hall Meeting will be in July.
Questions may be sent to the VHA at any time via email on the web.
Note: Some questions sent for this Town Hall meeting were recently asked and answered. The complete Q & A of previous Town Hall Meetings are posted on the VHA website.
To send feedback to the District Government, go to www.districtgov.org. Scroll down lower left and click on “Submit Feedback, Inquiry, or Concern.” i.e. landscaping, multi-modal paths, etc.
To send feedback to the Developer, go to www.thevillages.com. Scroll down to “Get in Touch” and click on “Provide Feedback.”
Note: January 2023 Town Hall Q & A provides answers to questions relating to: design of multi-modal paths south of SR 44; short-term rentals; gate arm colors.
1. Please provide an update for the following:
a. Opening the Barnstorm Theater
Dr. Lester: We continue to monitor the changes within the movie industry as we contemplate next steps.
The Old Mill Playhouse Movie Theatre still only fills 16% of the seats available each week.
b. Breaking ground for the CVS in Magnolia Plaza.
Dr. Lester: There is no date yet, follow the Daily Sun for updates.
c. Breaking ground for the hospital in Lake County.
Dr. Lester: Nothing new to report, discussions are ongoing.
d. Opening of Meggison Road at CR 470.
Dr. Lester: Nearing completion should open mid-year.
e. Completion of the mail kiosk at the former Hacienda Hill CC site.
Dr. Lester: Scheduled to open in December
2. Would you please respond to the rumor that The Villages is buying Coleman Prison?
Dr. Lester: LOL There is no such plan.
3. What is the plan for instituting recycling in The Villages south of SR 44?
Brittany Wilson: All waste is transported to the Lake County Covanta Energy from Waste facility. All waste is mixed and turned into energy, which is then transferred to the energy grid.
4. Can signage be added to identify the Village of Newel and another sign for “Entering Lake County?”
Dr. Lester: There are no plans for additional signs. Avoiding unnecessary signage is one of the unique features that makes The Villages special.
5. Is The Villages preparing for an increase in EV use by placing electric car charging stations in the commercial areas?
Dr. Lester: There is a pilot program under consideration – follow the Daily Sun for details.
6. Will the indoor pickle ball courts at Eastport require a membership fee?
Dr. Lester: There will be a fee associated with indoor pickle ball – details yet to be determined.
7. Has there been any movement on adding the ability to login and select current-day tee times?
Dr. Lester: There is a team of individuals from The Villages Golf and Tennis Division as well as TSG that are working on updates to the Tee Time System; one of the enhancements we are looking at is the ability to book same day tee times online.
Q. Will this be both Executive and Champion golf courses?
8. Has the maintenance schedules for Executive and Championship golf courses changed?
Brittany Wilson: The maintenance schedules have not changed. Executive Courses are scheduled to be closed twice a month for routine maintenance. A schedule of course closures is available on the Executive Golf page at www.Districtgov.org
9. What can a resident do when the condition of neighbors’ homes do not meet deed restrictions such as: lawns are uncut; work trucks regularly parked in driveways?
Brittany Wilson: If there is a concern that a home is not properly being maintained or is not in compliance with the deed restrictions, please contact Community Standards at 352-751-3912, or in person at 984 Old Mill Run in Lake Sumter Landing or electronically by visiting www.districtgov.org.
10. Who should be contacted when these issues are observed: faded street signs; sight lines are intersections; placement of stop signs near tunnels?
Brittany Wilson: Please contact District Property Management at 352-753-4022.
11. What is the possibility of adding a wall of mirrors to recreation centers for theater and dance groups to rehearse?
Brittany Wilson: We currently offer mirrors at Saddlebrook and Fenney Recreation Centers. We have plans to add them into the Paradise Recreation Center Renovations.
12. Would The Villages and District Government create a more secure mail station area around Tierra del Sol to prevent theater patrons from blocking local residents from getting their mail?
Brittany Wilson: The District Office has been working with The Studio to inform patrons that they should not be parking in the Tierra Del Sol postal station parking lot. In addition, Community Watch is making extra patrols in the area when large shows are scheduled to assist in education and postal station parking challenges.
13. What can be done when excessive oak tree leaves accumulate around street gutters and drains?
Brittany Wilson: Please contact District Property Management at 352- 753-4022 and identify specific street locations that have debris that needs attention.
14. What are the rules for a neighborhood or club taking all tables and chairs around a neighborhood pool for a gathering?
Brittany Wilson: There are no rules, except the expectation of being courteous to one another. If there is a specific pool this is occurring, please call the Recreation Department at 352-674-1800.
15. Please explain how amenities fees are increased?
Brittany Wilson: When a resident purchases a home (new or pre-owned), the amenity fee is determined based on the prevailing rate at the time of purchase (currently $189.00). Per the Declaration of Restrictions, the amenity fee is adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As the CPI may vary monthly, the amount the amenity fee is adjusted will also vary. Contact the Billing Department if you have questions. 352-750-0000.
16. Will The Villages offer their TV show in another way in addition to Xfinity channel 2?
Dr. Lester: Yes! You can go to TheVillagesDailySun.com and click on the link to “VNN” this will take you to a separate webpage where we host all the past VNN Broadcasts. You can even stream live WVLG on the website or using The Villages App on your phone.
17. Please explain why only one company is permitted to bring television into The Villages.
Dr. Lester: That is an incorrect statement. There is no such prohibition.
18. Please provide an update on the level of the ponds in The Villages. For example, The Village of Ashland pond is extremely low.
Brittany Wilson: All basins are extremely low due to a lack of storm water runoff. We have not had any significance of rain in more than 4 months. The Village of Ashland basin was pumped dry to allow for storm water pipe inspections, repairs, and shoreline renovation work. When this work was completed, water was allowed back into the basin, however, there is limited storm water to flow back into this basin at this time. When we start to receive rain and generate storm water runoff, the basins will begin to fill back up to seasonal levels.
19. Are there plans for bus transportation in The Villages?
Brittany Wilson: The Counties provide Paratransit service for customers that meet the need-based criteria. There are private carriers such as Uber, Lyft, Taxi, etc., and The Villages are designed as a golf cart community. The existing golf cart infrastructure to shops, services, and facilities along with the formal and informal neighbor to neighbor assistance as well as the suburban nature of The Villages offer ample opportunity for travel thereby making traditional urban fixed route transit ways rarely utilized.
Q. Do all Marion, Lake and Sumter Counties have services?
A. Yes. Contact the counties to learn the criteria and which services are provided.
20. Would you please revise the placement of the words “No Dogs” on the sign to Black Lake Walking Path to make this message more prominent?
Brittany Wilson: The District Office will run an article in the District Weekly Bulletin and other media outlets on the walking trail which emphasizes it is not to be used for pets.
21. How often are the sprinklers monitored on the historic side?
Brittany Wilson: Golf course irrigation is monitored by the maintenance contractor every month with audits per the contract. This is outside of the day-to-day operation of irrigation and observing. If a resident sees
something that doesn’t look right, please contact the Executive Golf Maintenance Department at 352-674-1885. After hours, contact Community Watch Dispatch at 352-753-0550.
22. Is there any other recourse to help lower the cost of maintenance of an oak tree to keep its branches off the street after Architectural Review did not approve its removal?
Brittany Wilson: A property owner may seek the advice of a certified arborist to determine the health of the tree and the appropriate ways to maintain the tree.
23. The streets in the Marion County section of The Villages do not appear to be clean. Are these streets on a regular street cleaning schedule?
Brittany Wilson: District Property Management does not perform any street sweeping services in any area of The Villages, except for the Town Centers. We have not had any significant rain in months. Rain will help to wash dirt and sand off the streets.
24. Who should residents contact when excessive speed is observed in particular areas? i.e. Tally Ridge Drive is posted at 25 mph yet people seem to speed through this area.
Capt. Siemer: Residents can always call or email to report issues and the situation will be monitored. (352) 689-4600 firstname.lastname@example.org
25. Please explain vehicular driving rules when merging with bicycle groups.
Capt. Siemer: This is a very large community and all vehicles must interact well. Bicycles must follow the same rules as vehicular traffic. It is important that drivers pass bicycles with a 3-foot clearance.
26. Is there anything our organization can do to assist in making this community safer for automobiles, golf carts, bicycles and pedestrians to interact safely?
Capt. Siemer: The VHA does a fantastic job of helping to promote safety on the roadways at New Resident Night and the Golf Cart Safety Clinic. Past President Phil Walker is working with others to update the VHA golf cart safety video.
27. When traveling east and westbound on CR 466A there is a flashing yellow left turn option to turn north or south onto Buena Vista. Can this left turn option become a red arrow?
Deborah Snyder: We have a construction project starting the first week of May that will be installing the traffic signal modifications, you are asking about. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of December and the signal heads can be installed any time within the project, but normally the signal work is performed near the end of the project.
28. Heading north on Morse Blvd, passing Burnsed Recreation Center, there is a manhole on the right side that appears to be sinking. When will this be repaired?
Deborah Snyder: It is not a manhole but an inlet in the gutter line of the roadway and the inlet and the roadway will both be repaired. Construction will begin in about one month.
29. There are concerns about an increase in traffic due to the increase in commercial and residential construction surrounding The Villages. Are the County and State roads adequately planned to handle this specifically CR 466,CR 466A, SR 44, Morse and Buena Vista Blvds.
Deborah Snyder: The Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO) is an agency created by federal law to provide input on transportation planning and the allocation of federal transportation funds by working with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and both Sumter and Lake Counties and all of the Cities within both Counties. The LSMPO creates and maintains a Congestion Management Plan (CMP) for both Counties. The CMP determines and adopts a Level of Service (LOS) for each roadway based on traffic volumes. LOS is a letter grade from A to F and measures how much traffic the roadway has and how busy the roadway is and feels to the driver. A LOS A means the roadway is free flowing and not busy. A LOS F is the roadway is congested and over capacity. All of the roadways you list currently meet or are below the adopted LOS standard as per the 2022 CMP. The CMP also projects traffic volumes based on projected growth to the year 2027 and all of the roadways do not exceed the adopted LOS. Morse Boulevard north of C 466 has an adopted LOS F and will continue to be congested.
Here is a link to the LSMPO’s CMP webpage: Lake Sumter CMP to see the Sumter County data click on the link labeled “Sumter County CMP Database” which will open a spreadsheet that confirms what is stated above.