The VHA wants to thank the following people for providing answers to questions from The VHA members, and The Villages residents, for The VHA Town Hall meeting on January 17, 2023: Dr. Gary Lester – Vice President Community Relations; Carrie Duckett – Assistant District Manager; Lt. Robert Siemer – District Lieutenant from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department; Fred Schneider – Assistant County Manager Lake County.
- Please provide an update of when the following will be added south of SR 44:
a. Non-ethanol gas for golf carts.
Dr. Lester: There will be non-ethanol gas provided at the Magnolia Plaza 7-11.
b. Retail businesses i.e., hardware; clothing.
Dr. Lester: Follow the Daily Sun for additional updates on retail development.
2. Please provide an update of completion of the following for the Hacienda Hills area:
a. Mail kiosk.
Dr. Lester: Demolition is underway with the new mail kiosk scheduled to open by September.
Carrie Duckett: Community Watch assists in distributing mail to residents in this area during postal times.
b. Villa homes.
Dr. Lester: Construction on new Villa homes begins in 2024.
- What is the projected timeline to open Meggison Road to the public?
Dr. Lester: Meggison Road to 470 is scheduled for completion in the first half of this year.
- Please explain the design process to build multi-modal paths south of SR 44 without curbing.
Dr. Lester: The design of the community continues to evolve. The current path design is a better fit as we move south with a less urban, more open/green space look.
- What is the plan for building Executive golf courses south of SR 44?
Dr. Lester: Both executive and championship courses south of 44 are in the planning stage – follow the Daily Sun for announcements.
- Please explain how residents receive mail in new communities where mail kiosks are not yet completed.
Dr. Lester: If for some reason a postal facility is not ready to serve a neighborhood or village, depending on the reason why, options for residents can include pickup at the Lady Lake Post Office or in a designated location such as a recreation center or sales office.
- The Village of DeLuna gate card reader is located at a level which makes it difficult to reach with a mid-size SUV. Will this location be reviewed and, if approved, corrected?
Dr. Lester: Yes, that gate card reader was placed incorrectly and is being corrected.
- Please explain why residents in CDD 13 miss a garbage pickup in weeks with Monday holidays and receive no alternate pickup day.
Carrie Duckett: There are three Holidays that always fall on Mondays. Tri-County Sanitation/Waste Management provides collections two days a week. If a Holiday impacts the collection day it would be picked up the next scheduled collection day. This is the case for all customers for Waste Management, not just D13, but includes D12, D14, and Lady Lake/Lake County.
- Please explain how pool locations are determined; i.e., Village of Northern St. John’s has no pool and another village may have both an adult and a family pool.
Dr. Lester: Every site has unique features and constraints, such as lakes, wetlands, etc., which impact placement of amenities.
- Are there plans to beautify the corners of the south side of SR 44 and Morse Blvd?
Dr. Lester: Yes, further development of that property is being planned.
- What is the projected timeline of completion of the hospital near Eastport?
Dr. Lester: There is no timetable at this time – follow the Daily Sun for announcements.
- Is there an entrance gate proposed for the Village of Newell?
Dr. Lester: No
- How is safety reviewed on multi-modal paths particularly at night and inclement weather? i.e., low light conditions; sharp turns around ponds with no barriers:a. South of SR 44:
Dr. Lester: Unlike Federal, State or local government roadways, there are no agency requirements for such reviews. However, the Engineering/Design consultants used by The Villages when designing the multi-modal paths have years of experience with our community and are sensitive to safety concerns.
b. Northern region traveling south into Sumter County when leaving Marion County:
Dr. Lester: The most effective precaution – and Lt. Siemer may want to add further comment here – is to slow down, particularly at night or during inclement weather.
Lt. Siemer: It is very important to use caution and drive slower under those conditions.
Carrie Duckett: District Risk Management Division reads and tracks all of the reports of incidents, accidents, or safety concerns from the departments as well as all direct reporting to Risk Management from employees, residents, and visitors. They watch for trends or upticks in such reporting from a safety standpoint and we will conduct further investigations if we see a concern or an area of concern. In the case of the multimodal paths, they would reach out to District Property Management for their input and evaluation of any situation that we are investigating. The Developer builds the multi-modal Paths across The Villages, and they are maintained by District Property Management. All multi-modal paths are designed by professional engineers and are built to comply with the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control, among other design standards. If further protective and/or safety measures are required, it is the District’s responsibility to do so (i.e., signage, reflective pavement markers, etc). Districts 2 and 4 elected to add center line striping to the multi-modal paths in their districts. For concerns, please contact District Property Management at 352-753-4022. Residents residing south of CR 466A (Districts 5-13) may also bring their concerns to the Project Wide Advisory Committee (PWAC).
Reminder: The VHA Golf Cart Safety Clinic is offered at 9:00 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at Colony Cottage Recreation Center.
- What is the impact on the central Florida aquifer with all the new building, and how is it monitored?
Carrie Duckett: The Floridan Aquifer has adequate groundwater resources available to support the existing and continued development in this part of central Florida. The water use permitting process generally involves groundwater modeling to assess predicted impacts. Water use permits often include environmental monitoring plans to ensure that no unacceptable adverse impacts actually occur. For all existing, developing, and future areas of The Villages, groundwater modeling did not predict any unacceptable adverse impact. Environmental monitoring plans are in place, and no monitoring to date has shown any unacceptable adverse impact. Environmental monitoring plans include elements such as, but not limited to, monitoring of groundwater levels, lake levels, spring flows and wetlands.
- Please explain why the anonymous complaint system is being eliminated in many CDDs.
Carrie Duckett: The only District that has eliminated anonymous complaints is District 5. Currently, all other Districts accept anonymous complaints. CDDs receive quarterly reports of the number of anonymous complaints and the number that have been verified. Emails are a part of Public Records. If a public record request is made on a complaint that was received via email, the email address will be provided. Phone numbers showing caller ID are not recorded.
- Residents ask these questions about renting homes:
a. Are homes permitted to rent as an AirBnB?
Carrie Duckett: Although you would need to refer to your specific deed restrictions, they do not generally prohibit renting homes.
b. Is it considered running a business in a home when living in it full time while using the secondary rooms as Airbnb’s?
Carrie Duckett: Renting homes is not considered running a business in the home.
c. Who monitors home rentals and sales after a resident signs a document to not sell or rent that home within the first year of ownership?
Dr. Lester: We are not familiar with a document restricting renting your home in the first year. For the sale of new homes, monitoring sales within the first year of ownership is done by the Developer.
- Who does a resident contact when a home is not maintained properly?
Carrie Duckett: If there is a concern that a home is not being properly maintained or is not in compliance with the deed restrictions, please contact Community Standards by telephone at 352-751-3912, or in person at 984 Old Mill Run in Lake Sumter Landing, or electronically by visiting www.DistrictGov.org.
- What steps are taken after a complaint is made of children under 19 years of age living in a Villages home for many months?
Carrie Duckett: The District only has the ability to enforce certain external deed restrictions. Internal restrictions such as children living in the home can be reported to Community Standards and are provided to The Developer. For an update on a specific property, contact Community Standards.
- Please explain why homes are sold to people under 55 years of age?
Dr. Lester: Some examples of sales to buyers under 55 include: a purchase in advance of retirement, where the purchaser intends to rent the home for a period of time; a purchase where one member is nearing 55; or, a purchase by a son or daughter intended for parent(s) to occupy.
- With so many entrance gates broken, what is the percentage of reimbursement?
Carrie Duckett: The District has a 75% reimbursement on invoices for gate strikes.
Q. How does the District Government know who caused a collision?
A. Cameras at each gate record the vehicle and information is retrieved from the tag. Pictures are also taken when golf carts cause crashes but the golf cart owner may not always be identified if there is no tag.
Q. Is the District satisfied with the 75% reimbursement?
A. It is a satisfactory percentage but we would prefer it was higher.
VHA President Peter Russell: Questions have been asked about the colors on the gate arms causing visibility problems in shaded areas and at night. I raised this topic at PWAC and it has been added to the agenda for next month’s meeting.
- When are the villa roads in Belle Glade Villas scheduled for repair?
Carrie Duckett: Repairs are scheduled to start in June 2023 and last through August 2023, weather permitting. There will be road closures and restrictions and that will be communicated to the residents in advance. Asphalt is in short supply at this time and, as with any project, there could be delays.
- When will The Villages resident ID card be available in electronic / digital format?
Carrie Duckett: We are continuing to look at opportunities, but do not have a timeline on availability. Please do not take pictures of your Resident ID as they are not accepted at recreation facilities.
Q. Will the current gate cards work when the new system is in place?
A. Yes, if the gate card is valid/the one received when the home was purchased. Valid gate cards will be replaced for free if issues occur with the new system.
- How are Morse Blvd and Buena Vista Blvd being monitored now that high season traffic has increased?
Lt. Siemer: Traffic units are well aware of the increase. Traffic zones have been created with a deputy in charge of each zone. There are about 300 vehicular crashes each quarter. Civilians have been trained to help for a timelier follow-up at crash scenes.
- There seems to be an issue with speeding, tailgating and running stop signs on Marsh Bend Trail. Is it possible to increase daytime Wildwood police presence?
Lt. Siemer: Yes, I have spoken with the Wildwood department and they will increase their presence.
- Is the Sumter County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy still available to residents? If so, please provide details.
Lt. Siemer: Yes, it is a ten-week program offered twice a year in January and September. This month it is being held on Wednesdays 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Ezell Recreation Center. Topics include: traffic; canine division; road control; tours; etc. Additional tours are being added to the September program. You may call my secretary, Teresa Cooper, at 352-689-4600 to register.
- What is the status of widening projects for the following roads:
a. Remaining portion of CR 466A between The Villages and US 441
b. Area near Rolling Acres/CR 466 – Micro Race Track?
Fred Schneider: CR 466A final four-lane segment in Fruitland Park is anticipated to be bid for construction in April 2023. Construction would likely start around August 2023 and take 15 months to complete. Completion estimate at this time is November 2024.There are no other roads programmed for construction in this area.
- Questions were raised about roofing issues in the Antrim Dells area.
VHA President Peter Russell: The VHA has asked Past President Fred Briggs to speak to Antrim Dells homeowners. Fred will meet with Dr. Lester as they research residents’ concerns.
The next VHA Town Hall Meeting will be in April.
Questions may be sent to the VHA at any time at www.thevha.net.