VHA Town Hall Meeting
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, Carrie Duckett – Deputy District Manager, Lt. Robert Siemer – District Lieutenant from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department.
The next VHA Town Hall Meeting will be in January.
Questions may be sent to the VHA at any time at www.thevha.net.
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.”
1. Thank you for the bringing movies back to Spanish Springs town square utilizing that huge screen at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center. Is there an update of plans for the Barnstorm Theater in Brownwood town square?
Dr. Lester: We continue to monitor developments in the movie industry as well as the attendance at Old Mill Playhouse – those factors will guide future plans for Brownwood Theatre.
2. While residents may send questions and suggestions to the Developer at www.thevillages.com/feedback, is it also possible to bring back the annual resident survey?
Dr. Lester: Resident feedback is of great importance and we continue to consider different ways of gathering that input including the use of surveys.
3. What can be done about the children ages four and seven who have been living in The Villages for a while enrolled in the Wildwood School?
Carrie Duckett: If you have a concern regarding internal deed restrictions such as underage children in the home, business in the home, or the like, contact the Community Standards Department at 352-751-3912 or email email@example.com, and the information will be forwarded to the Developer.
4. What is the refurbishment schedule for Championship golf courses?
Dr. Lester: The Daily Sun remains the best source of updates on Championship course maintenance and refurbishments.
5. Would it be possible to add specific restrictions to flags that flown by residents?
Carrie Duckett: As a governmental entity, the District does not regulate the content on flags. The only thing that we have the ability to regulate is the placement of the flagpole itself to ensure it is not located in an easement and that the homeowner had permission from the ARC for the flagpole. We do not require that flags be of specific content (or that they are not of specific content).
6. Will golf cart access to Trailwinds shopping center be added in the future?
Dr. Lester: There are no such plans as that Shopping Center is not part of The Villages.
7. Many residents south of SR 44 in the Villages of Hawkins, St Catherine, Homestead, Citrus Grove, etc. must travel north over the multi-modal bridge to buy golf cart gas. Please provide any update of plans for building a gas station closer to these Villages that will also provide no-ethanol gasoline for golf carts.
Dr. Lester: Good news – The 7-Eleven at Magnolia Plaza is scheduled to open in the Spring and plans to provide no-ethanol gas.
8. There seems to be a deterioration on Executive golf courses. Please compare rounds played and budgets for years 2020, 2021, and projected for 2022.
Carrie Duckett: There is a total of 42 Executive Golf courses in The Villages which are capable of receiving up to 10,000 rounds of golf a day. With so much activity on the courses, there is continued day-to-day maintenance provided by the golf course maintenance contractors as well as the amenity committee-approved capital improvement projects for the golf courses procured by the District. A comparison of total rounds (All Executive Courses) and budgets for the 36 District owned Executive Golf courses north of SR 44 are:
o 2020 – 2,613,592 rounds played / FY 20.21 budget $10,454,288 (RAD&SLAD)
o 2021 – 2,562,703 rounds played / FY 21.22 budget $ 9,474,374 (RAD&SLAD)
o 2022 through 10/11 – 1,943,390 rounds played / FY 22.23 budget $13,741,556 (RAD&SLAD)
Mira Mesa Executive Golf course is under renovation. Check www.districtgov.org for ongoing updates.
9. Will a more secure fence be built to prevent access to The Villages from the adjoining property on the east side of the Saddlebrook Recreation Center multi-modal path?
Carrie Duckett: This area is still under construction for commercial development. Per the approved 2008 site plan, a 30 feet buffer with trees, as well as a continuous hedge or approved wall or fence must be installed. In most cases, continuous hedges are installed. District Property Management will monitor and evaluate this area after construction is completed.
10. Who pays for the damage when the gate arms are broken?
Carrie Duckett: Video images provide information of who damages the gate arms and the individual or company that is responsible is billed for the damages. If the person is found, the minimum cost to repair is $250. AAC and PWAC approved as of October 1, 2022 the contract for gate maintenance and upgraded software. This is taking several months to complete. There should not be any interruption to the gate functionality while this process takes place. If there are specific concerns regarding a gate arm, please contact Community Watch at 352-753-0550.
11. Regarding the water towers and cell towers in The Villages:
a. Who owns the towers?
Carrie Duckett: The Utility – VCCDD-LSSA, VCSA, NSCUDD – NSU, CSU, and WUDD – SSU.
b. Who receives the revenue from cell infrastructure to the towers?
Carrie Duckett: There is a total of (6) water towers and the revenue from anything attached to the individual towers goes to that utility.
12. Is there a plan to upgrade the Chula Vista neighborhood pool? Landscaping within the fences contribute to a dirty path from the pool to the restrooms and drainage issues cause frequent mold growth at the shower and pavilion.
Carrie Duckett: District Property Management is working hard to renovate all of our pools, based on an approved maintenance management plan. Chula Vista Neighborhood Pool is scheduled for renovation next fiscal year (FY 23-24). The large palm tree planted by the pool has greatly contributed to the path issues. We will have the Landscaping Division look into the feasibility of removing and relocating this tree to improve the cleanliness in this area.
13. Are there plans to put the Villages resident ID card in a digital format?
Carrie Duckett: The District is always looking at ways to upgrade to provide digital alternatives, but we are not there yet. Please note that it is not acceptable to take a picture of the resident ID card and present the photo from your smart phone.
14. Please review the signage of the multi-modal path through the Sumter Landing Winn Dixie parking lot. After making the turn from the roadway, the direction to the Morse Blvd south entrance is not marked.
Dr. Lester: We will review while bearing in mind that part of what makes The Villages uniquely beautiful is the lack of unnecessary signage.
15. Can the walkway on the Sumter Landing Bridge be reduced in order to widen the golf cart lanes, which seem too narrow for the newer model carts?
Carrie Duckett: Unfortunately, for several reasons, this is not possible for the walkway or the Golf Car lanes in the vicinity of and crossing Morse Island into and out of the Lake Sumter Landing area. First, given the limited overall width of the lanes in that area, and the heavy automotive, golf car, and pedestrian traffic, there are no viable options that allow for the expansion of the golf car lanes while affording safe pedestrian lanes. The Morse Island bridge itself would require a major re-engineering effort (or replacement) to accommodate expanded lanes while providing adequate automobile and pedestrian lanes. As originally designed, there is adequate width for automobile and golf car traffic while also affording safe access for pedestrians. Again, with the heavy traffic through this area in terms of an automobile, golf car, and pedestrian traffic, it is optimally designed and configured to ensure the safety of all who transit (auto or golf car) as well as jog, walk and bike this area.
Facilitator: VHA Executive Vice President Peter Russell thanked the District for recently repainting the 10 mph speed limit marked on the pavement in the middle and at each end of the entrance to the Morse Blvd bridge multi-modal path.
16. The warranty department has heard nothing about the issue of disintegrating roof ridge vents installed 8 – 10 year ago between CR 466A and SR 44. Roofing contractors are inspecting and replacing these vents at a cost of $1200 and up. Is this a scam?
Dr. Lester: The Warranty Department had not heard of this issue. It is advised that homeowners get a second opinion.
17. A resident in CDD 3 asks is an exterior antenna strong enough for receiving local television to programs as far away as Orlando allowed?
Carrie Duckett: Please refer to your specific Deed Restrictions when examining opportunities for
external modifications to your property including antennas.
18. What can be done about the many short term rentals such as Airbnb’s and VRBO’s that are occurring throughout The Villages?
Carrie Duckett: Technically, there is nothing unless it is written into the deed restrictions. The house is private property which belongs to the homeowner who may choose to rent it. Complaints may be made to Community Standards when deed restrictions are violated. (352) 751-3912 or online through www.districtgov.org If there are concerns about safety, please dial 911.
19. There appears to be an increase in speeding golf carts and vehicular traffic. What enforcement of the speed limit is being done:
a. On roadways?
Lt. Siemer: There are seven (7) zone units in The Villages and two (2) traffic units are out every day. Each quarter 900 – 1200 traffic citations are written (by SCSO in the Villages).
b. On multi-modal paths?
Lt. Siemer: Yes, when the multi-modal is connected to the roadway. We cannot issue speeding citations on the multi-modal paths off roadways as that is private property.
Q. Does Wildwood Police Department patrol south of SR 44?
A. Yes, within the Wildwood city limits. Sumter County and Wildwood work together.
20. Questions related to e-bikes include:
a. Are e-bikes considered motorized vehicles?
Lt. Siemer: No, e-bikes fall under bicycle HB 971.
b. Are e-bikes permitted on multi-modal paths?
Carrie Duckett: This question is being addressed through our legal counsel. If e-bikes are not classified as motorized vehicles then, the answer will be “yes.”
Q. Are Smart cars allowed on multi-modal paths?
c. What is the speed limit for e-bikes on roadways?
Lt. Siemer: E-bikes can only assist up to 20 mph. Speeds higher than this are reached by the cyclist.