The Villages Voice - February 2020

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CSD and ARC in a Nutshell

by Jan Palmer/Irv Markley

CSD AND ARC IN A NUTSHELL

  If you are new to The Villages, or even if you aren’t, you may be confused about the many acronyms that are used in everyday conversations, in the media, and when you want to know who to contact about what.  First of all, there is a link at www.districtgov.org that lists all the acronyms and their meanings.  I counted them:  There are almost 100!  But in reality, the most common ones that residents need to know are less than ten, and closer to five.  The VHA Advisory Board was privileged to have Irv Markley, one of our board members, educate us on two departments that are typically referred to only by their acronyms.  They are important ones for residents to become familiar with, and to understand exactly what the duties, responsibilities, and processes of each involves. One is CSD, which stands for Community Standards Department, and the other is ARC, or the Architectural Review Committee.  They work hand in hand regarding exterior property standards; CSD monitors community standards complaints when it comes to deed compliance, while the ARC’s concern is maintaining property values and The Villages aesthetics when they review resident applications for alterations to their property.  The CSD is guided by manager Candice Dennis and her staff.  Their Mission statement is:  To assist residents in upholding the aesthetic value of their property in The Villages.  As you can see from the excerpt from their website below, they do indeed work hand in hand with ARC: “The Community Standards Department is committed to upholding the high standards of our community’s residential architectural design, landscaping and aesthetics.  The department has two divisions: Deed Compliance and Architectural Review.” The ARC committee is composed of 19 representatives from 10 Villages districts plus Lady Lake.  District 11 is anticipated to come on board in March 2021, at which time two new members will be added.  Three additional members are currently being recruited/interviewed. During 2019, CSD & ARC processed 5,619 applications. In addition, CSD processed a total of 4,971 deed restriction complaints, with 365 being validated as authentic and written up for further action, of which 24 eventually progressed to the public hearing stage.  The #1 deed violation, by a large margin, is grass and/or weed maintenance.  Most other violations pertain to property lot lines or easement infractions, and general property upkeep complaints, including trees.         What Residents Need to Know From the CSD: “You have chosen to live in a community protected by Restrictive Covenants.  The Declaration of Restrictions was issued to you at the closing on your home.  It was at that time you signed a covenant with the Developer to comply with the Restrictive Covenants.  We urge all homeowners to read their Restrictive Covenants”.  Contact them at 352-751-3912, or find them under “Departments” at www.districtgov.org to email them, and for more information.   From ARC: “Whether it is a pool addition, landscaping, painted driveway, porch enclosure, coloring of walks and/or driveways, arbors, pergolas, trellises or removal of trees that are greater than four (4) inches in diameter it is necessary to submit a Modification/Alteration Form for approval”.  The issuance of permits or variances is through the appropriate city or county building department, a listing of which can be found at www.districtgov.org .  The Architectural Review Committee is listed under “Quick Links.” by Jan Palmer and Irv Markley