Village of Duval resident John Orlando recently completed a new pool and lanai at his home overlooking the Kenya golf course.
After seven years in The Villages, he believed he had created his dream home here in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
After a visit to see his daughter in St. Petersburg, he was surprised to return home and see a 190-foot monopole “practically in our backyard.”
It’s a concern that Community Development District 7 supervisors have been hearing from constituents in recent weeks. It was a hot topic at Thursday morning’s CDD 7 board meeting.
“Many of the neighbors are very upset by this development,” Orlando said.
The monopole, which is about three stories tall, is located on private land owned by The Villages of Lake Sumter Inc. It is off Bonita Boulevard near Villages Public Safety Station 51.
The monopole was approved Feb. 19 by the Sumter County Zoning and Adjustment Board as a Special Land Use Permit. The applicant for the permit was NexTower Development Group LLC.
CDD 7 Chairman Ron McMahon noted that he is among the homeowners impacted by the sudden erection of the monopole. He and others are worried about a decrease in their home values because of the tall monopole looming over their homes.
However, CDD 7 has no say in the matter. It is up to Sumter County officials.
District counsel Valerie Fuchs said Sumter County would had to have given notice to nearby residents prior to the issuing of the permit for the monopole.
She said that should give “some comfort to residents” knowing that they are provided an opportunity to have some say in the matter. She said residents have a right to attend government meetings or public hearings
“The more people that come, the more they listen,” she added.
Other private property concerns have arisen recently in The Villages:
• Earlier this year, a resident of the Cherry Vale Villas in the Village of Tall Trees described her fear of loss of privacy after the three-story Elan Buena Vista Senior Living went up in her backyard.
• In April, Village of Duval residents said they were fearful of “wall jumpers” coming into their neighborhood from Sumter Grand and Sumter Place Assisted Living on County Road 466A
• Village of Tamarind Grove residents who once looked out at cow pastures are now looking at rapid development and retail at Trailwinds Village.