Growth in The Villages is not great

46

To the Editor:

The Daily Sun heralds growth in The Villages as the best thing since sliced bread. But, the developer and its Daily Sun cheerleaders never mention the awful downside.
You think roads are clogged now – wait until 30,000 new residents arrive. The unmerciful clogging of streets will demand wider roads, new interchanges, by-passes, tunnels, turn-lanes, etc.  Guess who pays for this?
You think the hospital has long waits now in the ER, just wait until new residents demand service. The current hospital is overwhelmed – we need another 300 bed hospital now, regardless of new residents.
You think you bought into a safe and genteel “lifestyle” – but soon you will live in a big city with all the urban problems you thought you left behind.
You think your taxes are OK now, wait until the politicians decide they need new offices, library, jail, firemen, police, pensions, pay raises, etc.
You don’t like the water conservation measures due to the drought and short-sighted politicians who licensed a company to pump 500,000 gallons a day from our aquifer.  And, the waterfall at Hilltop pool was shut down because the aquifer is down 10 inches.  What do you think will happen when 30,000 new residents turn on their taps?  We will need a desalination plant when the aquifer runs low and has salt-water infiltration.  Cost to you: tens of millions of dollars.
We don’t need these growth problems. I don’t want to be the fastest growing community in the country. I like it right now, the way it is, my hometown.
Please, developer, stop building and make that move to Texas.

Joe Gorman
Village of Santo Domingo

46 COMMENTS

  1. I will preface by saying The Villages is definitely aesthetically pleasing. This area is extremely overcrowded. If you haven’t experienced the understaffed hospital, lucky you. If you have, you may understand the effect the short staffed ER has on your health. Time is crucial and the hospital fails time after time. Sick people are lined up in the hallways, waiting for a room in the E.R, giving a new meaning to “emergency”. Take a look at the Google reviews. The new Ocala ER on 441 has become overwhelmed and the wait is becoming as long as TV Regional Hospital. Urgent Care centers are nice for non life threatening emergencies during their open hours. They are not 24/7. For a community with an aging population, the hospital, in my opinion, is lacking on an epic scale. Healthcare providers are overwhelmed, overworked and tapped out mentally. Many doctors pack up their little black bags and go elsewhere. I come from the north shore area of Chicago where healthcare is pretty darn good. Streets here are crowded and will continue to get worse. Summers are sweltering. Pesticides, insecticides, and toxic mosquito repellant chemicals are used daily to keep up with the demand for properties to look perfect and rod the area of mosquitoes. Wildlife is being displaced daily by the impact of expansion. They have no voice in what’s happening to their land. Most humans,sadly, are so wrapped up in their selfish wants and have to haves, they don’t give a second thought to wildlife concerns. Tee times are becoming increasingly difficult at the golf courses, the squares are filling up past capacity on a daily basis. Classes, clubs and activities (indoor and out) fill up quickly. Residents are turned away when at capacity (which happens quickly for the more popular offerings. Some of these activities can be quite cut throat. The residents and guests squabble over “rights” of chairs in the squares. Happy hour leaves many intoxicated and dangerous on the road in cars and in golf carts. Over consumption of water is making the area more vulnerable to sinkholes. You will never own the land your house sits upon. Rules are many for the properties. Amenity fees, bonds, fines, etc. can be expensive. For some this is their dream life. For others, not so much. If it makes you happy, that’s wonderful and I wish you a life of happiness. We all have our vision of what we want in our retirement years. Some want grandiose while others are more than satisfied with less congestion. My vision is a much smaller, less congested community where less is more. A smaller, more quiet, close knit community. It’s all subjective with individual desires. I have met and become friends with many good people in The Villages. I have come across some really crabby oldtimers. It’s just not my cup of tea. Moving here was not my choice. I drank the Kool-Aid with empty promises from those I trusted to be true before stepping foot in TV. I tried it and found it was not for me so I will move on. I want to make it clear that I am not against this lifestyle. It works for most that have anchored down. I am making my way out with a 2 year plan. The Villages is not my happy ever after.

  2. I want to address the water issue mentioned. The very idea that we can get salt water intrusion in the middle of Florida at our elevation is absurd. It can not happen. Two the Florida aquafir flows south. Have any of you driven through the Ocala National Forest just north of us. Do you have any idea how much rain water falls on there that works it way down to the aquafir Look at all the undeveloped areas north of us including all the farms and state properties. Yes cities in Florida on the coasts have a water problem including salt water intrusion, but not central Florida. The area we live in is geologically interesting. Our homes are built on sand that was sand dunes laid down by the ocean currents when Florida was under the ocean. That limestone layer below the sand that causes our sinkholes was the result of shell fish dying and laying down a layer of shells which over time turned to limestone. So our “hills” are actually sand dunes. They run in a line across Florida and make for a much more interesting topography than down south or even north of here. There is always things we may not like where we live but it is still the best there is in The Villages. Bend a little, enjoy what we have and try to limit the complaining. It gets you nowhere and if you really can not stand it, both I-75 and I-95 have northbound lanes.

  3. The Daily Sun has always been the Developer’s rag. Just ask Larry Croom, who used to be “Publisher” – very honest about the paper. Most of you are too new to remember when the VNN on TV actually gave you news. The “waterfall” in Paradise goes dry every few years. If you don’t remember the last time, then you must be fairly new to the area.

    The hospital opened as a 2 story community hospital with 60 beds. Harold knew the hospital would grow, and it has expanded many times over. ER waiting times are terrible at virtually every hospital.

    The Villages is always changing. At a certain point it may change in a way you don’t like. At that point, consider moving. There’s nothing wrong with complaining about living here, just remember it was still your choice to do so.

  4. Moving to The Villages was the best move I ever made. There is much to do here and we stay on the go pretty much. With wonderful weather all year, it’s easy to get outdoors for more exercise than people get over much of our country. If you think this place is bad, maybe you have been away from your previous habitat too long to remember the problems that exist elsewhere that we don’t have. I have never lived in a prettier place. Traffic was so much worse everywhere I lived before coming here. And lucky me, none of my neighbors in our 86 home neighborhood and none of my friends in dance class or at the gym or on the golf course ever complain about The Villages. The only place I ever hear such derogatory chatter about the developer and related problems is on this web site. We live a happy life. If The Villages was not developing the land you know that someone else would do it. It’s employed many people and made life better for them too. There will be more amenities built along with the housing as the southern end is being developed. And people tend to stay closer to their home area so you Northerners won’t have to worry about things changing that much. South Villages is for me!

    • That just makes no sense. They won’t build if there’s no demand. That’s Economics 101. More probably they will run out of land well before demand goes to zero. And how is an “age-restricted community” perfect for Section 8. Again, none of this makes sense.

  5. You think it is bad now having to get to the squares over an hr early just to get a seat.Wait til all the new houses are built it will not be fun going to the squares any more.Who wants to sit in the hot sun for hrs before Rocky or Scooter etc starts playing.I been hearing people complaining already .Wait the fun has not started yet.I hope they will build a few new squares that are bigger and can handle the big crowds.

  6. The developer will be loosing their best sales force and that is all of us.We are thinking enough is enough for this area. How much this means to the entire situation remains to be seen. I know I will only be telling my friends that this place is getting too large to handle why we came here, and that is to retire in Florida in a rural central area in Florida to live quietly and play golf. If we wanted high population area we would have moved near the ocean or gulf.

  7. The problem is the infrastructure was never big enough to support the rapid growth. Most planned communities have allowed for this and expected it and planned ahead for growth. The developers of TV don’t seem to realize that it is time to stop and start somewhere else, building a more adequate infrastructure. There is no room to expand many of the heavily traveled roads.

  8. The developer has every right to build this place as big as he wants. None of us were promised a moratorium on building. At the same time, he should be obligated to maintain what we saw when we bought. As I understand it, tee times used to be free, we had more independently owned restaurants, the newspaper wasn’t a shill for its owner, and for those who golf I can’t imagine how difficult it will be to get tee times. I’m sure there are many other takeaways over the last 20 years that I’m not aware of.

  9. They can expand the hospital, even building higher if they have to, but I do not see anyway they will ever be able to add extra lanes to all of Morse and Buena Vista. Elevated bypass lanes over existing lanes?! Doubt it!

  10. Every time a new village is developed, the people who have already been here complain . I would guess that back when they developed west of 27/441 that those in the Historic District were saying, “There goes the neighborhood”.
    What people forget is that with all of the new development, the developer has built more stores and restaurants, more roads and more facilities. What do you think Brownwood is all about? Did you ever question why that town square was placed at the very edge of The Villages? Did not realize that they were going to develop south of 44?
    True, the hospital might need updating and enlarging and I have no doubt that that will happen. On the other hand, there are hospitals around The Villages that might actually be more convenient for those that live in the outlying areas.
    In forty or fifty years, most of us will be gone and the 20 year olds of today will be complaining about expansion.
    I came here to relax and enjoy retirement. I’m not going to get all worked up over something that will barely affect me.

      • Your right too. Golf carts help to manage less car traffic for this sized community.
        My wife and I have been coming here since 2001 and an owner since 2009! We love it and even moved once to Dunedin from Summerhill. Some People were complaining about the size every year since we’ve been here. LoL
        Obviously, people like it, like we do, as they continue buying!
        If it changes beyond your wants, then you need to decide if you still want to be here! But don’t blame the builders to want work or the people coming here. When it becomes too frustating for new buyers and they stop buying, thats when you’ll see the building stop.

    • People keep complaining about congestion on the roads…..get off the roads and use your golf cart for crying out loud, it’s so much more relaxing and not congested. You moved to a golf cart community. I use my golf cart about 95% of the time, I will drive it from Spanish Springs, to Brownwood, all over the place. It’s great….you are out in the air, seeing people. It’s like being on a vacation all the time and not shut up in a car……complaining about “all the congestion.” And no, I’m not new to the Villages, I’ve lived here for almost 12 years and still loving it. WE ARE RETIRED, take the time to enjoy yourselves and quit acting like the Mad Hatter.

  11. I came here when Spanish springs was all there was. I have no problem with someone having a business that is growing by leaps and bounds. If it where me I would be building and selling as long as people are buying. My only concern is golf. I’m here for the golf. When it gets to the point I can’t get on the coarses as regular as I do now then I’m out. In Fenny and Spanish oaks it’s been said some 20,000 homes are to be built ,but I have read only 2 executive coarses are in the plans. I hope more executives to come and at least one CC. One would think they will have another square there also. I trust the developer because so far everything they have done has been done right and I for one appreciate it. If only certain people would take pride in the town in which they live.

  12. The “D” owns the paper…what do you expect to read…They won’t stop until the land is all used up…they should check the status of these workers…no offense to them; they are hard working; but profit from both ends>>> Steven Count laughs all the way to the bank…they’re all billionaires…Enough will never be enough…remember Fenney wasn’t going to be a of TV…another lie….when all the land is sucked up; all the animals dead or run off…MAYBE they will stop…I doubt it…I want to leave and build a cabin in the woods; my wife won’t leave…

    • Who said Fenney wasn’t going to be part of TV ? That may have been the case before TV bought it from the developer that went out of business but once TV bought it you can be sure it was going to be a part of TV.

      • Joseph is correct because the developer got the land and permits pulled under another name to try to cover up the fact that it was going to be part of the villages. It’s very well-documented if you want to look at the Wildwood commissioners meetings. The “D” is the developer! I wish there would be a compromise on the building here. The reason is the water shortage is not going to get any better it seems so the more homes that need access to potable water. Yes the landscaping may use recycled water but inside the homes do not! All of Florida needs to be aware of the water shortage and do something now before it becomes a major crisis! It’s actually time for Governor Scott to get involved with putting moratoriums on water usage!

  13. Joe is right on target. It cracks me up to read comments like “Well you can Move!” from people who do not want to face reality! Wait until you experience an 8 hour wait in The Villages Hospital.

  14. Wow, what grumps..remember you can move away…you are not being held captive here or forced to buy the paper. Even with all the growth that is taking place, pound for pound,, price for price, it’s a great place to live. Smile & go dancing!!

  15. I like it 10 years ago there way to many people accidence full parking lots only because people can’t park. the problem is everyone wants to be first and do everything for they can’t move their body any more. so they try to push you out of the way or dink them selves to death or they just get old and nasty to everyone.

  16. Steve, good one, yes, very good. Amazing how these liberal media types always have an agenda, and people believe this trash. Liked the editorial by the way, the man is right on target. Ya think parking is crazy now, ya think water rates are crazy now, just wait.

    • A Courtyard Villa was the only house I wanted to buy. We are on an premier large lot at the end of a block so there is no thru traffic. We are also not on any major road. When we moved here it took us two weeks to memorize how to get to our home. I have a bigger yard than the standalone homes and a nice privacy wall all around. We can walk around naked if we wanted to.:)

      We will probably move since we do not join anything at all. All of our socializing is with nearby relatives and friends. I hate golf and medical issues prevent me from any sport I would be interested in. Plus I had a hectic life as an international consultant who spent 3 months a year overseas. I needed a new passport or additional pages each year. I also still work full time so I cannot do anything during work days.

      • I agree. They refuse to print articles about some large charitable donations to domestic violence for example. They don’t want potential buyers to think that goes on here. Yet, we constantly see acts of kindness followed by the phrase “Only in The Villages”. If someone performed an act of kindness here, they were kind before they moved here. If someone was an abuser before they moved here, they will continue to abuse. The same goes for thrives and others. What they were there, they are here.