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The Villages
Saturday, May 8, 2021

Breakthrough could be coming for residents frustrated by overgrowth at Lake Miona

A breakthrough could be coming for homeowners frustrated by the overgrowth at Lake Miona in The Villages.

Working on behalf of Villages residents who own property adjacent to the Lake Miona Conservation Easement Area, Shutts and Bowen LLP has been working with Bio-Tech Consulting to secure Southwest Florida Water Management District approval for a management plan for the area. After nearly a year of a effort, it appears a deal could be near.

It would provide for initial mowing and handclearing to cut and control both invasive and native species in order to return the area to its “historic herbaceous system,” according to documents to be reviewed Monday by the Project Wide Advisory Committee.

Thereafter, maintenance efforts would keep the herbaceous growth at a maximum of 3.5 feet, according to a Shutts and Bowen LLP memo to PWAC and District Manager Janet Tutt.

A bird's eye view of the Lake Miona Conservation Area.
A bird’s eye view of the Lake Miona Conservation Area.

Villagers were furious  when they learned a group mockingly referred to as the “invisible lumberjacks” illegally cut down trees two years ago to improve the water view of residents in the pricey lakefront section of The Villages. The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office investigated the illicit felling of the trees in late 2014, but lakefront homeowners locked arms and kept a vow of silence. The job would have required many hours of work and noisy equipment. But even a $1,000 reward aimed at landscapers could not pry open any lips. The sheriff’s office finally announced all leads had been exhausted in the investigation.

PWAC would have been left holding the bag for the entire $50,000 remediation of the tree removal, however in August 2015, the District Office received a check for $25,788 from an attorney representing the “Friends of Lake Miona.” The money was aimed at reimbursing PWAC, which is funded by residents of Community Development Districts 5 through 10,  for the work. No one was ever prosecuted in the case.

Community Development District 1 is also struggling with an invasive species problem at the Hudson Morse Parr Preserve. You can read more about that HERE

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