An overflow crowd of residents showed up Monday morning to fight an earlier Project Wide Advisory Committee decision to put up a fence.
“How does this committee justify building a fence for one person?” asked Villager Marilyn Iskra.
She said the estimated $5,000 fence would be an unnecessary expense of residents’ maintenance assessment fees.
The complaint from homeowner Marvin Rosser was that the area has become a dog park. Rosser attended Monday’s meeting, but did not speak.
Villagers who take their dogs there said they pick up after their dogs and that the dogs are generally well behaved.
PWAC member and Community Development District 10 Chairman Don Wiley disputed their claims.
He said that after this past April’s CDD 10 meeting in which the issue was raised, he immediately drove to the area.
“I was not impressed,” he said.
Wiley said he saw four golf carts parked on the grass and two dogs running loose with owners engaged in conversation, not paying attention to the dogs. He said he saw much of the same during many subsequent visits.
“I saw it with my own two eyes,” Wiley said.
He and some PWAC members stood by their earlier decision.
PWAC member and CDD 8 Supervisor Dennis Hayes said he was “dismayed” that that area is treated as a dog park.
“I don’t think that’s what the Developer envisioned,” Hayes said.
Residents had a lot of complaints about conditions at existing dog parks in The Villages, particularly Atlas Canine Dog Park, where parking is frequently at a premium. They said Fruitland Park police have shown up several times and warned about overflow parking that could impede traffic.
One resident suggested it might be time for a dog census in The Villages to determine how many dogs there are and what would need to be done to provide adequate services for them.
Residents peppered PWAC members with questions about the fence, including how high it would be, its purpose, how close it would be to the multi-modal path and its proximity to memorial benches already at the location. There were also questions about golf cart parking.
“It’s a tough issue,” said PWAC member and CDD 7 Supervisor Jerry Vicenti.
He suggested that PWAC table the fence for the time being.
His suggestion won approval from fellow supervisors.