Villager uses ‘I didn’t know’ defense in battle with neighbor before ARC

A Villager relied on the “I didn’t know” defense in a case Wednesday morning before the Architectural Review Committee.

Mark Corner and Mary Jo Overland, who reside at 2339 Ridgeway Court in the Rosedale Villas in the Village of Duval, lost their case two weeks earlier. They were not at that ARC meeting in which they retroactively sought approval for work already done at their home.

Corner spoke before the ARC on Wednesday and said he did not see the work being done at his home as “significant” and that he did not know he had to apply to the ARC for its approval.

His “I didn’t know” defense won him little sympathy from the ARC, whose all-volunteer body that morning considered more than 100 applications for home improvements in The Villages.

“It’s your responsibility as a property owner,” Architectural Review Committee Chairman Irv Markley admonished Corner.

“I understand that now,” Corner said.

The home of Mary Jo Overland and Mark Corner in the Rosedale Villas in the Village of Duval.

Corner’s next-door neighbor, Linda Lane, had appeared at the ARC meeting two weeks earlier and returned Wednesday, armed with a thick stack of photos she was eager to show to the ARC. She said the photos detailed the couple’s unsanctioned work, which she says encroaches on her property.

She disputed Corner’s contention that the couple’s illicit patio extension was 23 inches.

“It’s more like 35 inches,” said Lane.

Her main objection to her neighbors’ work has to do with drainage. She said plants and stones were replaced with concrete.

“The water is not going to drain away,” she said.

Corner objected to her claims.

“The information presented by my neighbor is totally false,” he said.

He previously made that contention in a letter to the editor.

ARC representative Jack Bode made a motion to again deny the application submitted by Corner and Overland. His motion received unanimous approval.