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The Villages
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Village of Tamarind Grove resident claims he was singled out over little white cross

A Village of Tamarind Grove resident claims he was singled out over a little white cross and parrot ornament in his yard.

Wayne Anderson, of 2439 Ansley Path, pleaded his case Friday before the Community Development District 8 Board of Supervisors.

His property is in compliance now, the cross and a “happy spinning parrot” have been removed from his yard. He said he had received the cross from the Knights of Columbus and the parrot ornament was an homage to his pet Macaw Parrot.

However, Anderson objected to the fact that he had to take his yard ornaments out while his neighbors’ yard ornaments remain.

“Why am I targeted?” he asked.

An anonymous complaint had been received about Anderson’s yard ornaments, something that Anderson called “revenge.” He said he had an issue with a neighbor and filed an incident report with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. He believes that neighbor got revenge by making the anonymous complaint.

CDD 8 Chairman Duane Johnson wondered out loud why the deed compliance officer who investigated the complaint at Anderson’s home didn’t look around for similar violations in the neighborhood.

“If a deed compliance officer is out there to investigate a complaint and sees other violations in the neighborhood, why doesn’t he take action?” Johnson asked.

The anonymous complaint system in The Villages is designed to promote harmony in the neighborhood. If a yard ornament draws no complaints, it can stay. If a complaint is lodged, it will be investigated and if it is in violation, the yard ornament must be removed.

District Counsel Valerie Fuchs said the policy is “content neutral,” so it doesn’t matter if it’s a cross or a pink flamingo.

“They will be handled exactly the same way,” Fuchs said.

Johnson countered that the enforcement mechanism doesn’t provide a level playing field.

“I want to go on record to say there is a fairness/unfairness issue when it comes to enforcement of deed restrictions,” Johnson said.

He suggested the CDD 8 board take another look at the anonymous complaint process, but his idea did not win the support of his fellow supervisors, who were clearly weary of debating it.

Supervisor Sal Torname said the board has already spent a great deal of time and energy debating the anonymous complaint system.

“It’s not fair, but it’s the system,” said Supervisor Larry McMurry.

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