Neighbors fighting garage extension stiffed by homeowner who skips public hearing

Frustrated residents of the Village of Tall Trees expressed their displeasure that their neighbor’s garage extension will continue to move forward thanks to some clever legal maneuvering.

The Villagers attended Friday’s meeting of the Community Development District 6 Board of Supervisors in an attempt to halt Martin Eisner’s massive garage expansion at 2370 Five Forks Trail.

However, Eisner was a no-show at Friday’s meeting.

Eisner’s attorney, Stanley Plappert of Ocala, asked for a continuance until the board’s July 19 meeting. Plappert asked for the continuance because he will be traveling. He asked for the continuance two days prior to Friday’s meeting.

Board members indicated they will be traveling and absent from the July 17 meeting, so there won’t be a quorum. Thus, the Eisner item would not be heard until August.

“By the August meeting, the construction will be complete,” said Village of Tall Trees resident Audrey White.

Martin Eisner’s garage extension in the Village of Tall Trees.

She predicted Eisner’s lawyer might file continuances “over and over and over” in order to avoid being made to answer in the case.

Karen Phillips, perhaps the most vehement critic of the garage expansion, said she believed the matter should be handled as soon as possible. She feels particularly blindsided because she moved into The Villages earlier this year.

“Those in the room today had two days notice to be here. We showed up,” she said.

Village of Mallory Square resident Floyd “Bill” Lenover, who attended the meeting and was not part of the Tall Trees group, offered his opinion.

“Why don’t you vote today? These people showed up. It’s unfair these people showed up and the other person didn’t show up,” Lenover said.

Angelina Broughton, who described herself as “dating” Eisner, said he is suffering from an “orthopedic” injury and experiencing mobility issues. Hence, he could not attend Friday’s meeting.

She claimed the neighborhood brouhaha over the garage has gotten so contentious that Eisner has had a “threat on his life.”

The board’s legal advice was to grant the continuance.

CDD 6 Supervisor Peter Moeller was clearly tormented by the board’s lack of options.

“There are things happening at the property,” Moeller said.

Supervisor Tom Griffiths said he would like to hear the matter, “Sooner rather than later.”

CDD 6 Chairman John Calandro said not granting the continuance could be problematic.

“Whatever we do is appealable. We don’t want to make it an easy appeal. I sense the frustration and angst of those in the room,” he said.

Supervisor Linda Grzesik made a motion to grant the continuance, but said she would like to see if a special meeting could be scheduled that would fit the schedule of board members and Eisner’s attorney.

It passed unanimously.