Neighbors argue Florida-Friendly landscaping has gone too far at Villages home

Neighbors say Florida-Friendly Landscaping has gotten out of control at a home in The Villages.

Florida-Friendly landscaping means using low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices, according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

A home at 2167 Darwin Terrace in The Villages has Florida Friendly landscaping.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping is allowed in The Villages. The water-saving practices associated with Florida-Friendly Landscaping are even encouraged.

But Florida-Friendly Landscaping is viewed very differently by neighbors of a home at 2167 Darwin Terrace in the Village of Amelia.

Neighbors say the Florida Friendly landscaping at a home in The Villages has gone too far.

“It looks like a jungle,” Craig Bonifant said during a 2017 protest of the property. That day he had stationed himself outside the Community Development District 6 board meeting.

He questioned why homeowners can be ordered to pluck little white crosses from their yards while Florida-Friendly landscaping grows wildly unchecked.

Craig Bonifant in 2017 took his protest to Lake Sumter Landing.

Two years after Bonifant’s protest, nothing has changed at his neighbor’s home. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

The University of Florida Extension Service describes Florida-Friendly Landscaping as a “beautiful landscape that could save you time, energy and money while protecting our future.”

Two other homes this past week were found to be out of compliance after public hearings before the Village Center Community Development District Board of Supervisors.

Opponents of Florida-Friendly Landscaping contend that if those homeowners had played the Florida-Friendly card, they may have gotten a reprieve from Community Standards.

This home at 1613 Cherry Hill Road was found to be out of compliance.
This home at 721 Jason Drive could be the subject of fines after it was determined to be out of compliance.