There has been a lot of support and misunderstanding, regarding my displaying the little white cross in my yard. I want to thank all of you for your strong support. It’s been terrific! And I want to clear up a couple of misunderstandings that have come to my attention.
First, I formally asked The Villages if they would enter into voluntary mediation. This way we could have a certified professional, a third party, help us to resolve this matter.
Villagers love to have a lawn ornament or two in their yard. Surely something that is so popular, and so dear to their hearts, The Villages would want to resolve this. Their answer was: No. They declined to just sit down and work it out for the sake of the homeowners. Also, I was told at the Aug.16 public hearing that only the “Developers” had the authority to change the Deed, to allow the display of a couple of lawn ornaments. So I contacted Marty Dzuro, at Dzuro & Associates in The Villages. But he never returned my call. So all of our best efforts to kindly work this out, were rejected by The Villages.
Several Villagers have said: You moved here and signed the Deed, why don’t you abide by it? In short, my answer is: I would if the Deed restriction were legal, and if it applied to all Villagers and not to a select few, which is called “selective enforcement” which is illegal. Furthermore, The Villages is not allowed under the law to create deed restrictions that do not “favor” the homeowners. The courts have ruled over and over that “unreasonable restrictions” are illegal. Any restriction must be for “public improvements” and to enhance the “happiness and enjoyment of life” for us. The Villages deed restriction does none of this, and thus it is illegal. So, I will not follow it.
Lastly, the white cross is not simply a “lawn ornament.” It is the core symbol in Christianity. And thus, it is protected speech and freedom of religion under the First Amendment of the Constitution. And The Villages has no authority to ban the cross. ronically, the Deed restriction allows holiday “seasons displays” for 30 days. There are approximately 66 recognized “holy days” in Christianity, from Christmas to Pentecost to Mothering Sunday, and on and on. The amount of time for all of these holidays is 1,980 days or five and a half years. So the cross can be displayed in your yard for five and a half years, under the Deed’s own words.
The Villages found me guilty of violating the Deed restriction and issued a fine of $50 and $25 daily until $1,500 is reached. Then they said they will take me to court. That’s their choice. I will not comply. What they are doing, I believe, is against the law and morally wrong. And so I must stand my ground. Villagers, thanks again for all your love and support. If you have any questions, please contact me any time.
Wayne Anderson, Village of Tamarind Grove
2439 Ansley Path