Official warns lack of enforcement of internal deed restrictions could hurt home sales

An elected official has warned the Developer’s lack of enforcement of internal deed restrictions could hurt home sales in The Villages.

The Villages District Office is responsible for violations of exterior deed restrictions, such as improper display of lawn ornaments or unkempt appearance of a property. Those violations are enforced through the Community Standards department.

Enforcement of internal deed restrictions, such as underage children living in a home, is the responsibility of the Developer.

“In my experience, the followup on violations of interior deed restrictions has been very disappointing,”  said Community Development District 2 Supervisor Bill Schikora.

The supervisor, who holds a monthly question-and-answer session with residents at El Santiago Recreation Center, said residents are not satisfied that the Developer is upholding his end of the bargain when it comes to deed restrictions.

“I have a lot of people who want results. For example, the six-year-old bouncing a ball off the wall is still there. It isn’t a matter of feedback. It’s a matter of results. The kid is still there,” Schikora said.

CDD 2 Chairman Bryan Lifsey agreed that people want to know how cases are being handled.

“And it’s not a matter of someone’s granddaughter being here two more days than she ought to be,” he said.

Lifsey said the lack of enforcement could come back to haunt the Developer.

“Somewhere it is going to start impacting sales because people will say the Developer does not enforce the internal deed restrictions,” Lifsey predicted.

There have been some high-profile cases recently of children living in The Villages:

Charles Newman, left, and Susan Newman.

• A grandson living with his 82-year-old grandfather in a home on the Historic Side of The Villages generated numerous headlines last year. The child’s mother, who has a criminal history of drug use, at one point had her father banned from his own home. As recently as July, during another run-in with his daughter at his home in The Villages, the grandfather told police he has “full custody” of his now nine-year-old grandson.

Benjamin Weingard

• A 35-year-old man was arrested earlier this year on two counts of aggravated child abuse after his four-month-old daughter suffered a brain bleed and was taken to The Villages Regional Hospital. The child was later transferred to a hospital in Orlando. Benjamin Weingard, whose address is 1107 Saldivar Road, in the Village of Santo Domingo, told law enforcement that the baby had been “fussy” and was repeatedly waking him up. The home in which Weingard has been living is owned by a couple who lives on Madero Drive, also in the Village of Santo Domingo.

Lynn Marcella Woods

The mother of a special needs teen in the Village of Summerhill landed in jail earlier this year after violating her probation from a drunk driving arrest last year at Lake Sumter Landing. The woman continues to live with her teenage son and her mother at her at 3561 Idlewood Loop. Outraged residents of the Village of Summerhill took their concerns last year to the Community Development District 3 Board of Supervisors.