Villagers who paid $66,000 premium for lot upset about loss of water view

A Village of Duval couple who paid a $66,000 premium for their lot are upset about the loss of their water view.

Joseph and Rita Chiro purchased their home on Backwater Way in 2009 for $299,500, according to the Sumter County Property Appraiser’s Office.

“There was a very small live oak tree between our house and the pond. Of course, we knew it would grow and you can imagine how much it has grown in 10 years,” Rita Chiro said.

Today, the tree is so large, the Chiros can barely see the water from their home.

A Village of Duval couple said this tree is blocking their water view for which they paid a $66,000 premium.

In 2016, she contacted the District Office and asked that the tree be trimmed.

“There was no problem,” she said.

However, her most recent requests for tree trimming have been turned down.

She took her case Thursday morning before the Community Development District 7 Board of Supervisors.

She did not get the answer for which she had hoped.

“We do not trim for view shed,” said Sam Wartinbee of District Property Management.

The Chiros received sympathy from some of the board members.

“My heart goes out to people who spend $60,000 to $70,000 for a view and then they are looking at a tree. There ought to be a warning (from the sales department,) ‘You are going to lose your view,’” said CDD 7 Supervisor Jerry Vicenti. “This is an ongoing problem. When you buy homes, you have to be smarter. lt’s a shame.”

Ultimately, the board voted not to spend public funds to trim a tree on public land for the benefit of the residents’ view.

Premium prices and eroding views have frequently been an issue in The Villages, most famously the unlawful cutting of trees blocking the view of the water for residents at high-dollar homes in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

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