Underage children living in The Villages driving frustration of residents

Enforcement of interior deed restrictions – or the lack thereof – remains a frustration for residents of The Villages.

“It’s something I hear about all of the time,” said Community Development District 2 Supervisor Bill Schikora. “A lot of people feel a sense of unfairness.”

He got an earful from residents at a question-and-answer session he hosted earlier this month at El Santiago Recreation Center. The interior deed restriction violation spurring the most anger is the restriction on underage children living in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

“One resident pointed out that a home in Santo Domingo was recently purchased by a woman who – at the time of the purchase – was ‘obviously pregnant’ and now has a new baby at home,” Schikora said.

He said there are plenty of residents who feel they have been buffaloed by The Villages.

“Many residents feel strongly they have been misled and are being treated unfairly because the rules they were led to believe in, and to which they must adhere, are not uniformly enforced. In good conscience, I must agree,” Schikora said.

Many have complained that The Villages does not follow up on complaints raised by residents. Many have said they are ignored, particularly by Villages Vice President Martin Dzuro, who is tasked with interior deed restriction enforcement.

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

• 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.

Charles Newman, left, and Susan Newman.
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.