Anti-sign rule will be enforced for first time in nearly 20 years in CDD 4

A rule banning yard signs will soon be enforced for the first time in nearly 20 years in Community Development District 4.

The CDD 4 Board of Supervisors in a 3-2 vote on Friday decided to begin enforcing the anti-sign rule in the Marion County section of The Villages.

“For Sale” signs at homes in The Villages were a major issue in 2011. All of the community development districts took a look at how they would handle the issue here in The Villages. Thus the rules and enforcement are different, depending on where you are in The Villages.

Signs on display in Community Development District 4.

Effective November 2012, CDD 4 opted not to enforce a prohibition on signs. Prior to that, the rule had been in place but was not enforced when the Developer was in charge. 

However, CDD 4 Supervisor Cliff Weiner in recent months began raising concerns about the clutter and overabundance of yard signs popping up – and staying up – in neighborhoods.

Weiner’s concerns prompted a town hall meeting in October at Mulberry Grove Recreation Center.

CDD 4’s two longest-serving supervisors, Jim Murphy and Don Deakin, on Friday voted against enforcement of the anti-sign rule.

“I am not comfortable with taking away the freedom of speech from our residents,” Deakin said.

However, Deakin and Murphy were outnumbered by Weiner, Mark Hayes and Cary Sternberg, who were in favor of enforcement.

When enforcement begins, it will be complaint-driven. For instance, if a homeowner has a sign in his yard and no one complains, the sign can remain. If there is a complaint, Community Standards would begin the enforcement process.

The change will take some time to implement. It could be February before all of the procedural steps have taken place and enforcement can begin.

Once the change is finalized, Community Development District 1 will be the only CDD not enforcing the sign rule in The Villages.