The battle over the little white cross displayed on thousands of homes across The Villages appears to have come to an end.
The Villages appears to have dropped the deed-restriction enforcement against Wayne and Bonnie Anderson, of Tamarind Grove. It appears The Villages has thankfully had a change of heart.
With this apparent end of the controversy, the Andersons want to tell Villagers far and wide, thank you so much for all your prayers and support during this ordeal.
And what an ordeal it was.
Here’s a look back. The Villages took action last summer against the Andersons, ordering them to remove their little white cross from their property or face dire financial consequences.
The Andersons respectfully declined, holding firm to their convictions of faith and their legal right to display a “reasonable” yard ornament under state and federal laws.
After hearing from over 100 Villagers at a public hearing last August, the District 8 commissioners unanimously voted for an immediate $50 fine, and another fine of $25 a day until it reached $1,500 and then they would place a lien on the Andersons’ property.
Community Standards sent punitive bills, and the Andersons turned to the famed American Center for Law & Justice, where President Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow is chief counsel.
The ACLJ stepped in to defend the Andersons. The national firm contacted The Villages, informing them the Andersons have the legal right to reasonably display their little white cross and spinning parrot on their private property.
After a short exchange of legal discussion, The Villages declined to respond further to the ACLJ. Thus, it appears they have happily closed the case.
To date, more than 38,000 crosses have been distributed throughout The Villages. Ironically, they are made in The Villages’ carpenter shop.
Some Villagers have told the Andersons they should comply with the deed restriction because they signed a “contract” with The Villages when they moved in. But the unreasonable yard-ornament ban in the contract does not comply with homeowners’ protections under state and federal law, so this part of the contract is not “enforceable.”
It’s also noteworthy, after the contentious public hearing, a board member expressed that he wished a commission of homeowners and officials could be formed to end the controversial deed restriction and the hated anonymous-complaint process.
The Andersons wholly wish the same and stand ready to serve The Villages and all its residents in that spirit expressed in the Bible: “Come, let us reason together.”
For more information, please contact homeowner Wayne Anderson at email@example.com.
In addition, Villagers may also contact the American Center for Law & Justice at www.aclj.org.
Wayne Anderson is a resident of the Village of Tamarind Grove.