Villager’s Turf Grass has caused a firestorm

Shirley Schwartz

Turf Grass is very Florida Friendly. It uses no water, no fertilizer and no Round-up. 

Also, it is exceptionally attractive and no weeds have been detected in the three months I have had it. 

Another plus was just brought to my attention. Dogs won’t come near it.  They won’t even walk on it let alone do their business on it. 

I don’t see a negative other than a rule which may be an old outdated rule that has been in The Villages’ Deed for 25 years. In reading the Deed Restrictions on all of our Deeds, it states drought-tolerant but says nothing about rocks. However, we can have rocks. The Architectural Review Committee can pick and choose and it has no common sense. 

This Turf Grass was put down at Shirley Schwartz’s home in the Edgewater Bungalows.

I’d like to explain the process and expense of having this type of lawn. 

It cost $4,000 to install, so not all Villagers will consider it. First, two men dug down 12 inches and hauled the dirt away. Then they took out the sprinkling system, then black breathable tarp/fabric was put down.  Then 11 inches of dust-type sand was packed down with a large noisy compactor machine that was used that took many hours. It was as hard as concrete when they finished. Then more breathable fabric/tarp was put down with U-shaped cleats. This process cost $3,700. The grass was laid down and stretched like carpet in our homes and approximately 300 U-shaped cleats 8 inches long were installed using a large ball-pen hammer. This carpet will never move due to storms. The grass was $300. If it ever needs to be replaced it really isn’t that expensive, but must be done professionally.

All Villages Deed Restrictions state:  

Owners are encouraged to and may add landscape that is more water-conservative and drought-tolerant than originally provided.

How could anything be more perfect than this application? It covers on all points of the Deed ruling. In reading the Deed Restriction ruling – nowhere does it say rock/gravel is acceptable.

I would like to understand why rocks are acceptable and Turf Grass isn’t. I went before the Community Development District 6 Board, but they never attempted to explain their position. And to my knowledge none of the members came out to view the installed application before ruling against it.

The Villages rents a space in the town squares to sell this product to us and there are many Villagers who already have it. I drove around and viewed identical installations and determined it to be absolutely beautiful. I was sold due to the lack of chemical type carcinogens going into the lakes. I try every day not to leave a big footprint on this delicate earth we call home. 

I have solar panels all over my roof for the same reason. If I live to be 200 the panels will pay for themselves, but I’m happy not to be using our nation’s energy.

I am being forced to remove the Turf Grass and install rock/gravel. Then I will be forced to use carcinogen Round-Up so it won’t be full of weeds. This is against everything I stand for. In reading the Deed Restriction ruling, nowhere does it say rock/gravel is acceptable. It only mentions sod.

If you are interested in seeing the application, it’s in the Edgewater Bungalows next door to the Waterfront Inn hotel in Sumter. Do hurry! I’m in a $150 per day penalty, so I must take it out soon.

Shirley Schwartz is a resident of the  Edgewater Bungalows.

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