67 F
The Villages
Sunday, April 18, 2021

Villagers furious about decision on 286-unit apartment building

Villagers who packed a more than three-hour meeting of the Amenity Authority Committee are furious with the vote on a 286-unit apartment building planned for the site of the demolished Hacienda Hills Country Club.

The AAC voted 4-1 Wednesday in favor of The Villages Developer using Villages-wide amenities for the future apartment dwellers.

A Villager had a sign of protest on his golf cart outside the AAC meeting at Savannah Center.

The agreement calls for the amenity fees collected from the renters to go to the Developer. It is estimated that revenue will total about $560,000 per year. However, the AAC will collect a little more than $14 per unit to help cover the costs of Community Watch and public safety.

It was clear that the Developer had vowed to put a parking garage or big box retailer at the Hacienda Hills site if the AAC did not go along with the apartment complex.

Villager Rick Fitzgerald addresses the AAC on Wednesday morning at Savannah Center.

Villagers lined up at the podium and did their best to try to persuade AAC members that residents’ concerns about traffic, declining property values and crime should outweigh the pressure exerted by the Developer.

Villagers suggested the AAC did not have enough information to make an informed decision.

“You don’t even know how tall the building is going to be. You are ready to vote on something of this magnitude without knowing all the facts?” asked Jean Wilson of the Village of Hacienda.

AAC member Don Deakin cast the lone vote in opposition to the proposal. AAC Chair Ann Forrester along with AAC members Carl Bell, Lowell Barker and John Wilcox voted in favor of it. Bell, Barker and Wilcox are lame ducks, previously having announced that they would not seek re-election to the resident committee.

After the vote, Villagers stormed out of the Savannah Center calling out, “This is B.S.” and “Harold Schwartz must be rolling over in his grave!”

The Developer previously had offered the Hacienda Hills site to the AAC for purchase at “full market value.” The AAC, under pressure from residents to pass on the offer, failed to make a deal with the Developer and the offer was taken off the table.

Restaurants in The Villages desperate due to staffing shortages

Restaurants in The Villages and across Florida are trimming their hours and offering drive-through only as they face an historic labor shortage.

Villagers’ daughter to appear on Food Network with Martha Stewart

A mother and father in The Villages are filled with pride as their daughter has been selected to appear with Martha Stewart on a Food Network cooking competition show. Villages-News.com's David Towns has the story.

Trendy coffee shop coming to Magnolia Plaza in The Villages

Foxtail Coffee Co. has reportedly signed a lease for a location at Magnolia Plaza at The Villages.

Restaurants in The Villages desperate due to staffing shortages

Restaurants in The Villages and across Florida are trimming their hours and offering drive-through only as they face an historic labor shortage.

Villagers’ daughter to appear on Food Network with Martha Stewart

A mother and father in The Villages are filled with pride as their daughter has been selected to appear with Martha Stewart on a Food Network cooking competition show. Villages-News.com's David Towns has the story.

Trendy coffee shop coming to Magnolia Plaza in The Villages

Foxtail Coffee Co. has reportedly signed a lease for a location at Magnolia Plaza at The Villages.

Ohio teen apprehended after chase on I-75 through Sumter and Marion counties

An Ohio teenager was apprehended after leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase Friday afternoon on Interstate 75 through Sumter and Marion counties.

3 more local residents die of COVID-19 as Florida reports 74 more fatalities

Florida added more than 6,300 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday as 74 more people succumbed to the virus across the Sunshine State.

Villager takes wild ancestry journey to find his father and half-siblings

It took more than 70 years for Villager Larry Moran to find out who his father was and learn that he had half-siblings. He met those siblings last week for the first time in a “family reunion.”

Lake Deaton debacle

A Village of Virginia Trace resident, in a Letter to the Editor, contends that Village of Lake Deaton residents should have known more than they claim they knew about actions of a fraudulent contractor.

Too many apartments springing up in The Villages

A man who describes himself as a “future homeowner” in The Villages contends there are too many apartment buildings going up in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Little pity for Villagers scammed by contractor

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of La Belle resident says he has little pity for the Villagers who claim they were scammed by a contractor who cut down trees in a protected wetland near their homes.