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The Villages

Official contends residents need voice on important matters such as apartments

A Lady Lake Planning and Zoning member is arguing that residents need a voice on emotional matters like apartments at Spanish Springs Town Square, even after he took a public whipping Monday night.

Paul Hannan

Lady Lake Commissioner Paul Hannan lashed out at the town’s Planning and Zoning Board after last week’s emotionally charged meeting over The Villages Developer’s plan to convert commercial space at town square to residential apartments. The Planning and Zoning Board voted 3-0 against the apartments.

Hannan called last week’s meeting a “total embarrassment.” He went so far as to suggest that the all-volunteer Planning and Zoning Board be disbanded. The commission is not bound by the board’s recommendations as it acts merely in an advisory capacity.

“I believe nothing was accomplished. Absolutely nothing. What came out of that meeting won’t make a difference,” Hannan said.

The longtime commissioner suggested that the board’s chairman, William Sigurdson, lost control of the meeting due to the large, rowdy crowd.

Regis LeClerc

Planning and Zoning Board member Regis LeClerc took to the microphone to rebut Hannan’s remarks. LeClerc pointed on that there were fewer than 15 people in the audience for that evening’s commission meeting, as opposed to the massive crowd a week earlier that spilled out onto the front lawn of Lady Lake Town Hall.

“We give the people of Lady Lake the chance to express their opinion. It is up to you if you want to keep the Planning and Zoning board going. I think it is necessary. Otherwise, the people don’t have a voice,” LeClerc said.

Commissioner Dan Vincent stood up and applauded Leclerc.

“They are not professionals. They are just plain citizens trying to do the right thing. I thank them. I praise them for giving their time. I value their opinion,” Vincent said of the members of the Planning and Zoning Board.

After the meeting disbanded, Commissioner Ruth Kussard chased down LeClerc in the parking lot. She shook his hand and thanked him for his years of service on the board.

Commissioner Tony Holden also thanked LeClerc for his service.

Hannan has previously spoken out against the Planning and Zoning Board.

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