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The Villages

Supervisors decide to put limit on ‘trolls’ in CDD 7

Community Development District 7 supervisors have decided to try to put a limit on trolls within their jurisdiction.

The CDD 7 board agreed on Thursday to limit deed compliance complaints to one complaint per phone call. This is a change to CDD 7’s rules, therefore it will have to go through the rule change process and will be formally voted in December. The process will allow for public comment prior to the vote.

Supervisor Stephen Lapp described an incident a few years ago in which a troll called Community Standards and lodged 37 deed compliance complaints during a single phone call.

The Village of Hemingway resident said he was intimately familiar with that situation because it happened in his neighborhood.

He suggested that limiting the number of violations that could be reported per phone call could discourage trolls, if they had to hang up and call again for each violation to be reported.

He said he is afraid the situation has reached a boiling point.

“If we continue to let these trolls do what they are doing, we are going to have confrontations and it could get really ugly,” he warned.

Lapp suggested rather than relying on neighbors to report neighbors, CDD 7 consider returning to a system in which Community Watch patrols for deed compliance violations.

“You would have a riot,” predicted Supervisor William VonDohlen.

Carrie Duckett, who oversees Community Standards, warned that using Community Watch would be costly, potentially up to $250,000 per year. That would have to be funded with an increase in the maintenance assessment fees paid by CDD 7 residents. CDD 7 includes the Villages of Hemingway, Hadley, Duval and Bonita.

Duckett presented evidence aimed at convincing the supervisors that the troll problem is overblown. You can see her presentation at this link: Deed_Compliance_Comparison_October_2020

She also said that the vast majority of complaints are resolved by having the homeowner voluntarily come into compliance.

“Most people want to bring their property into compliance,” Duckett said.

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