An irate dog owner tore down a “no trespassing” sign within the first day it was erected at the future site of a new recreation center in The Villages.
The good news is that it appears to be the lone act of vandalism which has occurred at the site of the First Responders Recreation Center at the home of the former First Baptist Church in The Villages.
AAC member Don Deakin said the dog owners appear to be getting the message.
“The participation up there is decreasing,” he said.
The Amenity Authority Committee voted this summer to put up the “no trespassing” signs at the 20-acre property due to concerns about potential liability.
Years ago, dogs and their human companions were welcome on the property, thanks to the hospitality of the church. However, the church had a change of policy and put up signs informing dog owners they were no longer welcome. After the AAC bought the land, dog owners gradually returned to their former routine of exercising their pooches on the property.
It is clear that dog owners aren’t happy about the decision to shut them out of the open space. The “no trespassing” signs were intended to send a message.
“This is a public education opportunity,” said District Manager Richard Baier.
If trespassers are spotted on the land, or the land of nearby property owners, there is the strong likelihood that the Marion County Sheriff’s Office will be contacted.