Lakeshore Cottages residents are registering their opposition to a plan for apartments at Lake Sumter Landing.
The homeowners have spoken out ahead of a Tuesday meeting of the Sumter County Commission where the matter is on the agenda.
“This project will be right in my backyard. I am not opposed to growth or building homes, but if you look at the other multi-family units that have been built or are proposed, they do not impact established residences like this project will do. The Lofts at Brownwood, no homes impacted. The proposal at Hacienda is basically in an existing parking lot where no homes are impacted,” said George Angel of 932 Cottage Drive.
Like many of his neighbors, he is concerned about the impact the influx of apartments could have on traffic in an already-congested area of The Villages.
“I also believe that the proposal is being rushed through in order to take advantage of the current members on the county board of commissioners. I think this proposal of zoning changes from commercial to multi-use should be made after the elections in November, so that the newly elected commissioners can look at the proposal more objectively,” said Angel, who purchased his cottage in 2017 for $706,000.
Deborah Shaw who lives on Fish Camp Road in the Lakeshore Cottages said the prestigious section of The Villages is already treated like a port-of-call.
“Since we really are the only homes everyone goes out of their way to see, since they are different than anyone else’s in The Villages, our pool has been invaded by everyone. When bands play in the square it’s as if a Carnival Cruise ship landed. There is no enforced security,” said Shaw, whose home has a market value of $558,170.
Donna Puthoff and her husband purchased a home in the Lakeshore Cottages because they thought sitting on their back porch would be healthy. However, heavy traffic and fumes from the multi-modal path and Lake Shore Drive have forced most cottage owners to glass in their porches. She said people rarely use their back porches because it is so unpleasant. She contends apartments would worsen the traffic situation.
“There is already a lack of parking in the town square especially in the evening. If more housing options are added, it is probable that each additional housing unit would bring two more automobiles, as well as the distinct possibility for golf carts taking up parking spaces to the already overcrowded town square parking,” she said.
They purchased their cottage in 2012 for $529,900.
The Sumter County Commission will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Everglades Recreation Center in the Village of Fenney.