Neighbors in The Villages are battling over a large birdcage that does not abide by the original plan submitted to the Architectural Review Committee.
John Reinert, who lives at 2202 Pilar Place in the Pilar Villas in the Village of Bonita, spoke out Thursday morning during a public hearing before the Community Development District 7 Board of Supervisors.
The courtyard villa in question is located at 2196 Pilar Place and owned by Earl Behringer.
A complaint was received Feb. 24 about the size of Behringer’s birdcage and concrete pad, which are not in compliance with the 2019 application he presented to the ARC.
Reinert said he went on a cruise and when he came back, he was shocked at the work that had taken place at his neighbor’s home.
“We came back and and the whole yard was covered with concrete,” Reinert said.
He said his neighbor’s concrete-covered yard has caused flooding in his yard.
“It has cost us in the thousands,” he said.
Reinert said the flooding damaged his swimming pool.
He also told the board he believes the house will soon be on the market. Behringer bought the villa for $220,000 in 2018. He receives the property tax bill at his home in New York.
“It is my belief that the house is going up for sale. Some innocent bystander could buy that house and find all of these violations on their back,” Reinert said.
It’s been a tense situation between the neighbors. Behringer retained the law firm Bogin, Munns & Munns to represent him as he believes Reinert has been “harassing” him.
Reinert was at Thursday’s public hearing at Savannah Center. Behringer was not there and neither was his attorney.
Behringer has conceded there is a problem with the birdcage and concrete pad and is going back before the ARC on May 19 with a fresh application.
The CDD 7 board chose to continue the case until June, pending the outcome of the new ARC application.
In 2016, a Village of Calumet Grove man was forced to dismantle his oversized 12-year-old birdcage after a neighbor’s complaint.