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The Villages
Friday, August 19, 2022

Villager to appeal to ARC in bid to keep illicit addition to patio villa

A Villager will appeal to the Architectural Review Committee in a bid to keep an illicit addition to his patio villa.

Youssef El-Masry, who lives at 2164 Estevez Drive in Villa Vera Cruz in the Village of Santiago, appeared Friday morning before the Community Development District 2 Board of Supervisors during a public hearing at Savannah Center.

He purchased the patio villa in 1997 for $73,200. He said he was offered the option to have a Florida room added to the home at the time of purchase. He said he turned down the Florida room at the time because he did not have the money to pay for it. He said they had come from the Chicago area and “we were tired of big houses.”

This addition was made to a patio villa
This addition was made to a patio villa.

However, his wife was in need of in-home care so he recently decided to make the addition, essentially enclosing a formerly screened-in area. During the public hearing, supervisors were shown photographs which clearly showed the non-matching color of the olive drab structure. A complaint about the illicit addition was received in March by Community Standards.

The difference in colors can be seen at the patio villa
The difference in colors can be seen at the patio villa.

“The mistake I made was I didn’t know I needed a permit. I listened to the construction company and they said I didn’t need it,” El-Masry told the board.

He claimed he later purchased a nearby villa which has the Florida room and he claimed his addition is “identical” to the dimensions of the other Florida room.

He has retroactively applied to the Architectural Review Committee for approval. CDD 2 Chairman Bart Zoellner encouraged El-Masry to take his case before the ARC, but also warned him to be armed with proper documentation.

However, Deputy District Manager Carrie Duckett said the ARC will not approve the Florida room extension based on the ARC manual.

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