The Community Development District 5 Board of Supervisors has taken a step toward being empowered to take emergency action on abandoned homes in The Villages.
“One of the biggest problems we have here is abandoned homes,” said CDD 5 Board of Supervisors Chairman Gary Kadow.
During Friday’s board meeting, Kadow pointed to an apparently abandoned home at 2424 Due West Drive in the Village of Lynnhaven.
“This person just disappeared. We don’t know if this person is alive or dead,” Kadow said.
The grass and weeds are nearly knee high and rodents are running rampant at the property.
Kadow said the home has become a health and safety hazard.
He said that he is well aware that residents are frustrated with the length of time it is taking to address abandoned homes. That process can be drawn out due to reverse mortgages, foreclosures, probate and questions over ownership.
The board members unanimously agreed to ask their attorney Mark Brionez to update language in their rules empowering the board to take immediate action when homes are in such bad shape they present a health and safety hazard in the neighborhood.
Village of Liberty Park resident Lee Gilpin said he had driven by the home at 2424 Due West Drive on his way Friday morning to the CDD 5 meeting at SeaBreeze Recreation Center. He agreed that the property is in terrible shape. He asked why Community Watch is not taking on the responsibility of reporting deed compliance violations at homes.
“There is no reason why that Community Watch can’t report this. They are not doing one of the most important things that they are charged to do,” Gilpin said.
However, Kadow clarified that reporting deed compliance violations is not the responsibility of Community Watch.
Kadow encouraged residents to “pick up the phone” and report problems that they see.