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The Villages
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Eight homes targeted by trolls topic of public hearings in The Villages

Eight homes targeted by trolls were the topic of public hearings Friday morning in The Villages.

Community Development District 2 supervisors held a special meeting at Savannah Center devoted specifically to the patio villas with illicit stone rather than sod.

The eight patio villas in La Cresenta Villas were reported in February to Community Standards by an anonymous complainer. There were more homes reported in the villa community, but they have come into compliance.

This home in the La Cresenta Villa was found to be out of compliance due to the stone landscaping
This home in the La Cresenta Villa was found to be out of compliance due to the stone landscaping.

All of the homeowners at the public hearings told essentially the same story. They bought their home with the stone already in place. Many of them were sold to them by Properties of The Villages representatives who specifically touted the low maintenance of the stone. The homeowners said they had no idea the homes were not in compliance at the time of purchase.

Garry Mang purchased his villa in 2022 from a Properties of The Villages representative.

“I don’t know how you sell me a property for $285,000 and then eight months later tell me I am not in compliance. It’s not right,” Mang said.

Homeowner Thomas Murnane said he thought he moved to Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

“I got a divorce and moved here for a new start. Now I am going to sell my house and bad mouth The Villages all over the place. This is not how you treat people,” he said.

James Burns said Properties of The Villages sold him his villa.

“I purchased the home with the stones there with the encouragement of a representative of The Villages,” Burns said. “We were sold the home with the stones already there. We bought the homes because of the low maintenance of the stones and the fact that they looked good.”

Corinne Rueckert Jordan bought her home in 2022 with the stones already in place.

“There was no indication from the seller that the home was not in compliance,” she said.

She said she and her neighbors were victims of the notorious “two ladies in a golf cart with a clipboard.”

CDD 2 Board Chairman Bart Zoellner said he was sympathetic to the homeowners.

“Every one of these is an unfortunate situation. I empathize with you. But there’s nothing we can about it,” Zoellner said.

However, he pointed out that CDD 2 recently decided to abandon the anonymous complaint system.

The homeowners were given 90 days to bring their homes into compliance.

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