I have provided services to many Villagers over the past five years, some of them becoming good friends of mine.
So I have heard the good and the bad of what its like to be a resident of The Villages from a broad spectrum of people.
The main issues I’ve seen with the anonymous complaint system, is how it has been weaponized by certain people in an attempt to make someone’s life very hard, often costing them large sums of money, and over very petty things.
If you study the regulations and rules, you will find that a large part of The Villages is out of compliance, however some of these are a welcoming sight as they include extravagant landscaping islands and beautiful extended patios of high dollar pavers that may extend just a bit over what the rules say is allowed.
These things are not enforced by Community Standards, that is, as long as there isn’t a complaint. And more often than not these complaints are not because a neighbor has an issue with you having that cool flamingo in your front yard, but because of you. They decided they don’t like you and they call Community Standards. Now all the rules will be enforced on your property. That nice patio you put in that you enjoy hosting your neighbors on Wine Night? Rip it out, and buy some sod and lay it down. Get that mulch out of your beds, it’s supposed to be pine straw. And get that flamingo outta here!
I have personally been paid to do these things. And I felt bad doing it. After hearing the stories, I have come down to one understanding.
A lot of people avoid confrontation at all costs, but if they have a way to ruin your life without facing consequence for it, they will. This woman having a sign about her being a troll isn’t because she told on him. Its because she called the law before telling him that they had an issue with his yard.
I’m sure that if that had happened the man would’ve cleaned up. Or maybe he can’t. Then it would be a neighborly thing to do to help him figure out a solution. Calling Community Standards on him will only exacerbate the polarity and make the person who called look like the villain and cause him to build resentment towards his neighbors, rather than feel like he is part of a community.
I would assume that people who made it as far as they did in life as to make it to retirement in The Villages, would be nicer to each other. Be more patient and kind, since life teaches us that love conquers all. Be kind to your neighbors, communicate, and if that doesn’t work? Then call Community Standards. But they shouldn’t be your first line of defense or course of action.
Anthony Stokley operates Stokley Services.