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The Villages
Thursday, April 25, 2024

Villager operating business at his home under more pressure from county

Sumter County is seeking a permanent injunction to close down a golf cart repair and resale business operating out of a Village of Sanibel home.

Last month, commissioners authorized County Attorney Jennifer Rey to request an injunction against the business, which has operated off and on since 2016.

Charles Abisalih is the owner of the home at 834 Journey Lane.

He was served a summons on March 14 and has 20 days to respond. A summons also was issued for a spouse or unknown associates, but Abisalih said he lives alone and is not married.

This home on Journey Lane in the Village of Sanibel had golf carts and trailers in the driveway on Tuesday morning
The owner of this home on Journey Lane in the Village of Sanibel is under heavy pressure from Sumter County officials.

Neighbors told commissioners last month that sometimes a dozen or more golf carts are parked in the driveway or in the street.

Rey’s complaint seeking the injunction describes repeated unsuccessful attempts to close the business by the county and The Villages over the past eight years.

The county attorney wrote that Abisalih has demonstrated a “flagrant disregard” for the Sumter County Code.

“Defendants have established a pattern of resuming the operation of the Golf Cart Repair and Re-sale business after each code enforcement action has been resolved despite having full knowledge that the operation is not a permissible use,” the complaint stated.

Continued operation of the business causes “traffic, encroachment and blockages of safe passage in the streets, and other nuisances in the residential neighborhood,” according to the complaint.

The Villages served notices six times between 2016 and January that the golf cart business violates deed restrictions.

The county brought code enforcement actions in 2018, 2019, 2022 and 2023. Each time, the business ceased operation temporarily.

Sumter County is seeking a temporary injunction to close the business until the right to a permanent injunction is determined. It also is seeking a daily fine of $50 for violations of the injunction, damages and attorney’s fees.

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