Our guest speaker January 2016, was Candice Dennis from The Villages Community Standards Department which is made up of two divisions: Architectural Review and Deed Compliance. Any request for exterior modification needs approval. The Architectural Application Form must be accompanied with:
- proof of ownership such as current tax bill, deed or property record card.
- a site plan which indicates easements and setback areas. An overlay on the site plan is permitted.
To get help with the requests, residents can come to the office at 984 Old Mill Run in Lake Sumter Landing or call 352-751-3912.
The ARC, Architectural Review Committee is appointed by the District Board of Supervisors. The ARC approves or denies landscaping (and other) requests depending on the various policies from Districts 1-9 and VCCDD for Lady Lake/Lake County portions of The Villages. As The Villages grows there could be changes in exactly as this is controlled. You must check The Villages web site for the current situation.
If you don't know your district number, look here.
If a landscaper says you don’t need a request, they are incorrect; get approval anyway. Some examples of when a request is needed:
- removal of a tree especially a canopy tree over 4 inches in diameter
- replanting a tree which has died and been removed
- a compost bin
- a rain barrel
ARC Committee Meeting
The committee reviews approximately 100 requests a week, and meets weekly in Lake Sumter Landing at 8:00 on Wednesday mornings. Any Villager, including those who have requests, can come to the meetings (and requesters can make any explanations when necessary). If a Villager submits a request by noon on a Thursday, the request will go before the committee on the next Wednesday.
It is in your best interest to attend and present all relevant information to the ARC
Role of Community Watch
The other division in Community Standards is Deed Compliance--Public Safety, including Community Watch, does NOT look for deed violations. If a violation is reported, this is the department that investigates and determines the steps necessary to create compliance.
Helpful Documents from The Villages
Florida Statute 373.185
Florida Law 373.185 supersedes any laws made by homeowner associations prohibiting the property owner from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping on his or her land. (Effective 7/1/09.) Florida-friendly refers to drought-tolerant plants. (Sod can be replaced with these plants and different types of mulch can be used as an accent.)
Florida Statute 373.185 states: "A deed restriction or covenant may not prohibit or be enforced to prohibit any property owner from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping on his or her land. (Effective 7/1/09)"
From our district documents - The Villages External Deed Restriction Standards: “Florida-Friendly Landscaping is permitted as a substitute for sod”
University of Florida Explanation of Florida Statute 373.185