Overflow crowd shouts down plan for apartments at Spanish Springs

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  #1  
Old 09-14-2020, 10:19 PM
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Default Overflow crowd shouts down plan for apartments at Spanish Springs

The above thread title was cut and pasted from the on-line news site. Very interesting!

Apparently the residents of the Villages are starting to take a stand on certain actions that are less than appealing to their marketed retirement plans/dreams.

First the Sumter Commissioner puppets (who voted for a 25% tax increase in lieu of Developer impact fees) got ousted. And now residents are obviously very unhappy that their coveted single family residential neighborhoods might be turned into mixed use neighborhoods, commingled with high density rental apartment complexes. Existing amenity opportunities and transportation infrastructure are becoming inadequate by increased population density. If the family quietly tried to get approval to build a few apartments on the second floor of buildings in already Commercial districts like SS and LSL, they most likely would have slipped through relatively unnoticed. But they opened up a huge can of whoop a$$ with the whole Hacienda Hills thing, and woke a sleeping giant.

Unhappy existing residents are not a good thing when the word gets out and prospective new home buyers sense that the tide is changing in Florida's Formerly Friendliest Hometown.

Does anyone else sense that the good will that Gary Morse built on the family's balance sheet is rapidly running dry???? Stay tuned.
  #2  
Old 09-14-2020, 11:49 PM
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Are you saying deed restrictions flow in both directions? Explicit and implicit.
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:28 AM
cgilcreast cgilcreast is offline
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I for one am appalled at the apartments at Brownwood. The number of folks there during the season will make the town square totally inaccessible for dining and watching the shows. Disgusted. I agree that Florida's "Friendly Town" is slowly turning into a big city, something I came here to get away from.
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:49 AM
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"There are four buildings at Spanish Springs being considered for second floor apartments. They include The Villages Daily Sun offices over Margarita Republic and over Demshar’s/Dunkin Donuts as well as space at La Reina Building, which houses MVP Athletic Club. The fourth building is the Van Patten Building, home of the now-closed Katie Belle’s.

Dzuro revealed The Villages will seek a similar approval from the Sumter County Commission for “multi-family” housing at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square." Per the on line news this AM.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:26 AM
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the continuous growth of homes and now the introduction of these apartments is certainly going to make it more difficult to get a seat at any of the squares once the nightly music returns and tickets for shows at The Sharon and The Savannah will be tougher to get

Based upon what was in place when we moved here I would have thought that with the expansion in the Southern Oaks region they would have built another 'square' and provided another venue for concerts and restaurants. More golf courses, pickleball courts and softball fields only go so far. There's a large segment of TV residents that don't partake of these things for various reasons.

Had we foreseen this degree of expansion and really thought about it, we very well might have located somewhere else

We left a house on a canal in Ft Lauderdale because of the traffic resulting from the continual development of high rises condos on golf courses that went under

I suspect that once the Lofts in Brownwood are fully occupied that square will be pretty much like what 'spring break' was like in Ft Lauderdale years ago....jammed packed.

We're fine for now, but certainly don't have deep enough roots here to be 'wedded' to TV forever
  #6  
Old 09-15-2020, 07:30 AM
JoelJohnson JoelJohnson is offline
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Refer to the golden rule (from an old friend) "He who owns the gold, makes the rules!"
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:38 AM
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I have no idea when and if, but the next 'Evening with the Developer' should be a lively affair!
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgilcreast View Post
I for one am appalled at the apartments at Brownwood. The number of folks there during the season will make the town square totally inaccessible for dining and watching the shows.

Brownwood.............less than 500 apartments impacting 50,000 (1/3 of the population) people at one of three town squares. Yep, the sky is falling.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:15 AM
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Default This is directly copied word for word from the article.

"An overflow crowd showed up Monday night to protest apartments planned at Spanish Springs Town Square in The Villages.

The Lady Lake Planning and Zoning Board played host to the large crowd, which was there demanding answers about apartments being considered at the town square. The application from The Villages of Lake Sumter Inc. indicated the request was being fueled by a lack of demand for commercial space on the second floor of buildings in Spanish Springs Town Square, that would include Katie Belle’s which closed earlier this year. The Villages blamed the Coronavirus for the shuttering of the famed Villagers-only club.


However, Villages Vice President Marty Dzuro contradicted that argument when speaking before the Planning and Zoning Board.

He conceded that other than Katie Belle’s there are “no vacancies” on the second floor of buildings at Spanish Springs.


Darrin Taylor of Tallahassee consulting firm Carlton Fields, left, and Marty Dzuro, at podium, make the case for apartments before the Lady Lake Planning and Zoning Board.
“Katie Belle’s closed during the virus and it won’t reopen. It’s vacant there, so that is the first place we would try the apartments,” Dzuro said.

He said The Villages made the decision to pursue apartments due to requests it was receiving and based on the “success” of The Lofts at Brownwood.

He said there are four buildings at Spanish Springs being considered for second floor apartments. They include The Villages Daily Sun offices over Margarita Republic and over Demshar’s/Dunkin Donuts as well as space at La Reina Building, which houses MVP Athletic Club. The fourth building is the Van Patten Building, home of the now-closed Katie Belle’s.

Dzuro revealed The Villages will seek a similar approval from the Sumter County Commission for “multi-family” housing at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square.

Darrin Taylor of Tallahassee consulting firm Carlton Fields, representing The Villages, said nothing would be “taken away” from residents and the apartments would simply be an “addition.”

Speakers lined up at the podium to express their opposition to apartments.

For starters, they pointed to businesses closing in Spanish Springs, including TooJay’s Deli and Demshar’s restaurant. Residents questioned whether The Villages had done anything to provide support for those businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

They also pointed to the fact that music has been shut down at the square since March due to Coronavirus. Some wondered if the music would ever return.

Villager Pat Murphy said she came to The Villages because it was considered Disneyland for adults.

“I am very disappointed in The Villages. The promises are broken. What we came here for, isn’t here anymore,” she said.

Villager Glenn Mead said the attraction of The Villages was that it was a planned community.

“You could see where everything was. You knew how was it was going to work,” Mead said.

He said allowing “multi-family” housing in the square would be the equivalent of the camel’s nose under the tent.

“What will they do next?” he asked.

Others said they feared The Villages would “sneak in” language that would be detrimental to the desires of residents.

“If this is so complicated we can’t understand it, do you all know what you’d be voting on?” Patsy Oburn of The Villages asked the members of the Planning and Zoning Board.


Villagers ask questions about planned apartments during Monday’s Lady Lake Planning and Zoning Board. They were pointing at images projected on the screen.
“My point is that there are questions that people sitting here don’t have answers. And we are not stupid people,” Oburn said

Planning and Zoning member Nora Choquette made a motion that the request for “multi-family” housing apartments be denied.

Fellow members William Sigurdson and Regis LeCler agreed. They were the only three of the five Planning and Zoning Board members present at the meeting.


Lady Lake Commissioner Paul Hannan, right, talks to Marty Dzuro of The Villages on Monday night about apartments planned at Spanish Springs Town Square.
The board serves in an advisory capacity to the Lady Lake Commission. The commission is not bound by the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Board.

Residents take down four-story apartment building as collateral damage

Caught up in the anti-apartment furor at the meeting were the Lady Lake Apartments, a project not connected to The Villages. The Benchmark Group of New York is seeking a variance to allow a four-story apartment building, part of a complex to be built behind Sam’s Club.

Residents took out their frustration on the Benchmark apartment project.

“I don’t feel like we are valued. We don’t want a fourth story,” said Erin Kellett of The Historic Side of The Villages.

Others agreed.

“I don’t want buildings higher than three stories. Are you listening to us?” asked Jerry Lowe of Lady Lake.


Regis LeClerc
Planning and Zoning Board member LeClerc was listening.

He recommended denial of the variance that would have allowed the fourth floor.

The Planning and Zoning Board voted 3-0 against the fourth-story for the apartment building.

The Benchmark Group has a stellar relationship with the commission. The company could still persuade the commission to allow the fourth floor.

In 2018, the Benchmark Group of New York acquired the 44-acre parcel of land where the apartments will be located. Benchmark is also the developer of Villages Crossroads, Lady Lake Crossings and most recently Lady Lake Commons. Benchmark also developed the Lady Lake Sam’s Club Shopping Center and Texas Roadhouse."
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2020, 08:44 AM
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Not what we expected when we moved here earlier this year
  #11  
Old 09-15-2020, 09:06 AM
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Patience, patience, patience. The Covid-19 has really messed with people's patience. The Covid-19 screwed up a lot of the activities that are attractive to most of us. Those will return once the Covid-19 virus is under control. We miss the Savannah Center, the Sharon, eating in at restaurants, seldom go to the squares; but we will eventually return to normal. Restaurants cannot survive without people eating there. Support them by doing carry out if you don't feel comfortable eating in. When Covid is over, support them by eating in if you don't want more to close. Empty retail space does not provide any revenue to cover property taxes or insurance or return on investment. Apartments, if done well in the second story space, will minimally affect the Spanish Spring square.
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  #12  
Old 09-15-2020, 11:58 AM
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What a waste of people's efforts - you cannot fight City Hall and if apartments are going to be built in TV, thank goodness the developer is going to build them. They have never built anything that was not of the finest style. As for the statement of adding too many people to the Squares at night, in my opinion the type of people who will be able to afford these apartments are not likely to be out there line dancing and taking up space every night of the week. I do, however, think the restaurants are oing to have to take it up a notch to attract the apartment dwellers, because right now there is not much in the way of specialty dining in either square.

My final word on the subject is WE do not have any rights. If you own a home in The Villages you actually only own the house and the land it is built on. It is exactly the same as wherever you originally came from.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:25 PM
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At least T.V. is not stagnate and dying...When the time comes, might sell the designer and yard, and buy a "maintenance free" apt.....

Last edited by Villagevip; 09-15-2020 at 01:35 PM. Reason: second thoughts..
  #14  
Old 09-15-2020, 01:48 PM
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When was the last time that an audience changed the outcome of anything? I'm not being cute just inquiring. Has it ever happened in the history of The Villages? If it has Bravo if not calm down have a nice meal and be nice to your new neighbors. Everybody has to live somewhere. Sometime around February of 2021, I will be in the market for a nice home or a fixer-upper around the construction site in case the overflow crowd decides to flow down the road. Since this building is going to ruin lives I expect a smoking deal.

Many of my friends are against this new construction. I don't want to be mean but if I owned the joint you wouldn't be telling me what to build there. Not a chance.

Like so many things before this case, I'm sure things will end up being first-class and just fine. I live in the Historic Section and expect this to impact my travel times greatly. SO WHAT!
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewilson58 View Post
Brownwood.............less than 500 apartments impacting 50,000 (1/3 of the population) people at one of three town squares. Yep, the sky is falling.
500 so far. Stay tuned......
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