of The Villages-News
By Meta Minton
Published June 14, 2020
The Community Development District 5 Board of Supervisors
have split 3-2 on the forced removal of a Villager’s nearly 15-year-old
Thomas Rinker purchased his home in 2005 at 1462 Pelican Path
in the Village of Sunset Pointe. One year later, he had a contractor put in
landscaping that was partially located in Sumter County’s right of way.
Rinker’s neighbors packed a public hearing Friday morning at Savannah Center
where CDD 5 supervisors were charged with the responsibility of determining
whether a deed violation had occurred.
Rinker made a passionate plea to keep his landscaping in place, a plea that was
clearly supported by his neighbors. Rinker presented paperwork he said he
obtained from the county and supported his contention that he was not in
violation. However, there were gaps in the paperwork and its source.
“Everything is muddled between ‘county’ and ‘deed restriction,’” said CDD 5
Supervisor Walter Martin.
Rinker admitted he did not seek approval from the
Architectural Review Committee when he had the landscaping installed.
Villager Thomas Rinker testifies Friday morning at the
podium regarding his landscaping.
However, Rinker said everything was fine until a troll came by his home and
turned him in.
“It’s been there for 15 years. Your white (Community Watch) trucks have driven
right by it all these years,” Rinker said.
CDD 5 resident Lee Gilpin of the Village of Liberty Park said
the paperwork given to Villagers at the time of the purchase of their homes is
“The wording in the documents we got when we bought our houses is hard to
understand. There should be some reasonableness in this case,” Gilpin told the
board. “This has been going on so long. I don’t think the family/the Developer
wants you to make a decision like this.”
The board split 3-2 with the majority voting to give Rinker 45 days to bring the
property into compliance. If not, he will be fined $150 followed by a $50 daily
fine until the landscaping is removed.
Those voting for the removal of the landscaping were Supervisors Gary Kadow,
Jerry Knoll and Chuck Wildzunas. Those opposed were Supervisors Gerald Ferlisi
and Walter Martin.
Kadow asked that Community Standards work with Rinker to make the transition as
easy as possible.
The disputed landscaping at Thomas Rinker’s home in the
Village of Sunset Pointe.
“This is not always an easy thing to do. There is no question
you did it with a good heart.” Kadow told Rinker.