Noise, Light and Odor Pollution in The Villages


The article below is an excerpt from 50 Things to Think About Before Buying a Home in The Villages by The Villages resident Parker Sykes.

You can read the entire document here.

Noise Pollution

This consideration is often forgotten until it’s too late — be alert!

I guess everyone thinks about this issue a bit, but possibly not enough.

Don’t get caught neglecting this potential impact on home enjoyment and then either have to live with the consequences for years to come.

Everyone can understand the traffic noise if you decide to buy next to a busy road (don’t forget the substantial traffic pick-up during the peak winter months).

Some roadways are busier than others. The multi-modal paths are major golf cart arteries. County roads carry truck traffic in addition to cars. Now, some allowances can be made for the construction traffic during new neighborhood construction, as most of this should go away or move to a maintenance-only mode in the future.

If you buy a home with a neighbor backing directly up to you you may have considered the potential noise and privacy consequences of this arrangement.

Some neighbors are better (never go outside, are respectful of others, don’t play the TV or stereo loud, etc) or worse (the other extreme, i.e. neighbors from H…!) than others.

One thing you can’t absolutely be sure of is what type of neighbor you’ll have, not just now, but when/if the neighbor’s home changes hands over time.

What are other sources of noise? Are you familiar with the railroad noises that pervade the west side of The Villages? The north-south route paralleling highway 301 is a major Florida rail freight route.

Some people say this noise doesn’t bother them, and of course it is sporadic.

Be aware that depending on the prevailing winds on any given day you may notice this noise to a greater or lesser extent.

A possibly more significant noise issue has to do with the pickleball courts adjacent to the rec centers. The pinging noises can start very early in the morning and continue all day. Don’t assume that you will always be able to stay inside and avoid these and other noises.

Our homes aren’t perfect in terms of blocking all exterior sounds, especially through the windows.

I bet you never considered music to be a detractor?

In The Villages we love our music.

It’s even better if we can enjoy it while sitting outside enjoying a beverage or a meal.

Besides the potential of a neighbor playing their music too loud, don’t forget about the music originating from the Town Squares or the occasional Country Club outside event (luckily most Country Clubs are respectful and understand the negative impact of loud music on their residential neighbors and don’t allow, or at least severely restrict outside music).

If you decide to purchase close to The Polo field don’t forget the impact of the PA system sound carry.

Noise can also originate from nearby commercial establishments. It might be traffic noise or even the HVAC equipment on the rooftop or adjacent to a building.

Besides the noise factor associated with commercial developments, don’t forget that some commercial structures higher than a single story may impact some views.

This is especially troubling when residential areas are developed before the commercial ones are completed; and the actual commercial development is different than what was envisioned by the homeowners.

Light Pollution

Here’s an aspect that many people completely miss.

Light “pollution” can come from a street light or neighboring structure, but also can occur from car and golf cart headlights, depending on the street arrangement and home living space orientation.

The worst situations can occur at busy intersections with evening traffic making frequent turns.

As vehicles turn, the headlights “sweep” the houses in their path. If you intend minimal window treatment this could lead to a distraction after purchase.

What’s That Smell?

Odors can be a problem if you purchase downwind from one of the sewage treatment facilities interior to The Villages.

This isn’t always a problem in that they do a generally good job of managing this issue, but it is something to consider.

Also, the many retention ponds around The Villages have greater or lesser amounts of circulation (most are interconnected with others in ways that allow for level control and optimum irrigation storage).

When a pond is fairly stagnant, and plant/bacteria life gets a bit out of control, odors can be a problem.

Be aware that sales agents aren’t always well versed on these types of issues, and aren’t necessarily required to disclose a range of negatives when showing you lots/homes.

Remember, they act as seller’s agents, not buyer’s agents, so do your own due diligence before you purchase.

13 thoughts on “Noise, Light and Odor Pollution in The Villages”

  1. Who is responsible for cleaning out the trash that so called visitors throw into Paradise Lake. I bought water front property for the view of wildlife not the trash.

  2. Why isn’t the Historic section taken care of like the newer sections are? Tall grass, abandoned homes in disrepair etc. Those of us who live here pay our taxes and amenity feels just like everyone else. Personally .. The Historic side is a who lot friendlier than the newer side. I guess because we have less money we don’t count.

  3. We live off 466 Mission Hills , it’s so quiet where we live you would think because of 466 we would hear the traffic but no. As far as music I love my music . I can hear the music from the square in my backyard it just reminds me what a happy place we live in. I have a pool and once in a while I do put my music while I am swimming or have company over. I think as long as you have respect for your neighbors , you should be able to the music. We live in a retirement community but not everyone goes to sleep at 9. We should be able to play our music when we have company till 11 at least. Of course at a decent volume.

  4. Then we have to live with those pesky chirping birds. The beauty of the pristine roadways with the mowed lawns on either side. Hope you can deal with the beautiful artistic entrance ways to the communities / villages or the roundabouts. Then there is the nightly noise pollution emanating from the free concerts in the squares. Sometimes the smells from all of the fine restaurants gives one a false sense of hunger. Can you deal with it?

  5. A comment above by Allison states unequivocally that high tension wires cause cancer. That is simply incorrect. An excerpt from a scientific paper summarizing the work on this question said:

    “In 1995, the American Physical Society (APS) spoke out on the question of power-line EMFs and health effects. The APS policy statement reads, in part: “The scientific literature and the reports of reviews by other panels show no consistent, significant link between cancer and power line fields. While it is impossible to prove that no deleterious health effects occur from exposure to any environmental factor, it is necessary to demonstrate a consistent, significant, and causal relationship before one can conclude that such effects do occur. From this standpoint, the conjectures relating cancer to power line fields have not been scientifically substantiated.” (See APS Policy Statement 95.2 reaffirmed in 2005.)

    In 1999 the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council (NRC) published a review of the evidence from the EMF-RAPID program and concluded: “An earlier Research Council assessment of the available body of information on biological effects of power frequency magnetic fields (NRC 1997) led to the conclusion ‘that the current body of evidence does not show that exposure to these fields presents a human health hazard. . . .’ The new, largely unpublished contributions of the EMF RAPID program are consistent with that conclusion. . . . In view of the negative outcomes of EMF RAPID replication studies, it now appears even less likely that MFs [magnetic fields] in the normal domestic or occupational environment produce important health effects, including cancer.” (The NRC reports are accessible by searching for EMF at the NAS website.)

    1. Hi, Gary,

      You are citing opinions from 1995 and 1999 well over 10 years ago. Respectfully, I disagree with you and not only are those lines ugly to look at but, the voltage that goes through them are dangerous and could spark and burn your home down. If potential buyers have a choice they would not buy close to them and for me I would not buy at all if that was all that was available. Plus, they can be noisy. Lightening could spark fires when the lines are hit and depending on the proximity to a home could be an issue.

  6. William Kouvolo

    We stayed at The Villages for two months earlier this year. We purchased a map and marked it with notes regarding the different attributes and negatives of the many neighborhoods. We were amazed at the number of neighborhoods with high tension power lines running through them.

    After we returned home, the appearance of a large sink hole between two homes in The Villages hit the news. Now we have added a note regarding its location. Before we purchase, we need to learn more regarding sink hole insurance.

    Of course, every community has its pluses and minuses. We have found in our snowbird trips to The Villages that its pluses outweigh the minuses by a mile!

  7. High tension wires cause cancer. It is very important to review where your potential home is located for all the reasons stated here or your paradise living will become a nightmare and you will be moving out. No place is perfect but, if it looks to good to be true it usually is so everyone needs to their own homework separate and apart from the special interests there. Doing your own homework will insure reality living there and not the promoted senior citizen disneyland.

  8. in 12 years we love the Villages but have also found that renting just fits our needs. I love a lot about the villages but in renting for so long, I’ve seen or heard most of what is being said as well as we’ve rented all over and what we thought would have been a great location, looking back now…. NOT. Just another reason rental is the better way to go for us. Doubt we would ever move there for many of those reasons. A couple of months is just enough and a great get away. Also I’d advise renting for the simple reason that the sales staff shows you the areas they want new people to move into probably more so than your needs. Each year we rent I make new descoveries, good and bad.

  9. What about those High tension wires? I was looking at a very pretty, (but priced extremely low) home with them right in the back yard. Now I know why the price was so low-hope they do ok with their sale.

  10. Good information. It’s a lot about “buyer beware” … but apparently a lot of folks get so excited about moving to this little paradise, they forget about prevailing winds over ponds and sewage treatment facilities and the pump stations and mail station traffic, etc.

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