Lehigh Acres Neighborhood Wants To Limit Halloween Visitors
A Lehigh Acres neighborhood is already looking ahead to Halloween. There’s a security gate at the front of Varsity Lakes in Lehigh Acres. Come Halloween, that doesn’t do much good.
“This is where the candy is,” said Annabelle Martin, the president of Varsity Lakes Homeowners Association.
She’s already planning for the annual influx of trick or treaters. “We need to eliminate outsiders and have Halloween in here for our residents only,” said Martin.
In years past, the community has welcomed residents and guests to celebrate Halloween.
“Last year was horrendous,” Martin remembered. She said cars lined both sides of Gunnery Road at the front of Varsity Lakes.
Many parents and kids from outside the gated-community parked in a nearby library and walked into the community. The association president estimated they saw between 500 and 800 guests last Halloween.
“Last year, our two officers couldn’t control that,” Martin said.
This year, she said they will need more than the two off-duty sheriff’s deputies. Some in Varsity Lakes worry Halloween tradition will be spoiled.
“It’s going to be devastating to the kids,” said resident Vicki Kelley. “I’m sure there are going to be a lot of parents who bring their children to our neighborhood and they’re going to be turned away.”
Martin said some homeowners complained of property damage and twenty minute wait times just to drive out of the community.
“We’re going to see how we can make it safe. We want it safe for our community, that’s the biggest thing,” Martin said.
She claimed no final decisions have been made about Halloween. The Varsity Lakes Association Board plans to talk with its attorney and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office about the community’s legal options.