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Marion and Levy County leaders met to discuss ‘squatter’ situation in Rainbow Lake Estates

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:54 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Marion and Levy County leaders met Thursday morning to discuss what some residents are calling squatters in their Rainbow Lakes Estates neighborhood.

Officials said they’re following newly amended law, where code enforcement can not initiate an investigation based off an anonymous complaint, unless they have reason to believe ‘an imminent threat to public health and safety’ is present.

We took a ride-along last week, and saw campers, shipping containers and other makeshift homes.

RELATED: Levy County residents fed up with illegal campers

Officials said this would not be considered a threat to public safety.

“We really have to follow our legislation and our ordinances,” Growth Services Director, Mary Elizabeth Burgess said, “This legislation is just one little piece of a much larger pie. We’re going to help them the best that we can within the legislation and the ordinances we’re given.”

If an officer were to see a problem property on the way to a legitimate complaint they can start an investigation, but they don’t drive around in search of these parcels.

They also said they are not allowed to trespass so they can’t go on to a property to investigate unless they have an official complaint or can see a violation from the road.

So bottom line officials said, the best way to get something done is to file an official complaint.

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