Saturday, December 05, 2009

December Update

As you may have read in media, Florida Gulf Ventures has filed suit against the City of Cape Coral.

The property owners are simply making sure that all options they have are being pursued. The suit against the City is based upon the denial by the Planning and Zoning Board of a land use change, which is necessary before the property can be rezoned. This type of suit is a common strategy that many land owners follow in moving forward with efforts to negotiate the sale of land that they are also seeking to develop.

At the moment, the City has asked the court to dismiss the suit on the basis that the developer has come to the City only once--with only one request, and has not returned with a different proposal—that they have yet to exhaust their administrative remedies, and therefore the suit is premature. The City feels the suit is premature because all that the court knows is that one proposal was denied. The court does not know if another proposal would be accepted—and if it would, then there would be no “taking.” So, the City is asking for a dismissal at this time because it is premature.

The CRA is still interested in acquiring the property, and the delay in the negotiations is the result of the death of CRA Legal Counsel David Cardwell, who was leading the negotiations for the CRA. In fact, David’s last conference call with the owners was Friday, October 30th, just shortly before his death.

The Trust for Public Lands continues to support the efforts of the CRA, and has communicated a willingness to assist as needed at the appropriate time.

In January, the CRA Board will seat 3 new members. They will need to be educated about the history of the golf course property negotiations. In addition, there are new members of Council, and they also need to be educated about the issues and the history of the efforts of the CRA to comply with Council and Community desires to acquire the property to restore the golf course use.

Save Our Recreation will continue to work in concert with the CRA to achieve our goal. SOR also continues to utilize the services of BJM Consultants. A fund raiser is currently in the works for some time after the 1st of the year. Stay tuned. If you would care to send in a donation now, please see the right side of this blog for instructions or email me at All donations big or small would be very much appreciated.

I'll update again with any new developments.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year