There are many reasons to vote against annexation. Here are a few:
- It doesn’t pass the smell test. Why has Bonita Springs paid WCI $1.2 million already and another $500,000 upon a successful annexation vote, as the Mayor said among “other considerations” (i.e. backroom deals on future development?)? While these payments are in the form of credits against future impact fees, they are as good as cash to an active developer such as WCI, and according to news reports these credits are transferable. The Mayor recently downplayed these payments to WCI as merely being impact fees, but impact fees are paid by a developer, not to a developer!
- Bonita is also taking over WCI liabilities (responsibilities for maintaining the two older roads that Bonita “bought” from WCI) and paying the $1.7 million for the privilege. This seems like reverse logic.
- Bonita harps on the benefits of having one community, a greater voice in Bonita affairs, avoiding split neighborhoods, etc. These arguments are wholly made up by Bonita. There is really no significant impact, and probably a benefit in having Pelican Landing split into, and being able to seek assistance from, two cities, not just one. In fact there has been no real impact in 14 years and most residents weren’t even aware of this “issue” until this annexation move by Bonita Springs arose.
- There is no real adverse tax consequence and perhaps a minor tax benefit to becoming part of a future Village of Estero, despite all the junk mail emanating from Bonita. When Bonita became a city it used the argument: that a city government would be more efficient than county government. But in addition to the WCI payment, Bonita has spent a fortune on mailers and other expenses in support of annexation. And the Mayor claims to run an efficient administration, spending the taxpayers’ money wisely?
- PLCA, WCI and Bonita Springs are in an alliance, leaving the little guys – the taxpayers – to fend for themselves. Does anyone think that Bonita will be our friend if our board oversteps its power, whether in policing Pelican Landing, or otherwise, or if WCI files for new development approvals or revisions of existing agreements? The taxpayers need a counterbalance to the “Triple Alliance” of Bonita, PLCA and WCI. Hopefully Estero can help perform that function.
- The PLCA Board of Directors has met at least twice (once last year to “authorize” the annexation vote and once this year to authorize its consent to the annexation), without any notice or meeting of the members, to take action promoting annexation. Why is it promoting annexation so aggressively? Fear of oversight by an incorporated Estero?
- In addition to overpaying WCI for the decaying marina (taking title to a cash-draining WCI liability and paying $700,000 for the privilege), PLCA consented to the transfer of WCI development rights that WCI wasn’t ever going to use in the Colony to WCI property north of Corkscrew. WCI has already voluntarily joined its 130 acres referred to as “conservation lands” to Bonita, but WCI has hundreds of acres that it can still develop, not to mention seeking new approvals on the 130 acres. Will WCI be able to join all the other acreage to Bonita if the annexation fails? Estero is the only hope for some citizen control over future WCI development.
Does anyone know if the City of Bonita Springs has asked any of the non-registered voters (residential property owners) in the proposed “red box” annexation area for their to consent to the annexation? Florida Law seems to require that a certain percentage of these non-voting owners consent before this can go to referendum yet there has been no indication of any residential property owners receiving such a request from the City of Bonita Springs. Has anyone out there received such a request?
The best way to be heard is to go to the next PLCA Board meeting and present your case for your personal kayak/paddleboard/etc. (meetings are the third Wednesday of each month at 9:00 a.m.)
During the November meeting PLCA President, Larry McPherson, and Marie Martel (Association Manager) stated that resident-owned sailboats and kayaks are not permitted to use the ramp at the marina “until they see what the traffic is”.
Perhaps with a reasonable explanation, the board can be persuaded this is less than fair. Kayaks in particular are quick and easy to launch and very maneuverable. A very strong argument relates to the PLCA owned sailboats and kayaks. Can the Board provide a reasonable explanation describing what makes it acceptable for a resident to use the Coconut Point Ramp to launch and enjoy PLCA owned sailboats and kayaks yet the same resident is being denied the ability to launch and enjoy their personally owned kayak or paddle board?
Bill Hill Comments: Just got my email from our Security Unit with news of some missing property taken from a home in Capri. Maybe the next project they could start to work on would be a moat around the perimeter. This moat could could be included in Security’s multi thousand dollar proposal to gate the walkin entrance sidewalks. This moat could serve a dual purpose by being constructed in a manner capable of handling the excess rain water that flooded the place this past summer.
Another possible project that, while not being politically correct in Obama’s America in 2013, might be considered by our Security staff would be to investigate the credentials of the hundred or more illegal aliens who enter the community every day and wander freely throughout the streets and yards as quest workers without scrutiny. Perhaps the contractors who bring them in should have to face an identification process and post a bond. Since my family and friends have to submit to an identification process at the gates before they are allowed to enter Pelican Landing and come to my home and in fact I myself must submit to an identification process before I can enter the high rent area in The Colony from my home on the other side of the tracks it seems not unreasonable for Security to protect us from the daily influx of illegal aliens who enter Pelican Landing.
Ok, let’s talk about the marina and whether or not this is an amenity that was paid for with our funds and therefore belongs to the residents!
Margot Hill Comments: Why can’t I launch my paddle board from there? Or my kayak? Why is it reserved only for boats (that pay extra)?
What if I had a friend who wanted to go for a boat ride one day, maybe do a little fishing, and I took my whaler down to the ramp….could I launch from there, or do I have to dock it there, too when I’d rather keep it in my garage?
Why can’t I show my ID, put my quiet, environmentally acceptable paddle board in the water a enjoy a leisurely afternoon on the bay?
So many “no exceptions” rules…..
The Lee County Legislative Delegation today approved Rep. Ray Rodrigues’ local bill for an Estero incorporation referendum on the November 4, 2014, ballot.
We presented the Delegation with petitions signed by 10,238 Estero residents indicating their wish to have an incorporation referendum on the ballot next year.
We wish to thank all of you who helped make this successful outcome possible. You are to be congratulated for one of the largest community outreaches the Delegation has ever experienced.
Nick Batos Chairman John Goodrich Vice Chairman
For further Information regarding the incorporation of Estero and contribute to the cause, to go ECCL’s website: www.esterofl.org
It seems there may be a technical/legal problem with the annexation referendum. More than 50% of the property owners in that area do not appear to be registered voters. As a result there must be a separate vote requiring 50% of the property owners to authorize a referendum. This makes sense since, without a requirement such as this, the majority would be disenfranchised with respect to the annexation of their property.
As reported last week, The Bayside CDD was granted an emergency temporary permit by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to pump water from the lakes and marsh areas of Pelican Landing (pump located at the end of Black Rush Court in Longlake adjacent to Cypress Island).
The pump ran continuously resulting in a drop in the water level to approximately the desired control level. The water levels in the Longlake and Waterside neighborhoods are reduced as well. Earlier today (9/27/13) the pump was shut down and this equipment will be removed over the weekend.
In the meantime the engineers are reviewing specific areas to ensure the drainage structure elevations are set properly and the pipe sizing is correct. The Bayside CDD and Management Company will address these engineering studies to evaluate and act on preventative measures to assure this will not occur under similar rainfall conditions in the future.
The Bayside CDD was granted an emergency temporary permit by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to pump water out of the lakes and marsh areas of Pelican Landing (pump will be located at the end of Black Rush Court in Longlake adjacent to Cypress Island). The pump will run continuously (24/7) for several days and will remain in place until the threat from additional storm conditions passes. We are taking this measure to reduce the volume of water in the lakes and marsh areas prior to the continued rainfall expected this coming week. Pumping water from the area identified is expected to control the water levels of the Longlake and Waterside neighborhoods and allow them to drain more quickly. The contractor has agreed to install a temporary housing at the pump to help reduce the amount of noise that will result from the pump/generator.
We will provide additional information regarding the efficacy of this effort as it evolves. We recognize the threat posed by the weather forecast for early this coming week.
As previously reported the Bayside CDD had a company dive the lakes and wetlands interconnecting pipes and outfall structures in the problem portions of the community on Thursday morning, September 19th. All facilities were clean and flowing.
Our engineers are reviewing specific areas to ensure the drainage structure elevations are set properly and the pipe sizing is correct. The Bayside CDD will address these engineering studies to evaluate and act on preventative measures to assure this will not occur under similar rainfall conditions in the future.
Supervisors Bayside Community Development District
• Walter McCarthy – Chair
• Marvin Hancock – Vice Chair
• James Patterson
• Bernie Cramer
• John Crew
Management Company: Wrathell, Hunt and Associates, LLC
This afternoon the CDD asked the PLCA to send a blast email to the residents as soon as possible to inform the entire community of these actions. We hope this will help to relieve some of the anxiety and fear residents feel due to current conditions and the forecast for yet more rains this coming week.