Bonita Springs City Council takes actions on Raptor Bay

Good News — This week the Bonita Springs City Council took two positive actions on the Raptor Bay development issues.

The Council voted unanimously to authorize its special counsel to file a request for declaratory judgement questioning the validity of the annexation agreement between the City and the Raptor Bay property owner (WCI) on the basis of potential contract zoning.  Also, the City extended the deadline for WCI’s application for Zoning Board approval to build four (4) 20-story towers to March, 2017.

To clarify, there are two annexation issues regarding the Raptor Bay Golf Course and WCI’s plans to build towers there.  First, there is the legality of the 2014 agreement annexing a portion of Raptor Bay into the City.  Second there is the issue of WCI building four 20-story towers on this land and annexing it into Pelican Landing – overburdening our Beach Park, tennis courts, privacy infrastructure, etc. The second annexation issue as well as opposition to dead-hand control by WCI is the essence of RBC’s pending request for a declaratory judgement.  Our PLCA annexation issue is different than and separate from the City of Bonita Springs annexation issue.

Earlier this year the City of Bonita Springs hired a special land use attorney to review the Raptor Bay annexation agreement between the City and WCI and other associated issues.  RBC has consistently argued that the annexation agreement requiring the city to make zoning changes to allow towers at Raptor Bay constitutes “contract zoning” which is illegal.  In fact, it was Ralf Brooks (RBC’s land-use attorney) who made this point and other critical points during the February 3rd, 2016 City Council meeting.  As a result, the City refused to amend the Comprehensive Plan to allow those towers and later hired independent council – otherwise those towers would be moving forward today.

As our Bonita Springs Councilwoman, Amy Quaremba, says –  “Court results are uncertain but there is room for optimism at this time.  What is certainly likely is that the time frame for hearing the current application [to build 4 20-story towers] will be delayed beyond the early Fall projection.”

RBC applauds these decisions by the City Council and is gratified that the matter will proceed to the courts for review and a final decision.

RBC’s pending suit continues to oppose WCI’s claimed arbitrary annexation and dead-hand control powers.  WCI’s recent filing to add 254 acres to Pelican Landing’s Exhibit A (Step 1 of Annexation) must be stopped.

Raptor Bay Hearing Coming Up AGAIN!

FACT OF THE DAY

Raptor Bay Hearing Coming Up AGAIN!

FACT:   This week, WCI made a formal request that the Bonita Springs government schedule another hearing for WCI’s application to build 4 hi-rise towers in Raptor Bay. Internal comments are due 9/14/16.  That could mean another public hearing as early as October.

RBC is challenging WCI’s claim that it can annex/add this property, and any other properties, into PLCA up to the end of 2020. WCI only has annexation powers if we as a community fail to stand up and challenge this claim in the only place where a ruling can stop them.  That is in the Florida court of law.

Ask candidates for the upcoming Board of Directors election what their position is on this important issue.

school-bus-at-raptor-bay-hearing

WCI Responds to RBC Lawsuit 

WCI has finally responded to RBC’s complaint and, as expected, it has chosen not to answer the allegations made in the complaint but rather make a motion to dismiss the complaint. In fact, in a footnote WCI has hinted that it has more motions to make if this one fails.  This tactic in legal circles is called “motion practice” and is used to try to avoid the substantive issues, delay the ultimate outcome of a case and cause unnecessary excessive legal fees for an opponent.

RBC has met with its attorneys and has been reassured that nothing WCI has asserted will ultimately deny RBC from having a decision on this matter. As our attorneys have noted, the stakes are high for WCI. If the legal action is carried to completion, this could be the first reported case where homeowners are employing the legal protections that Florida has provided homeowners against the actions of predatory developers. While Pelican Landing is not the only victim of this type of predatory behavior by developers, the reason for the lack of reported cases is most likely that no one individual has the stamina and financial wherewithal to fight a developer.

RBC has the stamina, and, with the financial support it has already received from over 300 residents and your continued support, RBC has the resources to successfully stop WCI’s predatory actions against Pelican Landing homeowners. A significant amount of the legal and land use research work continues to be done pro bono by your RBC Team. Our attorneys have also given RBC a reduced not-for-profit rate.

For those who have already contributed, RBC thanks you.  For those who have not and for those who can give more, we ask for your support because this will not only be a long hot summer for our lawsuit but also for another attempted land use change for Raptor Bay similar to the February 3rd attempt at the Bonita Springs Council meeting. (see below for more information.)

With your continued financial support we are confident of a successful outcome for all PLCA homeowners. Thank you again for your continued support.
Your RBC Board

Bob Loos, president
Bruce Fennie
Barbara Craig

Directors of Residents For A Better Community Inc.

RBC Fundraising Campaign Continues
The legal fight to maintain the viability of our community requires money and expertise. We have hired Richard DeBoest to represent us in this challenge but need your contributions to pay for it. Please send your check made out to “Goede, Adamczyk Trust Account” (with “RBC” on the memo line) to

Richard DeBoest, Esq
2030 McGregor Blvd
Ft. Myers, FL 33901

Please include your name, email and home address on a separate piece of paper.
All contributions will remain anonymous and any funds not used will be returned pro rata. Thank you for your support!

Why funds are needed

 

Amy Quaremba wins District 1 Council Seat

Our sincere congratulations to Amy Q for her strong win in this election.  Amy will represent our Pelican Landing interests well and she will work hard to make the City of Bonita Springs the best it can be!

In District 1, the seat vacated by Steve McIntosh, Amy Quaremba, the only woman on the ballot, had the biggest victory margin of the day, capturing 49.6 percent of the vote to 26 percent for former council member Richard Ferreira and 23.4 percent for political newcomer Marc Devisse.

Amy Quaremba, who holds a Ph.D in economics and worked for the National Security Agency  founded an investment advisory company before moving to Florida.

We thank Steve McIntosh for his years of service to the City of Bonita Springs.

And we offer our congratulations to Peter Simmons the new Mayor of Bonita Springs.