01 OCTOBER 2020
Commissioner McDaniels once again proves he cares more about helping developers than the residents of District 5 and especially people living in Golden Gate Estates.
Ventana Pointe (PL20180002668) is a development of 75 homes at the intersection of Immokalee Rd and Richards St (PID 0019056007) - just east of Lamorada Subdivision and FOGGS nursery. At the 14 July 2020 BCC meeting on item 9.A. Ventana Pointe GMP Amendment, Commissioner McDaniel’s made the recommendation that the Developers of Ventana Pointe in the Rural Fringe Mixed Used District (RFMUD) should be allowed to transfer property to the badly managed Conservation Collier program. View the meeting at this link: 50min 30 sec into the meeting. https://collier.granicus.com/player/clip/2868?view_id=4&redirect=true
ISSUE #1. The recommendation by McDaniels will TREMENDOUSLY accelerate the development in the RFMUD areas around Golden Gate Estates, resulting in huge increases in traffic and congestion in the Estates. This increase will be in ADDITION to the RLSA developments that will put in excess of 10,000+ cars on the roads in GG Estates- east of Collier Blvd.
The RFMUD areas along with the RLSA areas are the result of the ill devised TDR program implemented in 2001-2. In this program Developers were to pay for the conservation of Lands in Collier County by buying up TDR’s from lands classified as “Sending” or environmentally sensitive – AT NO COST TO THE COLLIER CO RESIDENT.
Conservation Collier was created by special interest in 2002. It is not a Collier County Government operation. It has no employees. It is not a department in Collier County. It is not an Essential Service necessary for the residents of Collier County provided by Collier County Government. It is not related to the TDR program. Conservation Collier is currently out of money, and has been following a bankruptcy financial policy.
Developers can increase the density of dwellings on a property they are building on by buying TDR’s from “Sending” lands. Developers could get an extra TDR, to build even more dwellings by transferring the “Sending” lands to a State of Florida Agency (SFWMD, Forestry, FWC, Parks, etc.) that would pay for the cost of management in perpetuity. Hence, no cost to the Collier County resident via property taxes.
No State of Florida Agency north of I-75 would accept any properties because it increased their annual operating budgets so much – they could not afford it. Managing lands for preservation is expensive, very expensive - even for a State of Florida Agency.
The one State of Florida Agency that would take the TDR Sending lands in Collier County is the –CSWCD, Collier Soil and Water Conservation district. CWSCD has taken Sendling lands in the past from the RFMUD area, but they were never contacted.
Ventana Pointe Developers could not get any State of Florida Agency to accept their donation of “Sending” lands to build more houses, so Commissioner McDaniels proposed the donation to Conservation Collier.
ISSUE #2. Lands acquired or donated to Conservation Collier are removed from the property tax rolls. The tax burden is then shifted and reallocated to the residents that pay property taxes. Therefore, without the direct approval of residents, Conservation Collier has shifted the monetary cost burden for paying for preserving lands to the Collier County resident. This item has been shielded from the residents.
Commissioner McDaniels should have advertised this to the residents before making the recommendation at the BCC meeting. He should have stopped and said we need to advertise this to the residents before proceeding with any deliberation. He did not.
SO, COMMISSIONER MCDANIELS PRECEDENT SETTING RECOMMENDATION TO ALLOW DEVELOPERS TO DONATE LANDS TO CONSERVATION COLLIER WILL ALLOW:
1.Developers to increase density of development in the RFMUD areas and cause more traffic loss of quality of life in the GG Estates. 2.Developers such as Ventana Pointe to put more money in their pockets at the expense of the resident tax payers 3.The cost burden of conserving lands to be shifted from the developer to the resident. Completely against the concepts of the Collier County Governments currently adopted TDR program. 4.Justify the existence of the financially ill managed Conservation Collier program created by Special Interest to become a burden forever to the Collier County resident.
On items 9.A. GMPA for Ventana Point, and Item 9.B. Rezone for Ventana Point, all Commissioners voted unanimously without any thought about the issue of donating land to Conservation Collier and not advertising to the public. How can the Government Authority responsible for issuing permits also make a deal with the developer to donate land for more development - to itself. THIS IS A LEGAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
The next BCC meeting is 13 Oct. The Ventana Pointe GMPA and Rezone PL20180002668 should be recalled and re-reviewed. This is all being done because of the decreased public presence because of the C-19 issue.
Let us know how your opinion, and what should be done?