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The Ave Herald

Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


AMSCD Meeting Hears Updates; Takes Little Action

The Ave Maria Stewardship Community District usually does not meet unless it has matters that need to come before the board. By that standard, the meeting Tuesday, Oct. 7, probably could have been skipped.

They heard updates on a number of matters – including revised golf cart rules, establishment of a design review board and potential infrastructure bonds for Maple Ridge – but took no action because everything required either further study or discussions with Collier County officials.

The board approved revisions to the golf cart rules at its August, 2014, meeting and they were to take effect in 60 days. But developer representative David Genson of Barron Collier said further discussion with the county attorney is needed to determine whether the rules should be implemented through an inter-local governmental agreement or through a county ordinance. The new rules are not major changes from those adopted by the district in 2012, but they make clearer some of the legalities which were never fully implemented. Among those are a clear statement that golf carts may not be operated on district roads from sunset to sunrise unless there is a change authorized by the Collier County government and a requirement that signage specifically identify district roads for which the rules will be enforced. AMSCD roads include Ave Maria Blvd., Annunciation Circle and Pope John Paul II Blvd.

Sounding a theme that she would repeat later in the meeting board member Liesa Priddy expressed frustration that the process would take longer, perhaps as much as another 90 days. "I want to do what's easiest, fastest and best because this has gone on way too long," she said. Mr. Genson said that he shared her frustration in working with the county.

He also expressed regret that another matter that has been before the board – creation of a Design Review Board to give the town greater control over building design – has dragged on even longer. The board was first proposed more than four years ago, in May 2010. The latest is that Barron Collier intends to submit a proposed amendment to the county Land Development Code.

Again expressing concern with delays, Mrs. Priddy said it seemed as if the rules keep changing in the middle of the game. "I hope we can do something quickly because this has gone on for a long time," she said.

In response to a question from resident Robb Klucik, district manager Todd Woddraska said that developers of Maple Ridge are considering a district bond offering to finance infrastructure in the development. Interest costs would be borne solely by landowners in the Maple Ridge development. Mr. Woddraska said he anticipated that the matter might come before the board in December or early in 2015.

Mr. Woddraska also said the terms of three board members – TomDiFlorio, Jay Roth and Doug Baird – are expiring and at the next meeting on Nov. 4 there also will be a separate "landowners meeting" to elect three board members. He said that all three board members wish to stand for re-election. Any property owner in Ave Maria may vote at the meeting on the basis of one vote per acre owned, or one vote for any individual property less than an acre. Voting must be done in person or by proxy. Because most of the land in Ave Maria is owned by developers, they will determine who will serve on the board.


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