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The Ave Herald

Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


Ave Maria Design Review Board Moving Forward

The establishment of a Design Review Board is one step closer following a meeting Tuesday of the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District board. The Design Review Board would have authority to approve architecture and design for commercial buildings in the town.

The board would be "self-supporting through fees charged," Barron Collier Vice-President Tom Sansbury told the board. It would approve plans for the design and appearance of non-residential buildings, but the county would retain authority for other aspects of construction such as ensuring compliance with regulations for matters like fire and safety.

The seven-member board would be appointed mostly by the district board, and Chairman Thomas Peek said he would like to see more specific language in the proposal for the term of Design Review Board members and procedures for removing them in the event they were unable to perform their duties. Mr. Sansbury said that would be added, and the district's attorney, Kenneth vanAssenderp, said that the district board would have the authority to determine that before appointing any members to the Design Review Board.

Once the county approves the creation of the board, the district would then need to formally approve its creation. The process could take several months, Mr. Sansbury said.

The district board would appoint five of the seven members, according to the proposal. Two would need to be certified architects or engineers, one would represent Ave Maria businesses, one the town's residents and one would be an at-large representative. Barron Collier and Ave Maria University would each name one person to the board.

Mr. Sansbury also gave a brief update on the Oil Well Road widening project, which has started. He said that the plan calls for a minimal amount of traffic disruption because at least two lanes would be built on the north side of the road, after which traffic would be using those lanes while the lanes on the south side were built. An aerial photograph/map showing the construction schedule is here.

In response to a question from a resident, Mr. Sansbury said the middle portion of Oil Well Rd. that is not in the current widening plan (between oil Well Grade and Everglades Blvd.) will remain two lanes until the county funds its widening.



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