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The Ave Herald

Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


Town Resident Elected to AMSCD Board

diflorioAve Maria town developers have elected the first resident to serve on the board of supervisors for the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District.

Tom DiFlorio, a 22-year veteran of the Philadelphia police department who moved to Ave Maria a year ago, was elected to the board at a landowners meeting following the regular meeting of the AMSCD board. Mr. DiFlorio was chosen for one of three seats on the five-member board that were up for election this year. Two sitting members, Paul Roney, the chief financial officer of Ave Maria University, and Doug Baird, a senior Vice President of the Barron Collier Cos., were re-elected. Mr. Roney and Mr. DiFlorio were elected to four-year terms and Mr. Baird, who received the fewest votes, was chosen for a two-year term. Right, Mr. DiFlorio being congratulated by Barron Collier Vice President Tom Sansbury.

"It's great that the landowners put a resident on the board," said Hampton Village resident Robb Klucik after the election.

The AMSCD is a special-purpose board that deals with infrastructure of the town of Ave Maria, including roads, landscaping, irrigation, mosquito control and sewage.

In the actual AMSCD meeting, the supervisors approved creating a design review board that will give a local authority the ability to set standards and approve designs for all non-residential construction within the district. The current standards are dictated by the Collier County Land Development Code, which developers have said is more suitable for suburban environments and not appropriate for the type of construction in Ave Maria.

The supervisors approved the creation of the board and the establishment of an interlocal agreement with the county that provides the authority for the board to operate. A planning consultant at the meeting, Allison Megrath of Naples, said it likely will take six to seven months for the agreements to be in place. The design review board will deal only with building architecture and landscaping -- not safety issues such as fire and building inspections, or zoning. It will have seven members, all appointed by the AMSCD supervisors, which will include two licensed planning or architectural professionals, one member chosen by Ave Maria University, one chosen by the developers, one who operates a business in town, one resident and one at-large member.

The meeting also approved changes to the regulations governing golf cart operations. The main change is that the age requirement to operate a cart was lowered to 14 from 16 to comply with state laws, which will enable the Collier County sheriff's deputies to enforce safe operation. The age requirement covers only main roads in town that are controlled by the district, such as Ave Maria Blvd., Annunciation Circle and Pope John Paul II Blvd. Local homeowners' associations in Del Webb, Hampton Village and Emerson Park can set their own age restrictions, as can Ave Maria University. Mr. Roney said that for all university property, the minimum age to be able to operate a golf cart will be raised to 18 because the university has found that too many younger people are not operating the carts safely.

The town golf cart regulations also require that carts be inspected for safety and display a sticker indicating the cart has passed inspection.

The board also approved an expenditure of approximately $11,000 to put in a crosswalk across Annunciation Circle on the south side of the oratory, where many visitors and residents cross the street before and after mass.


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