There's a lot to cover....starting with this cover!
We're pleased to share the link to our latest press coverage. VOID magazine's June
leads with a story about Save Guana Now starting on p.14
. It's also available free at newsstands. We're grateful for the increased awareness VOID has given to our cause, and for conveying to its readers the folly of developing conservation land.
Next item: Our
ACTION ALERT stems from two legal updates.
We're asking you to send a single email as a THANK YOU to the County for continuing to stand up to Ponte Vedra Corp. in their March 15th Motion to Dismiss PVC's lawsuit. The judge has not yet ruled on the motion, but it articulates exactly why PVC does
not have a case. We're up against attorneys who bend the law and the truth. Please send an email, using the addresses listed below, collectively thanking county officials for standing up to PVC's baseless arguments.
Though the motion was drafted by county attorneys, we believe all county commissioners and staff deserve to be commended. You can read the motion
Our attorney, Jane West, advises us that it's a well-drafted pleading. You can read our email thanking the county on our June update
, but please put your letter in your own words. It can be as simple as "I would like to thank the county for its strongly worded Motion To Dismiss. Please continue to stand up to the Ponte Vedra Corporation, and protect the Outpost property from development."
Email addresses for county commissioners, staff and PZA members are below. You can copy and paste this entire list into a single email, to send your message to all, or divide the list into two emails to help circumvent spam filters:
The above email addresses are for:
County Commissioners Jimmy Johns, Jeb Smith, Paul Waldron, Jay Morris, and Henry Dean, County Administrator Michael Wanchick and Growth Management Director Suzanne Konchan; Planning and Zoning Agency members Jon Woodward, Roy Alaimo, Jeffrey Martin, Mike Koppenhafer, Brad Nelson, Archie B. Wainwright,
and Dr. David Rice, Environmental Director Jan Brewer and Environmental Supervisor Ryan Mauch.
The other legal update that led to our Action Alert is Ponte Vedra Corporation's Motion for Partial Summary Judgement filed last week. It's just another regurgitation of their original allegations -- another attempt to circumvent public hearings. Their lawsuit is based on the county's denial of an administrative interpretation of the Comprehensive Plan. According to our attorney, requesting a land use change for property designated conservation is
the purpose of an administrative interpretation. That's what a public hearing is for. PVC's attorneys are writing their own rules and avoiding the public process at all costs. The judge has yet to rule on that Motion. (Reply to this email if you'd like to request it.)
That brings us to our next item:
To help fund our fight, we're planning a
Save Your Stuff to Save Guana Now
this summer or early September. And we're asking you to gather donations and set them aside until our date is announced. OR, if you can't hold it, you can drop it off by replying to this email.
100% of the proceeds will go to stopping development at the Outpost. Whether you've got just one item, an armful, a boxful or a trunk-full - we'll take it and we'll sell it! Toys, tools, kitchen items, collectibles, art, sporting goods, bikes, lamps, jewelry, electronics (working), china, handbags, hats, shoes, flower pots, holiday decorations, books, CDs, appliances, furniture that can fit in your car, vintage items, antiques... every dollar you help us raise will pay experts to fight development of 99 acres of conservation land. New or like-new clothes can be donated on hangers, but we cannot accept bags full of clothing.
Final update (we saved them up):
On February 23, the Guana Research Reserve released their preliminary findings on the water quality of Guana Lake. N
ot exactly a green light for developing one mile of the lake's shoreline at the Outpost:
"the first six months of the study has revealed some concerning water quality conditions, especially in the middle of Guana Lake."
[This is just downstream from the Outpost where 66 homes are proposed to be built.]
"One indicator of an imbalance in nutrients is the biomass of microscopic algae (phytoplankton) estimated by the photosynthetic pigment, Chlorophyll a, which was measured at 2 to 6 times the threshold,"
[according to state standards].
High levels of bacteria and nitrogen have also been observed in both the lake and the river."
Fertilizer run-off from 66 homes and other impermeable surfaces would worsen these numbers, and that's just one example of how development at the Outpost property would adversely impact the water quality of Guana Lake which has been designated an Outstanding Florida Water, deemed worthy of greater protection.
Please remember to email a "thank you" to St. Johns County for standing up to a developer who has no regard for policies and rules that govern the use of conservation land in our county. Share this email with like-minded residents.
Thanks for your support and your efforts to Save Guana Now!
Nicole Crosby and Gary Coulliette
VOID Magazine did not include Save Guana Now's responses to Gate's false claims. They can be read
See #1, #2, #3 and #9.
VOID stated: "the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has come out in staunch opposition to Gate's proposal." In fact, DEP only submitted a cautionary
to the county.