We've had some legal updates regarding Ponte Vedra Corporation's lawsuit against St. Johns County. We'll give you a quick run-down of events, and then sum up our position with a statement from our attorney, Jane West.
As you know, PVC filed a Motion to Lift Abatement which Judge Traynor was to rule on January 18th. The St. Augustine Record wrote about it a few days before the hearing (article
), and then again, shortly after the hearing (article
). The second article made the front page - an indication of the importance of this issue in St. Johns County.
Prior to that hearing, on January 5th, St. Johns County staff responded in opposition to PVC's Motion with this
. This document provides insight into the county's position and enumerates many of the issues in this increasingly complex case.
After arguments were heard on both sides, Judge Traynor stated that he was postponing his ruling, and then on January 26th, he ordered that the Motion be lifted. His Order can be read
What does all of this mean to our fight to stop development of the Outpost? In a word, it means "onward." Here is Attorney Jane West's statement:
The Order merely allows the case to proceed as originally contemplated. Presumably the applicant will seek leave to amend its complaint to include a count for Declaratory Relief as they argued during the hearing but that will need another Motion for Leave to Amend. In addition, it is anticipated that the applicant will be pursuing a preliminary administrative interpretation of where the lines are for the developable envelope of the Outpost parcel as they have argued that it is something less than the entire swath of Conservation delineated on the FLUM [Future Lane Use Map]. It is the position of Save Guana Now that a Comprehensive Plan Amendment is still very much required for any residential development to even be considered on the Outpost parcel and that the proper entity to decide both the delineation and the need for a Plan Amendment is the SJC Board of County Commissioners.
It's clear that the fate of the Outpost is not going to be resolved anytime soon. As we've said before, every day that a bulldozer does not enter those gates is a victory for wildlife.
We've also learned that PVC is once again making the Outpost available for events, apparently reversing an earlier decision to stop accepting event reservations. We're hopeful that the Club will continue to market this unique and beautiful venue in a way that allows humans and wildlife to coexist. PVC membership has not been a requirement to reserve the Outpost for an event.
We'll continue to keep you updated on any and all developments related to the Outpost. Check your inboxes and spam filters for tax receipts from Save Guana Now. We're very grateful for your donations in 2017. Stay tuned for fundraising events planned for 2018!
Nicole Crosby and Gary Coulliette
Co-founders, Save Guana Now