Number of proposed homes is reduced to 66.
We saw it coming.
Ponte Vedra Corporation reduced the number of homes from 77 to 66 in their latest plan to develop the Outpost property.
And we saw it coming, but not because we have psychic powers. Last Fall, Nicole had a conversation with the custom home division president of Dream Finders Homes who said he didn't know why they (Ponte Vedra Corp.) used the number 77. "It's going to be less than that," he told her. When asked if they had inflated the number of homes so they could later reduce it, he did not answer. As our attorney Jane West remarked, "It's a classic developer strategy - ask for too much then reduce to appear like you are sacrificing something you were never entitled to in the first place!"
They chose the Friday before a long Fourth of July weekend to submit the new application along with responses to the county's comments that had been pending since 2016. Interesting timing. Fortunately, Gary called the county that very day for an update, so no time was lost in obtaining the documents.
Needless to say, 11 fewer homes changes nothing. We're still looking at development of 76 upland acres, massive habitat destruction, displacement of animals, fragmentation of wild spaces, detrimental impact on the surrounding preserve including contamination of Florida Outstanding Waters, visual pollution of the northern end of Guana preserve, disruption of wildlife on the land and water surrounding the property, and about 600 additional vehicle trips per day clogging roads in Palm Valley.
Ponte Vedra Corp. plays hide and seek with wildlife. (Mostly hide.)
In their new application, PVC revised their habitat and species study - clearly in response to our posts on Facebook. We've posted lots of photos of pink spoonbills in the lake to the east of the Outpost where PVC's previous study claimed spoonbills had a low probability of occurring. So how did they fix that problem? They changed their study! It no longer looks at the suitability or probability of Lake Ponte Vedra as habitat for spoonbills or any wading bird; now they only look at these animals' existence on wetlands within the Outpost property which we have no means of photographing. Suddenly, threatened wildlife in the lake that the development borders for a mile no longer matters! They moved the goalposts, hoping no one would notice.
In addition, they changed their findings from "no evidence" of gopher tortoises (also a threatened species) to one active and one inactive gopher tortoise burrow, not long after Gary had posted photographs of one active and one inactive gopher tortoise burrow just outside the Outpost's border. What a coincidence!
There are sure to be many other revelations in the new application, and our attorney and our land use expert are examining it now. (If you'd like to help fund our effort to stop development at the Outpost, please click on the Donate link below.)
We're keeping an eye out and will continue to report any new developments to you.