Wednesday, June 03, 2015

$25,000,000 "Forgiveness" For Dodgy Developer at World Golf Parkway?

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners held a public hearing on this Nine Mile Gang Development, agenda item 5, on June 2 -- final hearing is on June 16, 2015 at 6 PM.
St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners' developer-driven staff made a largely incoherent presentation, asking to allow the developer to wiggle out of a legally binding promise to pay $25,600,000 for transportation and utility impact fees -- allowing it to evade $25,600,000 payments to the County promised in 2010.
The County has a binding agreement and should not allow the developer to wiggle out of it -- this is grand larceny.
The same County bureaucrats want a 16.66% sales tax increase!
Last year, St. Augustine Beach Commissioners denied a dodgy developer's demand to wiggle out of a promise to pay $560,000 for infrastructure. St. Johns County Commissioners should do the same.
Art Lancaster of Eastland Development is represented by Ellen Avery-Smith of ROGERS TOWERS law firm, who said, "My client cannot afford $30,000,000."
The new project is smaller with a new owner, but how much smaller and why not hold the developer to the commitment it bought when it purchased the land?
The promise to pay runs with the land. And while state law has changed, it did not modify this agreement.
Another dodgy developer is trying to snooker our local governments, which are run by unjust stewards like MICHAEL WANCHICK, County Administrator, who comes to us from two ugly places (Richardson, Texas and Broward County, Florida), which he seems hell-bent on replicating here. What a waste of two Masters' degrees.
"A deal's a deal," but dodgy Republican corporativists and their hick hack politicians -- who always talk about the "sanctity of contracts" -- will likely say, "what's a contractual obligation among friends?"
Thanks to Commissioner William McClure and citizens B.J. Kalaidi, Thomas Reynolds, for asking questions about this outrage.
"I say let 'em walk,' said Mr. Reynolds.

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