PGA Village's Property Owners Applaud St. Lucie County Commissioners For Not Caving In To Powerful Developer, Kolter Communities

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St Lucie County Commissioners Reject Kolter Communities proposed "Settlement Agreement" for PGA Village. Kolter, already suing the County Commissioners (Florida's 19th Judicial Circuit, St Lucie County, Docket # 06-001769) who have found them in Non-Compliance, asked for additional negotiations but the Commissioners unanimously rejected the offer and actually invited the intervention of the courts.

A unanimous decision was reached by the Board of County Commissioners of St. Lucie County to reject a proposal by mega developer Kolter Properties that would have settled a lawsuit Kolter filed against the County (Florida's 19th Judicial Circuit, St Lucie County, Docket # 06-001769).

"This unanimous and courageous vote by our Commissioners has renewed our faith in the concept of government for the people," said Pamela Hammer, president of the Property Owners of the Reserve (PORI).

PGA Village, previously known as "The Reserve," has changed developer hands several times since the 1980's. In 1998, Kolter Properties purchased the Reserve DRI and assumed all responsibilities as the Developer. Development requirements included preservation of 490 Acres of Upland Habitat, four 2-Acre recreational areas geared to the needs of resident children, and other issues dealing with traffic and quality of life.

In 2004, Kolter filed a Notice Of Proposed Change (NOPC) to amend the Development Order to say that it had preserved the required 490 Acres of Upland Habitat. The NOPC also changed the recreational requirements. The Commissioners believing that the NOPC was not complete refused to forward the NOPC to the State DEC, hence bringing about the above-referenced lawsuit.

On February 21, 2006, the County found Kolter in Non-Compliance with the Development Order, preventing them from obtaining any future building permits, except for the construction of the long promised Island Club (http://www.co.st-lucie.fl.us/slctv/BOCC_OnDemand.htm and click on BOCC Meeting-February 21, 2006 to see video of meeting). Kolter responded by bringing in a high-priced legal team that sued the County (Florida's 19th Judicial Circuit, St Lucie County, Docket # 06-001769).

On December 11, 2006, Commissioners unanimously voted to reject a proposed settlement agreement, which was "heavily biased in Kolter's favor." This Board of County Commissioners meeting can be viewed on SLCTV On-Demand at http://www.co.st-lucie.fl.us/slctv/BOCC_OnDemand.htm by clicking on the date.

During this meeting, newly Elected Commissioner Charles Grande said that the BOCC should "not be guided by the concept that we may wind up in court...that might even be welcome."

Commissioner Joe Smith was even stronger in his condemnation of the proposed settlement, saying, "The people with whom we were dealing [Kolter] were not showing their cards the entire time, and I'm not sure they were showing their cards at all." Smith summed it up by saying, "I think this Board has to call it Shenanigans."

According to PORI President Hammer, "This is the type of courage and morality that we expect from our elected officials. All we have ever asked for is what the residents of PGA Village were promised. We want our preserved areas, we want our recreational sites, and we want the developer to fulfill its promise of Upscale Shops and Restaurants at Main Street Village."

For more information, contact:

Pamela Hammer, President

Porperty Owners of the Reserve, Inc. (PORI)

(772) 466-6926 or http://www.pori.info/index.html

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WARREN J. SONNE
PORI
772-466-1717
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