Families, feuds expected to highlight Collier County board meeting this morning

Legal land-use changes look to dominate this morning's Collier County Commission meeting, which starts at 9 a.m., but there are bound to be some lighter moments as well.

Commissioners will proclaim May 8 as the 85th anniversary of the county’s creation. Offspring of homesteaders from a century ago are expected to be present for the honor, including Immokalee’s Brown and Roberts families; Everglades’ Storter family; John Morgan from Marco Island and various descendants of the Barron Collier family.

After that, it’s business as usual, with requests for amendments to several planned unit developments, including the Longshore Lake and Mirasol communities.

An item that could draw some heated discussion: County Attorney Jeff Klatzkow’s report on an ongoing feud between Milano Recreation Association and Imperial Golf Estates, and some proposed resolutions.

Milano vs. Imperial

According to notes from Klatzkow and Assistant County Attorney Jeff Wright, Milano had refused residents of the nearby Imperial community to access Livingston Road via Marquis Boulevard.

This is the second time in less than a year that this issue has come before commissioners.

On June 24, the commission approved code enforcement actions against Milano for refusing to honor their promise, when the commission rezoned Royal Palm Academy.

Since June 24, the issue has been before the county’s Code Enforcement Board three times. Besides talks between Milano and Imperial, there have also been lawsuits.

First, Imperial sued Milano, in Collier County Circuit Court, over access rights. Then, Milano sued Collier County, in an attempt to keep the county from imposing code enforcement sanctions against them.

On Feb. 9, Milano finally granted a right of way easement to Imperial — recorded in county records on March 19 — which, effectively, resolved all of the issues, according to Klatzkow.

His office can continue to work with Milano to dismiss the lawsuit against the county, Wright wrote in an executive summary.

Another curious legal issue to come before commissioners is sure-fire proof that the greater Naples area is still a small town.

It is a request for the commission to waive the potential appearance of conflict by retaining attorney Gregory H. Woods, as lead counsel in the case of G.L. Homes of Naples Associates vs. Collier County.

Lowe’s vs. Kohl’s

The county attorney’s office is unable to represent the county in this case, as two existing assistant county attorneys were involved in the negotiation and drafting of developer contribution agreements in 2002, and, again in 2006.

What the agreement stated, in short, was that in exchange for transportation concurrency vesting, the developer would build the Logan Boulevard Extension between Vanderbilt Beach and Immokalee roads, and be reimbursed for its cost through impact fee credits. Concurrency refers to laws that require accompanying services for new development, including roads, utilities, police, fire, emergency medical, parks and libraries.

The reason Klatzkow and staff needs commission waiver to retain Woods is typical of Naples conflicts.

Woods represents Lowe’s Home Improvement in a 2008 case against Kohl’s Department Stores. Lowe’s sued Kohl’s for lost business when a median was closed just off of Naples Boulevard. Kohl’s then sued Collier County, claiming the closed median was at the county’s request. Although the median has been reopened, the lawsuit continues.

Lowe’s is not opposed to Woods representing the county in the G.L. Homes suit, and Klatzkow said he does not believe there is a conflict.

He only brings it before the commission because there could be the perception of conflict of interest.

For a complete look at the agenda, view it online at naplesnews.com or go to the Collier County site at: http://apps2.colliergov.net/Common/docs/Agendas/Complete/04-28-09/CoverSheet.pdf.

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 9 a.m. on the third floor of the Collier County Administration Building, 3301 U.S. 41 East, Naples.

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