Port Royal opponents drop legal challenge to Gordon Pass dock

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To read the legal challenge to the DEP permit, click on documents below.

— A controversial eight-slip boat dock proposed near Gordon Pass has one less obstacle in its way after opponents dropped a legal challenge Friday.

Neighbors Bill Bindley and Joe Semrod and the Port Royal Property Owners Association filed a petition last year asking for an administrative hearing on a state Department of Environmental Protection permit for the project and asking the DEP to revoke its approvals. The hearing, which had been postponed twice, was set for March 13 and 14.

Neither Semrod nor Bindley could be reached for comment Friday afternoon, but Port Royal association President Rodney Woods said foes still have concerns about the dock. They plan to fight it when Comax, the partnership that wants to build the dock, seeks approvals from the city of Naples.

"That's a different dimension," Woods said.

In their notice of dismissal, filed Friday, petitioners said they had resolved some of their issues while preparing for the hearing but cited a remaining question about whether the leased area should be larger. That can be addressed without proceeding with the hearing, the notice said.

The petition alleged that the dock permit and attached state submerged land lease do not comply with DEP rules. Opponents say the dock is too big, will pose a navigation hazard and will introduce a commercial feel to an upscale residential neighborhood.

The floating docks would be 170 feet long with four piers large enough to moor three 55-foot boats, two 45-foot boats, two 35- foot boats and a 30-foot boat, DEP permit drawings show.

Comax Partners Limited Partnership wants to build the docks at the estate of Comax founder, investor John Donahue, at his estate at the end of Gordon Drive. Donahue, a Pittsburgh-based mutual fund magnate, also is building mansions across the bay on the northern end of Keewaydin Island.

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