CHPOA organized a resistance committee and began to raise funds
from the community to pursue a legal challenge to the project.
Our first tactic in this battle was to hire an attorney, and on his
advice, we filed a formal protest with the state. This filing was
directed at Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD),
the primary permitting agency in the case, and notified them of our
interest in the proceedings and our commitment to see that all
applicable laws and standards were upheld.
It was discovered during this process that the boat ramp and
docks already built on the property by the developer were not
properly permitted, and that wetlands that had originally existed on
the property had been improperly filled. By virtue of our
filing, we became a party to the dispute, and our attorney kept the
pressure on SWFWMD to discourage them from issuing an after-the-fact
permit for the docks and boat ramp.
As a result, SWFWMD eventually ordered the developer to remove
the boat ramp, and in effect, invalidated the original planned
purchase by the county. The county backed away from its
purchase and development plans for the property, and is on record as
saying that the property is not suited for a public boat launching
facility after all.
The property is zoned for multi-family development and no doubt
will one day feature condominiums or apartments. However,
CHPOA once again provided the organization, funds, and unified voice
to impact nearby development, and in this case, prevented an
improperly built boat ramp from becoming a busy and disruptive