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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Naples News Investigates: Will Monaghan And Co. Control Ave Maria Town Forever?

The Naples News has a fascinating in-depth, three-part special report on the governance of Ave Maria Town, including video and links to internal Ave Maria memos.

Some of the juicy tidbits:
-the developers Tom Monaghan and Barron Collier Co. control Ave Maria Town, and have the power to issue bonds and tax residents like any city or county government;
-under pre-existing Florida law, developers controlled similar projects for only 10 years before control turned over to the registered voters living in the district;
-Monaghan and Co. got the law rewritten to say that control passed once half of the land in the district was developed;
-Monaghan and Co. then created a district in which the planned size of Ave Maria Town was less than half the size of the entire district;
-Therefore, Monaghan and Co. can control Ave Maria Town in perpetuity. (Here is the "smoking-gun" internal memo where the size and control of Ave Maria's district is discussed.)

Check out the whole report. I hope Naples News keeps up the good investigative journalism.

HT: AveWatch.com