Material Information

Golden Gates Estates Study Committee


Subjects / Keywords:
Area development ( jstor )
Public interest ( jstor )
Estoppel ( jstor )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida


Richard Hamann's Collection - Conclusion
General Note:
Box 12, Folder 4 ( Golden Gate Estates Redevelopment Study - Phase I - 1975 ), Item 5
Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location:
Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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might be explored with GAC, and if mutually agreeable, the County might

consider authorization of transfer of development rights to consolidate

building into areas appropriate for development without detriment to

the public.

It is noted that SAC is required by the Consent Order issued by the

Federal Trade Commission, and made a part of the final order of the U.S.

District Court for the Southern District of Florida in the case of Weis

v. GAC Corp. (No. 73-155 filed September 30, 1974) to provide potable

water and sewerage facilities for each of the lot owners in the form of

.either centrally operated facilities or wells and operable septic tanks.

The infeasibility of living up to this requirement in the wetlands areas

of Golden Gate Estates might aid in convincing GAC of the desirability

of working toward such cluster type developments in the properly develop-

able areas of the project through some sort of transfer of development

rights from other areas to higher parts of the project. Absent such a

solution, GAC may find it necessary to offer lowland property owners an

opportunity to trade undevelopable property for lots in other GAC proj-

ects which meet FTC and flood insurance criteria for sound development.

III. Conclusion

In conclusion, it appears that there is sufficient legal authority

available either at the County, Water Management District, State or Fede-

ral levels toirake it possible to stabilize water run-off in the Golden

Gate Estates area and to control, reduce or-hopefully eliminate the

substantial waste of fresh water resources of Collier County, while at

the same time reducing or eliminating the effects of salt water intrusion

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which have resulted from the unnecessary lowering of ground water ele-

vations. Such stabilization would also result in reducing the silta-

tion effects of the pulse discharges of large quantities of water from

the GAC Canals.

While the permits received by GAC will no doubt raise problems of

estoppel, the multitude of legal approaches available at all levels of
government, local, regional, state and federal, plus the opportunity for

direct citizen suits in both state and federal courts would seem to mini-

mize the possibility that estoppel could be successfully argued if the

proper forum were chosen to protect the public interest. A further in-

depth exploration of all the ramifications of the estoppel problem should

be undertaken.

Even if estoppel arguments should prove to be available to defeat

all direct efforts to restore an ecologically sound water table in the

Golden Gate area, a result which would seem highly unlikely, the extreme

difficulty that will be faced by both GAC and the purchasers of GAC prop-

erty in the area when they seek to obtain the necessary permits for

further development or to borrow funds from lending institutions for

such development in accordance with federal flood insurance standards,

should go a long way toward creating a favorable climate for negotiating

an acceptable solution to the problem.

A number of alternatives to development of the entire area would

appear to be available, including more intensive development of the higher,

properly developable areas, with tradeoffs by GAC with those individuals

who have purchased property in those areas where development is ecologic-

ally unsound and contrary to the public interest. Moreover, some


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development of more marginal areas may be feasible with the use of

modern sewage disposal technology at an expense to GAC that may be no

more onerous than that already called for in the FTC Consent Order and

Federal District Court Class Action settlement order involving the Golden

Gate Properties.

Hopefully, such possibilities for an amicable settlement in the

public interest can be worked out. Legitimate public concern demands

such a solution, and there appear to be a sufficient variety of tools

in the legal arsenal to accomplish it through a proper exercise of the

police power of the state or federal governments without such action

being classified as an unconstitutional taking of private property. The

public interest of all of the citizens of Collier County demands such a

result, and it is urged that vigorous steps be taken to bring it about.

Respectfully submitted

Frank E. Maloney
Dean Emeritus and.
Professor of Law