By Cindy Jackson
November 14, 2018 10:55 a.m.
In a surprising development, the Fernandina Observer received news early this morning that Rayonier/Raydient Places + Properties has filed a lawsuit against Nassau County in the fourth judicial circuit.
The 172 page document (click here to review document) filed in the fourth judicial circuit court, is an attempt to “fully protect their property rights.”
The announcement included this statement:
“The lawsuit outlines the County’s improper actions . . . including the County’s recent enactment of a municipal service taxing unit (MSTU) ordinance over the East Nassau Community Planning Area (ENCPA), as well as the County’s misleading interpretation of the East Nassau Stewardship District Bill.”
Calls placed to county attorney and acting county manager Michael Mullin and to Pat Edwards, chairman of the board of county commissioners were not returned as of press time.
In the announcement sent by Alejandro Barbero, Director, Strategic Development and Communications for Rayonier, also stated that, “Despite the filing of the lawsuit, Raydient remains committed to the long-term success of the ENCPA and the optimization of economic development throughout Nassau County.”
- STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
& COMMUNICATIONS• The dispute is about who pays for fixing Nassau County’s current backlog of needs for parks and recreation facilities.
• Nassau County’s own regulations require the County to construct and maintain its parks and recreation facilities.
• For decades, the County has poorly planned and underfunded all public facilities, including recreation, while approving many thousands of new residential units.
• For many years, Nassau County has collected impact fees that were too low to build the facilities needed due to growth.
• Additionally, the County failed to collect its low impact fees for more than five years and that made the backlog even worse.
• It is illegal for Nassau County to try to force new developments to pay for the County’s existing shortage of public facilities.
Editor’s Note: Born in Hagerstown, Maryland, Cindy received her BA in Political Science from Dickinson College. Upon graduation, Cindy began her career on Capitol Hill working as a legislative aide and director. She later became a part of the public relations and lobbying team of the American Iron and Steel Institute and served as director of the office of state legislative affairs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Cindy was involved in economic development with the state of Maryland, and served as executive director of Leadership Washington County. As a community volunteer, Cindy participates in numerous volunteer activities serving as a member of Sunrise Rotary, and as board member of Cummer Amelia Board of Directors.