It’s official! Morris-Depew Associates is a key part of the team selected by Lee Memorial Health System for the next expansion of Gulf Coast Medical Center. Current plans call for adding three stories and 275 beds. Morris-Depew Associates will provide Land Use Planning, Civil Engineering, Surveying, and Landscape Architecture services to HKS Architects and the Skanska/Gates construction management team. Bill Morris, PE, LEED®AP, successfully served as Civil Engineer and Project Manager for Morris-Depew Associates during the consolidation of Gulf Coast Hospital and Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center which was completed in 2009 and will continue in the same role for this expansion. Michael Ekblad, PLA, will serve as the project Landscape Architect, Mark A. Hatfield, PLS will once again be the Land Surveyor and Tina Mayfield Ekblad, MPA, AICP, LEED®AP will continue as the Land Use Planner. Once complete in 2020, the 675-bed hospital will be the largest public health care facility between Sarasota and Miami.
The Lee County Board of County Commissioners approved transmittal of the Lee Plan amendments for the 2,960 acre site. The amendments propose a maximum of 1,100 dwelling units and support commercial along with an extensive amenity package. The developer, Private Equity Group, has committed to preservation and restoration of over 1,300 acres of the highly impacted site, including re-establishment of 2 sloughs and provision of multiple wildlife corridors. David W. Depew, PhD, AICP, LEED®AP and Tina Mayfield Ekblad, MPA, AICP, LEED®AP, have been working closely with Charles Basinait, Esq., of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes and Holt. P.A.on the amendments retaining the DR/GR designation, but adding an Environmental Enhancement Overlay, thus providing incentives for the restoration and preservation activities. Support was generated from over
On June 3, 2015, the Lee County Commission approved an amendment to the Lee Plan and a companion amendment to the planned development zoning for River Hall Country Club in east Lee County. The two requests had been in process since September, 2012, and converted 586 acres of land from Rural to Sub-Outlying Suburban, granting approval for construction of an additional 696 dwelling units. GreenPointe Communities, LLC, the developer, is involved in 10 other planned communities in Florida, including Southern Hills, Triple Creek, and Belmont, and has been working with residents and other interested parties to provide infill development on River Hall based upon the existing development plan. When completed, the River Hall development will consist of 2,695 dwelling units, a 27-hole golf course, and an extensive amenity package, along with a variety of housing types, creating an outstanding lifestyle community. Tina Mayfield Ekblad, MPA, AICP, LEED®AP, and David W. Depew, PhD, AICP, LEED®AP, provided testimony and planning expertise for the redevelopment/infill effort, and made multiple presentations to the Lee County Commission, the Local Planning Agency, and the Lee County Hearing Examiner. A Challenge has been filed by local residents and is scheduled to be heard by an Administrative Law Judge in late September or early October.
Bill Morris, PE, LEED® AP and Ryan M. Shute, PE, have concluded an engineering analysis of the anticipated impacts in St. Lucie County from the All Aboard Florida‘s expansion of the railroad system for high speed passenger and freight trains that, if approved, would run between Miami and Orlando. The engineering study looks at traffic and traffic-related safety concerns that will arise at 23 railroad crossings along the rail line that are intended to be used by the project once the expansion of rail service is completed that were not addressed in the AAF Draft Environmental Impact Study. St. Lucie County has hired outside counsel, Segundo J. Fernandez, Esq., from the law firm of Oertel, Fernandez, Bryant & Atkinson, P.A.
After opening in February of 2014, our Destin office has a new space at Grand Boulevard Plaza. David W. Depew, PhD, AICP, LEED®AP heads up this latest expansion to the Morris-Depew office sites and has found the area to be experiencing rapid growth and development. The office location allows him to cover the Panhandle from Pensacola to Tallahassee. Recently, the Florida Planning Association, Florida Chapter and Emerald Coast Planning Section contacted Dr. Depew to speak with them regarding updates to the land use law, and a session is being scheduled for February, 2016. If you are in the Destin area, please call or drop by to say hello.
Mark Hatfield, PLS, is excited to be performing the ALTA and topographic survey work for Grand Resort -Fort Myers Beach, LLC on their land acquisition phase involving Fort Myers Beach. Most recently, Grand Resort has purchased the Mermaid Lounge and has also acquired several adjacent properties. Michael Ekblad, PLA and Ryan Shute, PE are providing design support and also assisting Grand Resorts in the redevelopment of Fort Myers Beach.
Midbrook v. Martin Co., et. al. (13-3397GM; 14-0135GM)
On June 2, 2015, Florida Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk issued her proposed recommended order in the Midbrook v Martin Co. administrative challenge. Dr. Depew provided testimony on these and other issues in this case which was heard in Stuart on 9/30/2014 & 10/1/2014. Finding the County’s plan NOT in compliance, her opinion stated, in part:
“Based upon the foregoing Findings of Fact, the Operative Amendments do not react to the readily-available data regarding the County’s population projections and trends by separating out the Eastern and Indiantown USDs for purposes of calculating both residential demand and residential capacity. The methodologies in Sections 1.7.B and 1.7.C, as well as Policies 4.1D.3 and 4.1D.5, are thus, not based on data and analysis.
“Likewise, Petitioner proved beyond fair debate that Policy 4.1D.5(4) is not based on data and analysis because it is not a professionally acceptable methodology for obtaining data on residential capacity within approved multifamily developments.
“Petitioner proved beyond fair debate that the County’s methodology for calculating housing demand and supply does not take into account the separate and distinct housing markets in the Eastern and Indiantown USDs, thus interfering with the operation of the normal market, effectively limiting choices for residential consumers.”
Dr. David W. Depew, PhD, AICP LEED®AP, worked with attorneys Steven D. Hutton and Przemyslaw Dominko on the Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. case (McCann Holdings, Ltd. versus Vott-A, LLC; Vott-B, LLC; Vott-C, LLC, VOTT-D, LLC, Henry Rodriguez, & Randall Benderson) involving a 2010 Sarasota County land deal that went awry.
After 1½ days of deliberation the jury sided with McCann on all six legal counts in the lawsuit, awarding Mr. Culverhouse $20 million in damages. The three developers had originally agreed to coordinate development of 1000 acres in South Central Sarasota County under the provisions of a State pilot program that would have created a ‘green’ Energy Economic Zone, creating a sustainable mixed use development of commercial, retail, office and residential uses.
The jury determined that the defendants had improperly interfered with the permitting process, significantly damaging McCann Holdings, Ltd. Dr. Depew served as a predicate witness for the appraiser, Chad Durrance (Durance & Associates, Inc., 300 S. Hyde Park Ave, Ste. 201, Tampa, FL 33606), as well as providing foundation information regarding the permitting and development process that the EEZ had undergone.
We are very pleased to announce that Michael Ekblad, PLA, has joined Morris-Depew Associates, Inc. as the Director of Landscape Architecture. Mr. Ekblad has worked in the areas of landscape & irrigation design, hardscape design, site planning, and permitting, and he has experience in the process of community development, community visioning, and lifestyle planning.
Senior Partner, Bill Morris, PE., LEED® AP and principal at Morris-Depew Associates, has been invited to join the SW FL Chapter of REIS Board of Governors. Having been an active member since 1998, this new position is effective immediately and will allow Bill to support the organization in a greater capacity.
The Nominating Committee of Connect Florida in conjunction with the Leadership Florida Board has named Morris-Depew Partner and Planning Director, Tina Mayfield Ekblad, MPA, AICP, LEED® AP to serve on the 2015-2016Connect Florida Board of Governors as the Southwest Regional Chair. Her duties will include recruitment efforts for the 2017 Connect Florida Class as well as outreach with Connect Florida Alum and organizing Regional Events with the Leadership Florida Regional Chair.