Immokalee voters will get the chance in August to express at the polls support - or disapproval - of the proposed Immokalee Area Master Plan.
Collier County commissioners voted 4-1, Tuesday, to place on the August primary election ballot a non-binding straw vote on the Master Plan, the outcome of which will serve as the final and undisputable "will of the people" statement for the lawmakers who will, in turn, give the plan a formal up-or-down vote in September.
Collier County Commissioner Jim Coletta, who represents Immokalee and eastern Collier on the county’s lawmaking panel, proposed the August straw vote after the third of three community meetings on the plan broke down into a raucous affair with both supporters and detractors of the plan claiming intimidation by the other side. Only Commissioner Tom Henning voted Tuesday against holding the straw vote.
Tuesday's decision by the county lawmakers means the planned June 18 meeting of the county commission, in Immokalee, will not take place. The lawmakers agreed last month
to hold the June 18 meeting at take the final, formal vote on the plan. That meeting will now be set for September, after the August straw vote.
The ballot question will read:
DO YOU SUPPORT THE AMENDMENTS TO THE IMMOKALEE AREA MASTER PLAN AND
THE IMMOKALEE AREA MASTER PLAN FUTURE LAND USE MAP AS VOTED ON AT THE
COLLIER COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS’ DECEMBER 13, 2011, MEETING?
The date of December 13, 2011 is significant in the proposed ballot question because that is the date on which the Collier commission failed to approve the plan when it garnered only three of the four necessary votes for adoption. While Commissioners Coletta, Donna Fiala and Fred Coyle supported the plan, Commissioner Georgia Hiller voted against it and Commissioner Tom Henning abstained. Because it is a major change to the county’s formal growth plan, adoption requires the so-called super-majority of four votes.
The August straw vote and September's formal and final adoption or rejection of the Immokalee Area Master Plan will bring to an end nearly 10 years of planning and revision on the plan, which the Immokalee Community Redevelopment Agency proposes as a blueprint for the town's future growth and a guide for establishing Immokalee as shining example of "Florida in the 21st Century.
See this website's Master Plan page
for more information, maps and a complete guide to the proposed Immokalee Area Master Plan.