Medallion: We Did Our Homework at Foxfire

From Peter Logan

BY PETER R. LOGAN SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY MAY 5, 2018

SRQ Magazine recently published an opinion article by Ms. Cathy Antunes regarding current litigation between Medallion Home and Mr. John Garcia. Although we were disappointed that neither Ms. Antunes nor SRQ Magazine reached out to us for our perspective, we’re grateful that SRQ has elected to publish “the other side.”

Unfortunately, Ms. Antunes omits several important details in her article. She fails to clearly state, as does Mr. Garcia, that Medallion Home is NOT building on any former landfill. We have NO impacts. Instead we are building on adjacent lands in the same manner that Ashley to the west, and Red Hawk Reserve to the south were built. Ashley was built nearly 40 years ago with some property values today at $1 million! Just like Ashley and Red Hawk, all utilities will be provided to Waverley by Sarasota County.

Ms. Antunes also omits property rights and process. In the previous rezoning application of 2013 by the then-current land owner, that applicant failed to adequately (let alone at all) environmentally test the closed golf course. Having previously watched the 2013 Board of County Commissioners hearing, those commissioners were apprehensive about the unknown. BEFORE making application for the 2014 rezoning, Mr. Carlos Beruff and his team extensively evaluated test results for the closed golf course, utilizing Ardaman & Associates, Inc. (the environmental consulting firm that had been working on the property for the previous 20 years). This testing far-exceeded what is required under state and local guidelines. Mr. Beruff wanted to ensure the development would be a safe place for his customers to live.

Pursuant to Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Department of Health protocol, Mr. Beruff’s team submitted their Site Assessment Report [SAR] in June of 2014. This document, which defined the extent of the environmental concerns and their proposed remediation solutions, was accepted by FDEP that same month; [the SAR] “appears to have adequately addressed suspected impacts to the property pursuant to Chapter 62-780.600 Florida Administrative Code.” Following remediation, FDEP issued their Site Rehabilitation Completion Order on June 30, 2015, meaning the property was safe for residential development.

What Ms. Antunes additionally fails to mention is the constant harassment Mr. Garcia has displayed toward the project in general. She failed to mention the letters he wrote to Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and President Barack Obama; the complaint he filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the skull-and-cross bone signs he affixed to electric poles along Proctor and Clark Roads; the multiple social media swipes he’s taken; the fact that he was caught on camera trespassing and that he misleads the public about whether Medallion Home is building ON the landfill, which we are NOT. Of course none of this includes the phone calls, emails and letters he directed at local government officials and their staff.

And for all of the crusade Mr. Garcia puts up for the “benefit of his neighbors,” he still lives in Foxfire, next door to the project. If he were so concerned about health, safety and welfare, wouldn’t he have moved his family in 2014 when the rezoning was approved?

Peter R. Logan is president of Medallion Home.

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