Click for Ave Maria, Florida Forecast

The Ave Herald

Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


Sign Policy and Election Among Topics on AMSCD Agenda

Decisions on who can put up signs major Ave Maria roadways promoting local businesses and real estate developments will be out of the hands of the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District if proposed sign policies are passed at the district's meeting Tuesday, Dec. 6.

The question of who is entitled to put up a sign and for what purpose has been vexing the district board since it first came up at the February meeting when Pulte Homes requested permission to put promotional flags for the Avalon Park development on light poles on the Seton St. bridge. The district owns the bridge as well as other major roadways in Ave Maria including Ave Maria Blvd., Pope John Paul II Blvd. and Annunciation Circle.

During the discussion, board member Jay Roth, who manages the Lutgert Insurance office in the town center, expressed interest in putting up flags on other light poles for his business and since there was no policy in place, the board declined to permit any businesses to put up flags or signs on district property until a policy was developed. Pulte put up the flags anyway, in defiance of the board.

Since then, other businesses in town including the Rusty Putter restaurant at Del Webb and a local real estate agent have sought permission for signs along Ave Maria Blvd. All requests were denied pending development of a policy.

In subsequent discussions, both town residents and lawyers for the district have said that if the district, as a quasi-governmental body, allowed some promotional signs but denied others it could raise First Amendment free speech issues.

Proposed policies work around constitutional issues by banning all signs on district property except directional signs and traffic signs, but also granting an easement to Ave Maria Development so that the developers could decide whether to allow other types of signs, especially along roadways.

Proposed guidelines included in the board's meeting book would permit limited signs for real estate developments and temporary signs for special events in specific locations which Mr. Johnson said would be spelled out at the meeting. He said in an interview that he was unclear whether flags on light poles would be acceptable but that it would be up to the developer, not the district, to make that determination.

A number of other matters are up for consideration by the board, some of which were carried over from the agenda for the November meeting which was not held because only two members of the board were present – one short of the three required for a quorum.

These items include:

- Seating and swearing in new board member Jim Carletta, who was elected at a landowners meeting Nov. 1. Mr. Carletta will serve until his seat transfers to being directly elected by residents in 2017 and he is either elected or replaced in that election.

- Final approval of the map showing the amount of "urban area" in Ave Maria, which determined that one seat on the five-member board would be chosen by direct election. Attorney Alyssa Wilson with Hopping, Green and Sams says that if the approval is not appealed by Jan. 5, 2017, the election would then need to be held within six months of that date. Details of qualifying period and election date would be spelled out at the Feb. 7 meeting of the board.

- Formal approval for about $19 million in district bonds for infrastructure.$8,100,000 of the debt is for bonds to pay for infrastructure for Maple Ridge Phase 4, Maple Ridge Reserve Phase 2 and Coquina Phases 2 and 3. Interest will be paid by homeowners in those phases. The other offering, in the form of Bond Anticipation Notes, will finance construction of the next phases of Anthem Parkway and other infrastructure improvements in the area of Arthrex, for both commercial and residential development. Developers will bear the costs of that financing.

- Approval of the manual for operating golf carts in Ave Maria, including rules, regulations and where carts can be driven on district roadways.

Meetings of the AMSCD board are open to the public, and those attending have opportunities to ask questions. The agenda is below, and the full meeting book – which contains details on all items including a copy of the golf cart manual and the "urban area" map – are on the district's website.



Ave Maria Master Association

5076 Annunciation Circle, Suite 103

Ave Maria, Florida 34142


December 6, 2016

9:00 a.m.

A. Call to Order

B. Pledge of Allegiance

C. Proof of Publication

D. Seat New Board Members

E. Administer Oath of Office & Review Board Member Responsibilities and Duties

F. Establish Quorum

G. Election of Officers

- Chairman

- Vice Chairman

- Secretary/Treasurer

- Assistant Secretaries

H. Additions or Deletions to Agenda

I. Comments from the Public for Items Not on the Agenda

J. Approval of Minutes

1. October 20, 2016 Continued Regular Board Meeting Minutes

K. 2016 Financing

1. Consider Resolution No. 2016-16 – Ratifying Series 2016 Bonds

- Audience Comments

2. Consider Resolution No. 2016-17 – Ratifying Series 2016 BANS

- Audience Comments

3. Consider Approval of Supplemental Disclosure of Public Financing-Bonds

- Audience Comments

4. Consider Approval of Supplemental Disclosure of Public Financing-BANs

- Audience Comments

L. Old Business

M. New Business

1. Consider Resolution No. 2016-18 – Granting Signage Easement

- Audience Comments

2. Consider Resolution No. 2016-19 – Adopting a Prompt Payment Policy

- Audience Comments

3. Consider Resolution No. 2016-20 – Adopting a Fiscal Year 2014/2015 Amended Budget

- Audience Comments

4. Consider Resolution No. 2016-21 – Adopting a Fiscal Year 2014/2015 Amended Budget

for Master Irrigation Utility System

- Audience Comments

5. Consider Resolution No. 2016-22 – Approving Urban Area Maps

- Audience Comments

6. Consider Resolution No. 2016-23 – Adopting a Golf Cart Drivers Handbook

- Audience Comments

7. Consider Resolution No. 2016-24– Adopting a Signage Policy

- Audience Comments

N. Administrative Matters

1. Legal Report

2. Engineer Report

3. Manager's Report

O. Board Members Comments

P. Adjourn


Looking for the truth about
what Ave Maria is really like?
So much of what has been
reported is wrong.
Click for the most
oft-repeated myths about
Ave Maria and the reality.