Kathleen Passidomo, Esq., was Guest Speaker at the luncheon. She has won several awards for her work, including Attorney of the Year 2008, has worked on various civic issues for thirty years, and also pro bono on many foreclosure cases. Passidomo, who recently became a Florida State Representative, addressed the audience with her comments on Amendment 4. This is a newly proposed amendment to Florida State legislature that calls for a vote of the people before the local government may adopt a new comprehensive land use plan, or amend a comprehensive land use plan. The ballot states, “. . . the proposed plan or amendment shall be subject to vote of the electors of the local government by referendum, following preparation by the local planning agency, consideration by the governingbody and notice.”
Passidomo’s views are that, although proponents of the proposed amendment cite Section 7 of the state law, which enforces a policy to preserve and protect our natural resources and scenic beauty, this amendment has nothing to do with Section 7. In fact, says Passidomo, any new land use plans already have to be reviewed by various agencies and have to be heard at public meetings before being allowed to proceed. Last year, there were 6,400 such cases, and Passidomo believes that it would not have been feasible to have voted on every single one of them. Her concern is that those voters not immediately affected by a proposed land use plan could vote unfairly to keep unwanted projects away from themselves but to the detriment of residents in other neighborhoods. She urged the Realtors® to vote “No” on the proposed amendment and to urge others to do the same.
The Florida Comprehensive Land Use Plans, Amendment 4, will be on the ballot in the November 2 election. It requires 60% of the total vote to pass. Among other endeavors, Kathleen Passidomo works with the Economic Recovery Task Force in Naples and plans to visit Marco Island to be available to islanders once a month.