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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

ManaSota-88, Perry still undecided on Perico settlement

Holmes Beach resident and environmental activist Joan Perry could be the proverbial "fly in the ointment" for the City of Bradenton and the proposed Arvida-St. Joe Co. 686-unit condominium project on Perico Island.

Although Manatee County along with Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach have accepted a mediation agreement with Arvida over their lawsuit against the project, Perry along with the environmental group ManaSota-88 are named individually in a separate lawsuit against the project. Perry is undecided if she'll withdraw from the lawsuit, while ManaSota-88 will meet today (Nov. 17) to decide its next move. Attorneys for ManaSota-88 have indicated they will recommend the organization accept the offer.

Those decisions could be critical to Arvida-St. Joe and the mediation agreement because Arvida-St. Joe attorneys said all parties in all the lawsuits have to agree to the mediation. Otherwise, the deal is off and their offer to sell Manatee County $6 million worth of vacant, remaining Perico Island property to prevent further development will be scrapped.

"I'm currently weighing all my options," said Perry. "I'm undecided at this point," she added, but acknowledged that as a member of ManaSota-88, its decision could influence whatever direction she might take.

She agreed that finances have to be considered in continuing the litigation.

Perry believes that allowing Arvida-St. Joe to build on Perico is just the beginning of full-scale development on that island and along Palma Sola Causeway.