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Not enough evidence for dumping case in Collier

Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

A company run by developer Jack Cargnoni was found not guilty on Thursday of dumping soil and debris without a permit at his property in Collier, where the Villages at Neville Park townhomes are being built.

Magisterial District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet ruled that township officials couldn't prove Cargnoni, a former Collier commissioner, and his Woodville Associates company were the ones doing the dumping at the former Woodville State Hospital land off Thoms Run Road.

Tom Plietz, the township building and fire code chief, cited nearly a dozen instances of residents reporting dumping on the property between July 2012 and May 2013, and said many occurred after a stop-work order was issued to Woodville Associates because it lacked an appropriate permit. Cargnoni since has been issued a permit to fill and grade in the area.

Cargnoni's defense of his company hinged on his claim that others were dumping the soil and debris on the property. He also claimed a permit issued in the early 2000s when development commenced still covered him.

Township engineer Larry Souleret said that permit was for a different phase of the project, and thus did not cover this particular phase.

“What we have is a simple question of whether this was dumping on property without proper permits, township attorney Kate Dierson said. “It's clear it was.”

McGraw-Desmet disagreed.

The judge said because there was no proof the developers, and not someone else, were doing the dumping, she would let Cargnoni go with the stipulation that he be more responsible for what happens on his land.

“Going forward, you are expected to follow the township's rules,” she told him.

Woodville Associates prepares the land, and Ryan Homes is building the townhomes in the complex that eventually will have more than 600 units.

Cargnoni said he is looking forward to moving forward with the Dating back to January 12th, the Heat are 10-0 following a loss. Miami has outscored its opponents by 19.9 points in those contests. [+]

development, which he said could take as many as six or seven more years.

“We want to be in compliance and work with the township,” he said. “We want to do the right thing and get to the next phase, which predicates on this development.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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