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Update on Citizens v. Riverstone & Nassau County

March 1, 2024




March 1, 2024

On April 23, Nassau County Commissioners Martin, Huppman, Gray and Farmer agreed to give Riverstone the green light to build eleven condominium towers, at least 85 feet high, next to the state park at the south end of Amelia Island. They also gave Riverstone $250,000 from the county and a long list of valuable concessions such as narrow setbacks, the right to erect electric billboards on A1A, immunity from future tree ordinances, etc.

The following week Citizens against Runaway Development (CARD) incorporated and filed suit against the county to block the agreement. CARD was joined in its suit by Amelia Tree Conservancy and the adjacent homeowners’ association, Sanctuary Property Owners’ Association. The county then asked Riverstone to team with it, against the citizen groups.

At a hearing last week, CARD was dismissed as a plaintiff in the suit, because it did not incorporate until after the county and Riverstone had signed their agreement on April 23, 2023.


What is the effect of this ruling?

It will have no meaningful impact on the litigation going forward. The suit against the county and Riverstone will continue with Amelia Tree Conservancy and the adjacent homeowner’s association as plaintiffs, and Gray Robinson continuing to serve as legal counsel.


Does CARD plan to appeal this ruling?

No. The ruling does not adversely affect the citizens’ case going forward. An appeal would only result in additional legal fees and delays.


What happens next?

We are working toward securing a final hearing or trial on the settlement agreement sometime this spring or summer. At that time, we expect the court to significantly modify the agreement or toss it completely. However, the timing of this matter is not entirely in our hands.


What happens to the money donated to CARD?

By the end of 2023 more than 170 families and individuals had donated to CARD. More than a third of those were for $1,000 or more. Those funds have been, and will be, spent to carry out the extended litigation with Riverstone and our county.


Where can I donate to help the battle?

Since it will no longer be a plaintiff, CARD has decided to stop accepting donations for this particular matter. However, Amelia Tree Conservancy continues to maintain a segregated fund for tax deductible donations to the Riverstone/Nassau County litigation.


Contributions can be made through this website, at AmeliaTreeConservancy.org and designated for the Riverstone litigation.

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Nearly 500 people have visited the CARD website at www.cardamelia.org and added their names to our mailing list. Many of these are the same folks who have been attending standing-room-only commission meetings for several years now, speaking out against the Riverstone towers and writing to their county commissioners.

We will keep you informed of developments as they occur. Your County Attorney and the commissioners supporting Riverstone will not.

Thank you for your support.

“Corky” Hoffman, President, CARD

Lyn Pannone, President, Amelia Tree Conservancy


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