Friends of the Everglades joined the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and thirteen other environmental and civic organizations November 30, 2021, in filing an amicus brief to challenge the development of Rivergrass Village in Collier County.

The development is located within the Rural Lands Stewardship Area (RLSA), adopted in 2002 to protect wetlands and listed species habitat, prevent the premature conversion of agricultural lands, and avoid sprawl in eastern Collier County.

The Conservancy’s appeal brief focuses on the fact that the trial court declined to hear evidence that Rivergrass Village will cost Collier County taxpayers millions of dollars, will result in widespread worsening of traffic congestion, and fails to comply with the Collier County Land Development Code.

Should the lower court’s incorrect ruling be upheld, allowing the new development to proceed, the signed organizations warn the ruling could “eviscerate the public’s ability to challenge irresponsible development throughout much of Florida.”