Sunday, February 28, 2021

A Scope of East Naples’ Future

The East Naples Merchant’s Association (ENMA) gathered at Greenlinks Golf Villas Hotel at Lely Resort on August 10. The evening’s network event provided food, beer and wine with the chance for businesses to make connections with members of the area.

Laura DeJohn, the Director of Planning and Landscape Architect at Johnson Engineering and Mike Bosi, Collier County Planning and Zoning Director shared a presentation that reflected the scope and schedule for a US 41 Corridor Study being conducted. Since ENMA and its members are key stakeholders in the planning stages, the purpose of the study will gather public input on preferences for future development alongside the county road.

The study is conducted through a partnership between Johnson Engineering and Collier County to determine the public’s preferences for future development types and uses of commercial real estate. The study runs from Price Street all the way down to Palm Street and Commercial Drive.

“One person’s commercial opportunity is a private resident’s infringement on their existing neighborhood,” Bosi stated. “Rather than be bogged down by an influx of unwanted businesses, we wanted to investigate what [businesses] the community wants to see.”

The focus of the discussion highlighted a past private study conducted by the East Naples Foundation in 2009 on how the East Naples corridor area developed and the study that will be done by Collier

County later this year. The priorities identified by the public meetings during the 2009-2010 East Trail Corridor Study were: preferences for the types of new development, roadside and building appearance, as well as safety and convenience for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. After a boom in businesses in our area over the last couple of years, these topics will be revisited in hopes to develop new businesses that the public will welcome.

There are three meetings being held in the fall at the East Naples Community Park that the public can attend. The first public meeting on October 3 will allow the county to gain insight on the public’s preferences for development along the east Naples corridor. The second meeting will be held November 7 for the public to continue the discourse of planning. The final public meeting will take place at the end of the year, where options to incentivize preferred development or businesses along the corridor will be presented.

“All of the final information collected will be presented to the Board of Collier County Commissioners” Bosi explained. “The board will then make a recommendation and direct the county in the right direction for new businesses and services.”

After the presentation, guests could tour one of the villas on the property available for short term rentals. As the area will begin to gain its tourism back for the season, Greenlinks is a great alternative to hotels as it is right in the heart of the local East Naples community.

To attend the next ENMA event or find out how you can become an ENMA member, contact Liz Sanders at 239-687-1782.

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