Thursday, October 1, 2020

ALF Debate May Not be Dead


The debate regarding the creation of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) to allow a modified Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) on a portion of a 11.4-acre tract of land presently owned by Naples Community Hospital (NCH) may not be over after all.

The plans by the petitioner would see five acres sold to the Chancey Design Partnership, along with their partners CW Development and Watermark Communities to build a “modified CCRC” on that property. That five-acre parcel would be combined with the remaining 6.4 acres to create the PUD which would be joined the remaining NCH property at the intersection of Bald Eagle Drive and San Marco Road.

The only type of care which would not be contained within their proposed development would be “skilled nursing care.” They are proposing one LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) would be available per each eight-hour shift for the entire facility of 143 rooms. Those LPNs would be augmented with personal care assistants.

NCH has proposed that it would utilize the funds received from the sale of the property to construct a new Urgent Care Center on their remaining property in addition to additional professional offices in a separate facility sometime in the future.

The Chancey group had initially presented plans to construct a four story, 50-foot-high building, that had 206 units. The facility would vary between two bedroom and single bedroom units. The number of those units would be split between Independent, Assisted Living and a small number of Memory Care units, which could vary between 300 square feet and 1,600 square feet.

To satisfy the community concerns, the developer made a second proposal, bringing the total height of the buildings down to 40 feet and only three floors. They would also limit the number of units to a total of 166 units and beds to not exceed a total of 220. Their second plan showed 71 of the larger Independent Living Units, 68 of the Assisted Living Units and 29 of the Memory Care Units.

A third offer came to the surface during the January 22 meeting of the city council, as Walt Chancey proposed another option for council consideration. In this most recent proposal, the petitioner took the wraps off his proposition to only build 143 units, with a maximum of 187 beds. This would mark a 59-unit reduction in the number of rooms since they began proposing the project.

The proposal for this development was met by strong opposition at the January 22 meeting of council, which debated the issue and entertained approximately four hours of citizen input.

Those in favor of the project lost a vote to continue the debate for another month by a 4-3 margin with Councilor Larry Honig, Chairman Erik Brechnitz and Councilor Jared Grifoni voting in favor of the extension of the debate for another month. Vice Chairman Victor Rios, Councilors Howard Reed, Sam Young and Charlette Roman would oppose that extension, having heard enough from the petitioner.

The loss of that vote would cause Councilor Honig to move to approve the project. That motion would fail 6-1 with only Honig voting in favor.

Since that evening, the petitioner and residents in support of the project have begun to collect signatures supporting a reconsideration of the council’s action. That process could be combined with a motion to “reconsider” the vote on a motion to approve the project.

Anyone of the six who voted on the prevailing side of that vote may bring the issue up at the next regularly scheduled meeting for reconsideration. Some are speculating that either Chairman Brechnitz or Councilor Grifoni will make that motion to reconsider to allow further discussions. They must, however, find that elusive forth vote in addition to Councilor Honig to ensure passage of the vote to reconsider.

That meeting, in council chambers, will be held on Monday, February 4 beginning at 5:30 PM and is open to the public.

4 responses to “ALF Debate May Not be Dead”

  1. Homer Stachler says:

    I am totally against this project. Why don’t they take it off of island and would have less troubles. We’ve already saturated this island enough.

  2. Betsy Wohltman says:

    “Hold that line!” Find another parcel of land. There are other options here on island.

  3. Eric DaSilva says:

    Dear Council members:

    I am writing to strongly urge you to reject an assisted living facility on Marco Island. Marco is a very special area that needs your diligent protection. An assisted living facility would permanently damage the island.
    I think we probably all share the same feeling as we drive over the Jolley Bridge and see a wonderful island spreading out before our eyes. We do not need to mar that image with supply trucks bringing product to an assisted living facility. Nor do we need the numerous cars that would travel on and off the island daily to service such a facility. We may need that for the larger hotels, due to the tourist commerce that benefits the island. But, there really is nothing to be gained from an assisted living facility. A few people at the last hearing supported the facility on the mistaken belief that it would ensure them a room if they needed to leave their home or condominium. However, the low number of beds in the current proposal almost assures that nobody on the island would have a room. Further, the fact that the for-profit facility would be open to the public would mean that residents from all over the country could seek housing there. The odds that a resident of Marco Island would be able to secure a room are almost zero. Consequently, there is no benefit to anyone on Marco Island. The only benefit is to the developer. The land in question was deeded by the Mackle Brothers so it could be used for the medical needs of everyone on the island. The proposed use would very likely benefit none of its citizens and certainly inconvenience almost all of its citizens. I strongly urge you to oppose any assisted-living facility on Marco Island and especially the current proposed location.

    Eric DaSilva

  4. Mary Lee Kocourek says:

    I am for it.

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