With these columns, I try to include all the areas within the distribution of our wonderful Coastal Breeze. This way people in the area can keep up with the goings–on of their neighbors.
*Last week, I started to work with a very important person in the Growth Management Division within the County who can check on items for me, confirm information I have received, and clue me in on things I didn’t even know were in the pipeline. I will include some of those in this column every week for your knowledge and pleasure. When I hear interesting things, I check them out with her first to determine that the information can be confirmed or updated. I want to include all information to all the people in this area who have access to the Coastal Breeze News.
*The first bit of information is a drawing for the upcoming transformation of the old K-Mart building in Freedom Square, in front of Lely Resort, and at the intersection of 951/Collier Blvd and U. S. 41 E/Tamiami Trail. From the drawings I’ve seen, it looks like three new companies will be joining us, and this is a good news item for sure! They will be Planet Fitness, HomeGoods and Burlington! Or Burlington Coat Factory, as it was originally named. It really will be nice to have a few new places to shop! I think they will be surprised to see the area from which they will draw customers! Of course, there is East Naples, which includes the huge and lovely Lely Resort, Fiddlers Creek, Naples Lakes Country Club, Isles of Collier Preserve, Treviso Bay and so much more, but ALSO Golden Gate Estates, Marco Island, Goodland, Isles of Capri, City of Naples, Port of the Islands, and Bayshore Drive, etc. These communities are great hubs for all sections of East Naples, and I’ve only mentioned a few communities within the East Naples area! By the way, the East Naples area also has HUGE areas of preserved land that will never be sold, as they are environmentally preserved and owned by the State or the Feds or environmental groups. That’s what makes this area so unique! We can drive 5 or 10 minutes and see orchids growing in trees, bears, deer, alligators, wild boar, gorgeous trees, swamps, a plethora of birds big and small, and all the beauty that can be had! Gee, I sound like a tourist brochure! However, I believe these new stores will be busy as soon as they open!
*You all remember the Goodland Road problem we’ve had over the years when it still was under the control of Marco Island, and the steps we had to take to get us to this point? We paid them a million dollars a year for road maintenance, which we offered so we could keep the Goodland people safe and able to move in and out of their community. After we paid $13 million, they finally turned the road over to us. Our next project was to seek permission from the Army Corps, the Conservancy, South Florida Water Management District, and Rookery Bay, so the county could raise the level of the road—very expensive—and the residents could get home safely.
Construction plans are now in the final stages, including the relocation of two force mains. We are close to the end of the process right now, and it looks like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Our pledge is that we will protect these residents and visitors and their safety! Within the next couple of months—or even weeks—the County will start the process of elevating the double-lane road about two feet. This will be a major effort because these residents only have one road in and one road out and no leeway or margins for error. The County’s approach during construction will be one-way traffic—one lane open to traffic on Goodland Drive during construction activities—to allow access to Goodland, utilizing flagmen and temporary traffic signals. The County has promised the Conservancy that we will hire an expert to check on the health and condition of the mangroves each year and report back to them. These mangroves are very important to the area and to the estuaries! Nature abounds, and we want to be positive that we do everything we can to protect this fragile environment.
*Port of the Island residents are invited to the Angler’s Cove Restaurant on October 15th at 6:30 PM to meet and greet the Republican and Democratic candidates for Collier County District 1 Commissioner. Social Distancing will be in effect, and only 50 people will be able to attend. Registered voters are encouraged to attend.
*A tree giveaway is sponsored by the Friends of Rookery Bay and will be presented on Saturday, September 26th, starting at 8 AM in the Parking lot of Rookery Bay on Collier Blvd., (951) and will last all morning or until the supply of trees run out. Rookery Bay is becoming more active all the time. This week is National Estuaries Week, but you still have time to get to a few events! On Wednesday, September 23rd, the Pythons to Peppers is a LIVE Virtual Field Trip and biologists explore the Reserve’s unique upland scrub habitat. On Thursday, September 24th, from 9:45 AM to 10:30 AM the program is called Finding Fish on a Boat Trawl, again LIVE virtual Field Trip, and on Friday, September 25th, you can meet the Filmmaker of Rookery Bay’s Mangrove Coast, and get behind the scenes with Emmy Award–Winning Elam Stoltzfus from 1 PM to 2 PM and see previously unreleased clips from the film. Registration is required for all events, so register at RookeryBay.org/events/national-estuaries-week. Follow the Friends of Rookery Bay on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
An update on the utility project in the Lakewood community on Boca Ciega Drive is planned to start on September 28th.
Also, the rehabilitation of the generator installation on St. Andrews Blvd. is expected to start in October. A notice will be sent to the residents closer to construction.
Manor Care Nursing and Rehabilitation will be repairing a building, so if you see the construction going on, now you know!
The Shoppes at Santa Barbara (Northeast corner of Davis Blvd. and Santa Barbara) is requesting to amend a PUD to permit the addition of 250 plus multi-family dwelling units.
The Harmony on Santa Barbara—in front of Calusa Elementary School—is proposing to locate a total of 82 units of affordable housing on 3.78 acres of county–owned land. The property is currently under a PUD Amendment (Bembridge Emergency Services Complex) to allow for the requested density.
A Pre-Application meeting is scheduled for the Riviera Golf Course development for a proposed rezoning of the golf course into 237 multi-family residences.
Lastly, Villa Verde at Hacienda Lakes (Rattlesnake Hammock east of CR951) is proposing a 160-unit independent Senior Living Facility.