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Planning Commission Update – Here’s what happened

savevanderbiltbeach / Blog  / Planning Commission Update – Here’s what happened

The Collier County Planning Commission met Thursday to discuss the One Naples development.

This 7 member quasi-judicial committee assists in the formulation and review of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Land Development Code, and amendments to both, and then submits their recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners for final decision. There is one member from each of the five County Commission Districts, and two at-large environmental members. Members are required to file a Form 1 Statement of Financial Interest each year with the Supervisor of Elections. Terms are four years.

Planning Commission county Liaison: Ray Bellows 252-2463 or Ray.Bellows@colliercountyfl.gov

 Name  District  Exp. Date
 Paul Shea  3  10/01/23
 Karl Fry  3  10/01/22
 Edwin Fryer  4  10/01/24
 Joseph K. Schmitt  1  10/01/23
 Robert L. Klucik, Jr  5  10/01/24
 Christopher T. Vernon  2  10/01/24
 Karen Joyce Homiak  1  10/01/22
 Thomas G. Eastman – Non-voting School Board Rep.  2  10/01/23

 

The Commission heard from the developer and from the county staff.  Because time ran out, the public, including the representatives of Save Vanderbilt Beach, were not heard and the meeting was continued until October 15 at 9:00AM.   At that time the public will have their chance to speak.

You can watch the video of the yesterday’s meeting at:

https://collier.granicus.com/player/clip/2911?view_id=4&redirect=true

The Naples One discussion begins at 2:34 hours and minutes into the meeting.

By way of a recap, we feel that the meeting went as expected. We were encouraged when James Sabo, the lead planner on this application spoke.  More about that in a moment.  The session began with the presentation of the applicant, Stock Development.  They were represented by their attorney, Rich Yovanovich, who was joined by Brian Stock and several of their staff members and consultants.

Their presentation was predictable and, in many respects, reflects what has been stated before by the Company.

Stock’s representation are generally reflected as follows:

They are quality developers concerned with the community, and this project is first class and will increase property values in the neighborhood.  They have held many meetings with the community and have responded to the community’s concerns.

                The Planning Commission has two choices: approve the proposed plan or Stock will build a 100,000 square foot project on the site as the current zoning allows. (More about this in a moment.)

                The project, as designed, has  much less impact on traffic than would be a commercial development.

                They worked with the County transportation planning staff and are going to make a number of improvements to Vanderbilt Beach Road, Gulf Shore Drive, and the County’s parking garage which will vastly improve traffic flows. 

                Their landscape plan is quite exceptional and will fully cover the height of the parking garage that forms the walls along Vanderbilt Beach Road and Gulf Shore Drive at the time of planting and will also make the entire area look beautiful.  It also justifies their request for reduced setbacks. 

                Their requested density of 30+ units per acre is compatible and in line with neighboring developments.

                The work of Save Vanderbilt Beach, in terms of our representations of the project, is misleading and a disservice to the public.

                They decided to remove their request for an alternative hotel use from their application. 

Stock’s presentation was followed by that of the County staff.  Their comments were made by the various department representatives and paralleled the staff reports that were published last week.

The Growth Management Department, Zoning Division, Comprehensive Planning Section recommended that the Planning Commission should forward the Growth Management Plan Amendment to the County Commissioners with a recommendation to approve with several modifications to their  application that were more corrective than substantive.

Note that the approval recommended relates to the addition of a new Subdistrict to the Growth Management Plan, which is the County document that establishes density.  That subdistrict would cover the 5.4 acres Stock is seeking (4.6 owned already, and the remainder he expects to receive from the County with their contributed rights-of-way) to develop and is needed to increase the current maximum allowable density to 31.7 units per acre.  Without the GMPA, the requested change in zoning, that would allow for the construction of 172 dwelling units, could not be approved.

If the GMPA is approved, it is then appropriate for the Planning Commission to also consider the Planned Unit Development (PUD) that more specifically defines the project.

The Zoning Division, Zoning Services Section, Growth Management Department makes various determinations by department of the Zoning Division. 

                Transportation Element supports the changes to the garage and road system and recommends approval.

                Conservation and Coastal Management Element recommends approval.

                Landscape recommends approval with minor changes.

School District recommends approval.

Utilities division recommends approval.

Zoning Division recommends approval “subject to the following development standards and subject to Conditions.”  This division recommends approval with the condition that the height of the two towers be a maximum of 125 feet (currently they are 208 feet), and then only if the design is changed so the towers feature a step back architecture on the upper floors; otherwise height is limited to 76 feet.  And, the setback shall be a minimum of 25 feet for all buildings (increasing from 10 to 15 feet as proposed) with the additional standard that the setback of the tower structure could be 15 feet if the first floor features retail at the intersection of VBR and Gulf Shore Drive.  Sabo showed great courage and resolve as well as his deep concern for doing the right thing for the people of Collier County and deserves the thanks of all of us.

The Zoning Division requirements would be favorable for us.  They parallel the comments that our planner has made to staff and will present on the 15th to the commissioners.  They propose reducing the scale of the development while reducing the density at the same time.  They will truly bring the project into compatibility with the community as we have long desired.  The Chairman commented that, from the Commissioners’ point of view, this is not a black or white decision that Stock has presented.  Remember, Stock said the Commission had only two choices, approve the plan as presented or force Stock to build 100,000 square feet of commercial space on the site.  Stock has been presented with other alternatives, and the Commission may wish to recommend approval of his development, but only with those conditions in place.

So, we move on to October 15th when it’s our turn.  While I can’t second guess what the Planning Commissioners will do, I know that we have a good story to tell supported by facts.  Our experts, attorneys, and speakers are sharpening their presentations now.  Be sure to tune in.  Here’s the link:

 https://www.colliercountyfl.gov/your-government/divisions-a-e/communication-customer-relations-division/watch-collier-tv-online