The Land Development Code of Collier County states that its purpose is:
- To preserve and protect the present advantages that exist in Collier County
- To encourage the most appropriate use of land…consistent with the public interest
- To preserve, promote, protect and improve the public health, safety, comfort, good order, appearance, convenience and general welfare
- To prevent the overcrowding of land and avoid undue concentration of population
- To maintain through orderly growth and development, the character and stability of present and future land uses
Reasons to Object
- Building Height – The One Naples project height of two towers at 208′ each (14 stories) is more than double the allowable code of 100 feet. Compared to the neighboring multi unit buildings in the immediate area with an average of 8 stories, the Stock project would present light, shade, visual and community character issues for nearby residents.
- Open Space – The “open space” requirement of existing code is 30% whereas the One Naples project is 15% including private roof top open space. This lack of open space will create a cavernous affect that will be detrimental to the entire area.
- Lack of Adequate Setbacks – The lack of adequate setbacks will contribute to safety issues for pedestrians, cyclists and even vehicular traffic. The waterfront setback of “zero” feet is particularly offensive and dangerous.
- Excessive Density – The density code requires no more than 16 dwelling units per acre whereas the Stock Development of 172 units results in nearly 32 units per acre or twice the current code. This increased density will exacerbate an already congested traffic problem while creating safety issues.
- Hotel Use – Hotels are not approved in the existing C-3 zoning. Furthermore, Stock Development has not submitted plans, architectural drawings, traffic studies, etc., to support a change in zoning to allow hotel use. Approving this use without underlying generally accepted support documentation makes a mockery of the planning process.
- Marina Impact – No reviews by the Environmental Agencies have been provided as to the effect on the Vanderbilt Lagoon and the life forms that populate the Lagoon.
How does Stock’s One Naples do these things?
Does it protect the “present advantages?” No. Nearby home and condo owners lose their cherished view. Shadows fall on existing buildings. Traffic intensifies. More people on beach. Many advantages taken away.
Is the use of the land consistent with the public interest? No. Only for the 172 people who will own one of Stock’s multi-million-dollar residences. There is no public interest served here. On the contrary, more traffic, more people on the beach, etc.
Does it promote public health, safety, comfort, good order, appearance, convenience, and general welfare. Absolutely not. Longer response time for EMS, fire, EMTs. Two hundred-foot towers and 35-foot high walls stretching seven hundred feet do nothing for the neighborhood’s appearance. Additional traffic causes inconvenience.
Prevent overcrowding? Quite the contrary. Conversion of C-3 to residential allows 16 units per acre. This development has 31.7, almost double the allowed number.
To maintain “the character…of present…land uses No. Densities are too great. Masses of buildings are too great in both height and setback. This is completely out of character for the neighborhood.
Neighborhood Interests Served, None.
Stock would have us believe that his development will be in the interest of the neighborhood, improving an under-developed eyesore of a site, and improving property values for all. Certainly, this site demands redevelopment, but in a manner consistent with the existing neighborhood.
It was zoned C-3 for a reason, to provide the neighborhood with services and the convenience of not having to travel to the densities of US 41 to find good restaurants, a wine shop, a convenient place to buy a quart of milk or forgotten sun screen. Nearly two hundred high-priced condominiums and the associated “high-end amenities” for the owners does not serve the public interest. Property values increasing? Not with the additional traffic and beach use.
Listen to Neighborhood Concerns
We have heard repeatedly that the County planning staff has encouraged Stock to meet with, listen to the concerns of, and make adjustments to his plans based on conversations with neighbors and community residents. Stock will report that he has done all three. What is the truth?
Stock’s team has had many meetings with neighbors and concerned citizens. Stock has listened to their concerns and has, over time, made some adjustments to his plan. It was several years ago when Stock proposed a 21-story tower with over 250 residences. That changed to two 18-story towers in 2019, then in May to two 14-story towers with 172 residences. Stock will say that he has adjusted setbacks by increasing them five or ten feet. These adjustments are nowhere near adequate to bring One Naples into a compatible relationship with surrounding properties and the neighborhood.
Stock and neighbors discuss quid pro quo’s. Are these discussions about further reducing the heights of his towers to meet their ongoing concerns, increasing setbacks to be more compatible with the neighborhood and zoning requirements? Are they about reducing density from 32 units per acre to a more reasonable 16? Were these the discussions? No. They were about trading the approval of his current plans for paint jobs, for an access control system, for power washing, for a pool cover, and other amenities needing repair. This is not what County staff had in mind.
Here’s what the County planning Staff did have in mind and what we fully support. The Staff requires a reduction in the building height from 208 feet to 76 feet or would allow a height of 125 feet if the buildings are redesigned in a “wedding cake” fashion where setbacks increase with the height. Additionally the setbacks required would be 25 feet unless the developer will redesign with commercial space facing VBR and Gulf Shore Drive at ground level.
Some Legitimate Confusions
Pursuant to the comments made on May 29, 2020 from Hole Montes to James Sabo, it is stated that Collier County’s traffic methodology is designed to “accommodate the averaged peak season conditions and not the highest peak month traffic demands”. Given that One Naples primary demand will be to vacationers who will want to enjoy the beach, the sun and Naples fine restaurants, and that March (according to the confirmation of the parking garage attendants) is the busiest month, why wasn’t March included in the traffic analysis currently submitted? The period of the analysis only included the month of January – the least utilized month of the high season. We would request that additional studies be provided before any approval can be granted.
Again, regarding to these same comments made on May 20, 2020, the level of Service at the intersections of Southbay and Vanderbilt Beach Road going south was at a level of F in January. This is the worst possible traffic condition and indicates failing roadways. This condition would be even worse in March. Why is this acceptable?
Chief Planner James Sabo has asked Stock Development multiple times to honor their commitment made at the Neighborhood Information Meeting in March of 2020 to provide renderings of their buildings. Neither the commitment nor the request has been satisfied. It is extremely difficult to project the impact of this development on the community at large if we are unable to see the impact of these large buildings.
There are confusing inconsistencies between various submissions that Stock had provided. The setbacks for the Mid-rise located at the Vanderbilt Lagoon (MU Tract 2) are not the same as the setbacks listed on Schedule B One Naples MPUD Development Standards submitted on May 29, 2020. In the first, the setbacks are 12 feet and in the second the setbacks are zero. The height of the parking structure in the letter of May 29, 2020, under Zoning Review, item 12 lists the height at 35 feet. Yet, the Exhibit B One Naples MPUD Development Standards also submitted on May 29, 2020 lists the height of the Parking structure at 45 feet. The inconsistencies of Stock’s submissions make it impossible to judge whether the development is in compliance with the Zoning Code and or just how out of compliance it is.
Staff reports that there are “inconsistent Right of Way vacations, including a potential vacation on Southbay Drive.” Stock’s response to this question was, “We have added timing requirements to the commitments. It is our position that commitments are now finalized. We understand that changes may occur at Public Hearings.” Neither this comment nor the revised Commitments that have been filed address the issue of the partial vacation of Southbay Drive. Southbay Drive is a public road and must remain public.
Questions of Setbacks
One of the most outrageous aspects of the Stock project is the wanton disregard for typical, neighborhood-respecting, zoning-ordinance-required setbacks. Setbacks throughout the project remain a serious issue, in some cases causing simply unacceptable visual conditions, but in others causing potentially dangerous driving conditions.
Here’s Stock’s problem in a nutshell. Stock paid $25 million or more for the land. It is difficult to design a development on a site as strangely shaped as the property Stock owns. If Stock were to adhere to the C-3 setback standards, or any reasonable setback standards, Stock would be unable to build much of anything on the site, perhaps not even the 87 residences allowed under the existing zoning. There is no way that Stock could have a profitable development.
But here is the issue. It is neither our job nor is it the job of County officials to protect Stock’s investment or to assure that Stock makes money on his investment. Our job and that of County officials is to enforce the laws and codes as they exist and to protect the rights of the citizens of the County.
The Marina Issues
Based on the linear dimension of the seawall adjoining Stock’s property, Stock has the right to develop as many as 95 slips in the proposed marina. That would be huge, along the lines of the Naples City Dock. Even if he builds fewer, there are numerous problems that Stock has not addressed.
There has been no study of the impact of any marina development on the Lagoon waterways. Will manatees be affected? How about the sea grasses and water quality? Stock says that the marina will take such things under advisement, but provides no data allowing County officials to make judgements.
In the earliest Stock filings, the slips were for the exclusive use of One Naples residents. Recent filings say that they are “primarily for residents and guests.” That poses numerous problems. What is a “guest?” Can a “guest” own a slip? Rent a slip? How many “guests” will there be? How much traffic will they generate? Where will they park?
The latest filings state that as many as three of the slips may be occupied by commercial marine operations, charter boats. How many trips a day will they be taking? How large will the boats be? How many customers will they serve? Where will the customers park? How much traffic will be generated? How will disposal of fish parts, after fish are cleaned, be handled? Sharks?
A point about ownership of the slips. It is our position that the slips may be owned only by owners of the residences of One Naples, those whose names are on the deeds showing their residential ownership. Further, no owner of a slip may sell or rent to anyone who does not meet the above restriction. Nor can Stock sell or rent to anyone who does not meet the criteria.