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Town of Big Cypress takes first step

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Initial plans recently submitted to state seek to build a smaller development than originally proposed – for now

By Liam Dillon , Eric Staats

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A piece of the new town of Big Cypress proposed for eastern Collier County is taking a first step in the state’s review process.

Collier Enterprises unveiled plans in 2006 to build 25,000 homes in a new town and scattering of smaller villages on 8,000 acres of farmland surrounded by some 14,000 acres of preserve stretching from Immokalee Road to Interstate 75 east of Golden Gate Estates.

In a document filed last week with the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, the company asks to build 9,000 homes, commercial and retail buildings, a 500-room hotel, a golf course, schools, a 200-bed hospital, civic buildings and parks in a 3,600 acre town. The document is a precursor to a Development of Regional Impact application to be filed later this year, company officials said this morning.

The development is focused in a town center encircled by a realignment of Oil Well Road and an extension of Randall Boulevard and drops — at least for now — proposals to build villages and hamlets farther north and south on Collier holdings.

“This we think is the most logical place to begin Big Cypress,’’ Collier Enterprises CEO Tom Flood said.

Flood said it made more sense for the company to move forward with a piece of what eventually could be a larger development rather than trying to get a DRI approved for the entire 22,000-acre Big Cypress Stewardship District all at once. Current real estate market conditions did not figure in the decision, he said.

“We liked Southwest Florida before, and we still like Southwest Florida,’’ Flood said.

In a nod to environmental concerns, he said the company also wants to take more time to study how endangered Florida panthers use parts of the Collier holdings before deciding whether to propose more development there.

The plans forwarded to the regional planning council call for preserving or restoring some 10,000 acres of wetlands and habitat the company owns along the edge of the Camp Keais Strand and in the Okaloacoochee Slough.

The company anticipates breaking ground in late 2010. Approvals still are needed from Collier County, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District.

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Town of Big Cypress Map (PDF) 541,717 bytes, 172 downloads
edited by Udut, Kenneth on Apr. 17 2009 · Zoom
Map of the Town of Big Cypress - inbetween Naples, FL and Ave Maria, FL

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Simplify3
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from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
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on Sep. 12 2007


I've got mixed feelings.

As I *think* I'm just south of where the majority of the development will be taking place, I don't expect too much impact (directly). It seems to be more of the high north east part of Golden Gate Estates that will be affected.

However, the land parcel DOES include an area a stone's throw away from my street. (literally - I'd be able to throw a rock from the end of my road and it would land on Collier Enterprise's property).

Potential for noise? Crime? Definitely. It all depends on HOW they build it. I wrote about a year ago here that, after doing the math, Big Cypress was looking like a ghetto for workers (too many houses in too small of a space). Now they're downsizing.... it seems. Yes, there will be fewer homes planned. and yes, it seems that everybody's getting a little more room, although I'll have to refer to the old message later to remember...

9000 homes. 3000 acres for town = 1/3 acre per living unit. BUT that's not 1/3 acre for each parcel. No - a lot of the room will be for stores, a potential hospital, etc... But we have to go with what math we have...

To continue:

ASSUMING (my assumption) 4 people per home, that's 36,000 people on build-out. Same 3000 acres. 36000 people. 0.083 acres per person. That's not as bad as it first seems. That's a 60 ft x 60 ft space for each person (population density).

Now, also: 3000 acres = 4.6875 sq miles. IF 36,000 people live on 4.6875 sq miles of land, that's 7680 people per square mile.

Here are some big city equivilants from Wikipedia:

Los Angeles, California, United States 8,065/sq mi Havana, Cuba 7,909/sq mi Baltimore, Maryland, United States 7,783/sq mi Buffalo, New York, United States 7,301/sq mi Detroit, Michigan, United States 6,856/sq mi Seattle, Washington, United States 6,801/sq mi

Locally: Immokalee, Florida: 2,449/sq ml Golden Gate City, Florida: 2,718/sq ml

Now don't forget: This is with MY assumption of 4 people per home. Perhaps the normal is a family of 2.5 people. Perhaps the norm is 7 people per home. I really don't know.

But since it's coming ANYHOW, and it'll be in my backyard (IMBY), I figure I won't be a NIMBY (what's the point unless it's just something else to complain about - for the complainers-at-heart, there's always something to complain about), I then look forward to stores - a HOSPITAL (I really hope that comes through), a place to ride a bike and walk.

Of course, I said that about Ave Maria and while I visited when it was unoccupied, I haven't been back there in the three weeks it's been open But once the stores open, I'll show my mug up there now and again. Might as well make the most of things, eh?

In the end, this will be affordable housing. And we need affordable housing. Badly. There will have to be a bus, which may help me out (I believe in buses), as not everybody will have cars (at that population density, or even if the pop density was cut in 1/4th, people expect to be able to walk to things or at least be taken places).

It will bring more jobs as its being built, which will help as well.

I don't look forward to the noise during construction, but it should be far enough away from my home that it shouldn't bother me that much - although dump truck traffic again is not something I look forward to. Still, it's all part of Barron Collier's original vision for this area. We just bought during the decades long interim period!

Kenneth Udut webmaster: http://free.naplesplus.us A trackback for my records: Town of Big Cypress takes first step — Initial plans recently submitted to state seek to build a smaller development than originally proposed – for now

By Liam Dillon , Eric Staats

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A piece of the new town of Big Cypress proposed for eastern Collier County is taking a first step in the state’s review process
Simplify3
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from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
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on Sep. 12 2007


See Plans for town of Big Cypress move forward, but smaller for another article on the subject.
Udut, Kenneth
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from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
Associate, 3506 posts
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on Apr. 17 2009


Located in the Rural Land Stewardship Area in eastern Collier County, developers have proposed a 3,600+ development in the heart of panther habitat called Big Cypress. Population estimates show that an additional 20,000 to 25,000 people would move to this very sensitive area.

The development poses water resource issues, and its currently proposed impact on the Florida panther will be considerable. Nearly all of the development is within the panther primary habitat zone, designated as essential habitat for retaining the endangered panther population.
From: http://www.conservancy.org/Page.aspx?pid=569
Town of Big Cypress takes first step Initial plans recently submitted to state seek to build a smaller development than originally proposed – for now

By Liam Dillon , Eric Staats 

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A piece of the new town of Big Cypress proposed for eastern Collier County is taking a first step in the state’s review process.

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