Another Wilson Plaza? 40 Acres proposed - perhaps a new supermarket.
Founder of this Naples site of NeighborHelp Referrals.
Gains support. Supermarket should be a requirement!
Services needed closer to home
By KENNETH COSTELLO
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Plans for a 40-acre commercial complex on the northwest corner of Golden Gate and Wilson boulevards drew some residential support, Jan. 21, during the Golden Gate Estates Area Civic Association meeting at Fire Station 71.
Planned by Crown Management Services, LLC, of Pittsburgh, Pa., the project will require an amendment to Collier County’s Growth Management Plan. The Golden Gate Master Plan, part of the GMP, currently allows five-acre “nodes” for commercial development on all four corners of the intersection. The proposed development would go well beyond the approved five acres and thus, require an amendment.
Rich Yovanvich, an attorney for Crown Management, assured meeting attendees the proposed center must have a grocery anchor before development will be allowed.
“This will be placed in the amendment, along with the landscaping plan” he said, adding the developer conducted a survey to show the need for this development at this particular location.
“We sent a survey to 5,000 people. Sixteen hundred- twenty-nine responded,” he said. “Thirteen hundred- forty-eight said they were in favor.”
Yovanovich maintained the community’s master plan is not working and a grocery store such as Publix or Sweetbay would require more than the five acres currently allotted for commercial development.
The project has drawn criticism from association members on several fronts, including cultural, economic and philosophical.
“Who among us moved to the Estates to live next to a shopping center?” said former association president Tim Nance. “We moved here for the naturalness of the area -- to see the wildlife in our backyards and to live in a rural area.”
Nance’s sentiments were not shared by all residents in attendance, as evidenced by a small group who held signs in support of the development.
“Most of us moved to the Estates because we could not afford a home in the city,” said resident Yonel Vixamar. “We need to start to think about reality. We need a hospital, urgent care, grocery store and police station. Driving from where I live to buy one gallon of milk is not easy. If one of my children gets sick, I have to drive 35 or 40 miles to get to a hospital or to get medicine. Think about the children and the elderly before you say no.”
Nance responded that the GGEACA wasn’t opposed to all development. but wanted to ensure the development would take place in areas already approved for such uses.
“Maybe it’s time for a review of the master plan,” Vixamar said. “When was the last time the plan was reviewed?”
Collier County District 5 Commissioner Jim Coletta told the group that he served on the original master plan committee in 1992.
“The population of Golden Gate Estates was approximately one fifth of what it is today,” he said, adding the GGMP underwent a major re-study in 2003.
Vixamar suggested that Spanish and Haitian residents be polled in their respective native languages in order to get their views.
Meeting moderator Peter Gaddy concluded the meeting, stating the association had not taken a position on the project.
“We welcome participation and want to reach out to the Spanish and Haitian communities,” Gaddy said.