A New Home Going Up in Naples' Golden Gate Estates Community by Nova Homes of South Florida
“If plans are updated to allow commercial and industrial development in the area, residential areas could remain as they are”, he said. "That's where we need to put more of the uses that people in the Estates are hoping for," Commissioner Tim Nance stated.
Jeff Close is building a new home in the Estates, where he has lived since 1985. " I can't live in a gated community," Close said. "I have two campers and I'm not going to pay put them in storage. I don't like somebody telling me how to do everything. The Estates is peaceful,” Close said. "It's really the only place left to get out there," he added. "But at the same time, if they were talking about bringing in some type of amenities, I wouldn't mind.”
"The ideal type of development is something like Fayard Hardware," Close said. The store opened in a plaza on Wilson and Golden Gate boulevards in 2008. The plaza also includes a dentist's office, restaurant, pet supply store and a small convenience store among a handful of other shops. Similar strips could be built in three other commercial centers planned for the neighborhoods on the corners of Collier Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road, Golden Gate and Everglades boulevards and Immokalee Road and Everglades Boulevard. “The expanding hardware store was opened to save frustrated Estates residents a trip to Home Depot every time something broke”, said co-owner Jerry Craft.
Longtime resident Annette Kniola said she wouldn't mind some limited development, but doesn't want to see the commercial centers expanded. "If they make these any bigger it's just going to grow from there," Kniola said. "I'm hoping they keep this as rural as possible. It's going to be worth more someday for its peace and quiet, than anything else.”
The area has always had very few environmental policies and needs significant attention, said Nancy Payton, Southwest Florida field representative for the Florida Wildlife Federation. The county should consider adopting a program similar to the plan in place for the Rural Fringe land, where owners can trade development rights in sensitive areas, such as the southeast corner of the Estates, to build greater density in areas that are already developed, Payton said. "The county has yet to step up and assume a lot of responsibility for managing water in its rural areas," Payton said. "The wetland system needs to be protected. We need to move density out of the southeastern portion of the Estates, and that means the county may have to acquire what it can from private landowners, or provide incentives to exchange parcels for density."
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