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Naples residents warily eye zoning requests

On the one hand, you have your house, your yard, your neighborhood and you want to protect your quality of life. On the other hand, affordable housing is scarce and people who work in your town can’t afford to live in your town.

When plans are announced to build apartment complexes comprised of hundreds of units in your backyard, what is a resident to do?

That’s the conundrum faced by at least two neighborhoods in North Naples as huge apartment complexes continue the march through the county zoning process.

Allura apartment complex

Neighbors are concerned about the 350-unit, high-density Allura apartment complex under consideration for construction at the corner of Livingston Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Residents are visiting Collier County zoning officials and planning commission meetings to protest the development. They say the apartment buildings will offer them little privacy.

The biggest concern is the additional traffic on an already-congested road system. Residents say the addition of residential, retail and school traffic will make a bad situation worse.

Pine Ridge Commons apartment complex

Meanwhile, other north Naples neighbors are concerned about a 325-unit apartment complex called Pine Ridge Commons planned for the corner of Pine Ridge and Goodlette-Frank roads.

The Collier County Commission has already approved the land for a mixed-use project. Currently, a Starbucks and several small offices reside on the property.

Neighbors here too are worried about privacy and traffic congestion, and some have questioned county officials who say the addition of more than 300 units will actually alleviate traffic. Neighbors say peak traffic at the intersection is already bad and will get worse, especially during the vacation season between December and April. County officials, on the other hand, say residential traffic will ease congestion during the day when people are at work.

City and county officials need to make thoughtful zoning decisions that consider the needs of not only future residents but current residents as well. The best way to know your rights when in a zoning dispute with government officials is to contact your lawyer.

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