Riviera Golf Estates residents want to protect their community from new development proposal

Reporter: Lauren Leslie Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
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Neighbors in one community are banding together to protect their golf course. Hundreds of people showed up to speak out against a proposal to build on top of the golf course in the Riviera Golf Estates.

At a meeting on Wednesday night, neighbors at Riviera Golf Estates asked for a third meeting. Only two stakeholder outreach meetings are required as part of an application for intent to convert. But, homeowners say they still don’t have real answers to their very real concerns.

The sound of opposition is loud and clear here. Paul Swinwood lives in Riviera Golf estates. “The confusion that they’re raising in all of us is we don’t know what this is,” Swinwood said.

Those who live at Riviera Golf Estates surround the same golf course in question. And they have a lot to say about the plan to build over it and add hundreds of new homes.

“They are talking about three-story buildings versus one-story residential. They are talking about filling in the lakes that are there today and digging new ones,” said Swinwood.

There is a panel working on getting rezoning approval. Frank Fehn also lives at Riviera Golf Estates. “Conceptualization, I think, is the key here. They’re just conceptualizing what’s going to take place,” said Fehn.

That uncertainty is causing concern for these homeowners who are being asked to weigh in.

There was another survey, but that one got ripped in half. Why? Because Fehn says, the questions in it assumed that the project had already been approved.

“Didn’t give us an option of saying we don’t wanna change it didn’t give us an option at all,” Fehn said.

The truth is that this concept has been turned down once before. So, residents worry that if it does get approval, they will do the actual heavy lifting. “We are going to be faced with issues that after they walk away with their money were stuck with how are we going to fix this,” said Fehn.

The panel has not yet said whether the requests for a third meeting will be granted. Ultimately, the decision to approve the application will be up to the Collier County Board of Commissioners.

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