Alva residents concerned about rapid land developments

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

More than 1,000 homes, a shopping center and apartments were the topic of discussion at a Lee County meeting on Tuesday.

Lee County commissioner Mike Greenwell wants to rezone 76 acres of land he owns in Alva to rapidly develop that area.

If this deal is to go through, Alva’s population and foot traffic would explode, but some people aren’t sure if that explosion is the best for the area.

A large majority of people here oppose the idea of massive development in Alva.

They said they want to see this land left untouched or they want to see it developed to support with their rural lifestyle and wellbeing.

Jimmy Whitney has lived in Alva for 45 years. He said he doesn’t disagree with his neighbors much,
but Neal Developers wants to deliver to him hundreds of new neighbors, and he’s not interested in that.

“There’s people that moved to this area specifically for the outdoors,” Whitney said. “I had a friend comment the other day he comes from Punta Gorda to come to our bike park out here. Because it’s the only place he can bike and see our wildlife and our natural beauty in an area close to his own home.”

Neal hopes to build more than a thousand homes on this land, and Greenwell wants to rezone 76 acres of agricultural land he owns to build 400,000 square feet of commercial real estate and up to 122 apartment units.

Neighbors who showed up at this town hall don’t want that either.

“It definitely touches an emotional side because we’re not against development,” Whitney said. “We’re for responsible development, and that’s what we’re blatantly being told in any of these meetings isn’t going to happen.”

When Whitney brought his environmental concerns to the developer’s attention,
he said they don’t want to talk about conservation.

“It is all essential. It is all needed. That’s why this is a preserve land, and this is an environmental gem, and it needs to stay that,” Whitney said.

The developers were also asked where on River Road they will develop, but they said they need approval first before giving the exact spots.

More information: Rapid development in Alva causes concerns

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