North Naples communities upset over changing development plans

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

The community of North Naples understands the need for more parking, and the city’s contractor agrees, but he’ll only do it if he can add three more levels to the building, something they are not on board with.

Back in the 1980s, a 3-acre parcel of land along Vanderbilt Drive was deemed commercial property, but nothing was ever built there. About 40 years later, this area is all residential, according to Dick Manetta, the president of the Aqua Condo Association.

In 2022, Soave Enterprises, the developer behind Kalea Bay, had an idea.

The developer wanted three more stories added to Kalea Bay, so they presented it at a neighborhood meeting.

“They said, ‘If you give us this, we’ll donate ground at the north end, which is on 41, for a firehouse, and on the southern end, we have another parcel of ground. We’ll build a 100-space parking lot for the marina, for their overflow,'” said Perry Desiato, president of Tarpon Cove Community.

Residents said they weren’t 100% on board, but they didn’t oppose. Flash forward to September 2023.

“They decided we no longer want to do the 100 parking spaces. We now want to give the county 42 parking spaces, and we want to build a restaurant and four stores,” Desiato said.

This makes quite a change from last year’s plan. Residents said they didn’t get any notice.

“We had to dig for this information,” said Dick Manetta, president of the Aqua Condo Association.

And now it’s all going up for a vote next week.

HOA presidents from all nearby communities are planning to show up at the Oct. 10 commission meeting and ask commissioners to delay voting on the plans.

WINK News reached out to the developer for comment but did not get a response.

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