Community pushes back over housing plan in quiet Collier County neighborhood

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Collier County commissioners meeting. CREDIT: WINK News

The plan for luxury apartments east of the Vanderbilt Beach Road and Logan Blvd. intersection got approved by a four-to-one vote on Tuesday to turn 17-and-a-half acres into 208 homes.

Neighbors say their street is quiet, peaceful and safe, and they don’t want that to change. They say they moved to the Estates to get a sense of privacy, so they worry an apartment complex will only bring more people, noise and traffic issues to their quiet street.

“We’re not against the project. We’re against the project being put in a nature preserve that is residential,” said Beth Sherman, a Collier County resident.

“It comes back down to there are other spots in this county where this can go. You do not need to smack dab in the middle of my street,” said Melody Klein, a woman who lives on Cherrywood Drive.

That’s why dozens of people packed the Collier County commissioners’s meeting to make their voices heard.

“I hope that our elected representatives will vote for the people that they represent. There is a huge amount of opposition to this project,” said Klein.

Klein and her husband Dan, worry their lives are about to change. There’s a plan in the works to turn the 17-and-a-half acre lot into a 208-unit apartment complex.

“It is on a developed residential street. If you look it up in the county, it’s on Cherrywood Drive, it’s not on Vanderbilt Beach Road. The parcel is part of the urban estates, not part of an urban mixed-use development area,” said Klein.

Their closest neighbors include the gated community of Island Walk and the Palm Royale Funeral Home and Cemetary. The property is currently zoned Estates, which only allows for low-density development and limited agricultural activity.

“The lights and the commotion at night is one of our biggest concerns. I mean, the noise pollution and light pollution, we’re talking about 208 people in an area that when we bought in that area should only contain seven families,” said Scott Sherman, a Collier County resident.

Beth and Scott Sherman live nearby and believe the project will only bring more traffic.

“I hope that the county does what’s right and sides with the people and the wildlife, the wildlife is a major concern,” said Beth.

The developer and applicant gave their presentations earlier on Tuesday.

Again, the commissioners approved the housing plan by a four-to-one vote.

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