Breaking Ground: History-making decision on Collier development could come Thursday

Phil Fernandez Naples Daily NewsPublished 5:16 PM EDT Sep 16, 2020Any number of things could take place Thursd

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Any number of things could take place Thursday when the Collier Planning Commission considers development rules for a massive eastern chunk of the county that could affect residents and wildlife for generations.

One of the concepts mentioned in the lead up to the public hearing was the possibility of a potential moratorium or pause while everything gets sorted out.

"The more you defer this to studies and analysis, the more of these acres are being converted as we speak. We’ve got one application after the other that’s going to be coming through the planning commission," County Attorney Jeff Klatzkow said. "Because if you haven't noticed, Collier County is going through a boom period right now as people are moving down here. We can talk about it and talk about it and talk about it. But unless something actually gets done, by the time everybody is happy with what you have, you'll have nothing to left to regulate."

Two drafts of rules floated around the county government building this summer, one with stricter requirements than the other. 

The version plopped onto the dais in front of the commission for Thursday's public hearing doesn't have the same level of mandates and accountability for Barron Collier Companies, the entity most affected by far as the largest property owner east of Golden Gate.

Some planning board members, repeating what they had said when they were overruled by the County Commission earlier this year on Rivergrass Village, worry how much all this is going to cost taxpayers, especially the urban sprawl. Barron Collier says everything's fine. 

Follow the bouncing building

A building is no longer bouncing around.

That’s because over the past four years, Seagate Development Corporation has transformed what used to be a bounce house used for children’s birthday parties into the manufacturing and corporate headquarters for EmCyte Corporation in Fort Myers.

EmCyte makes platelet rich plasma devices, which help doctors concentrate the healing properties of blood before reinjecting them into patients.

Seagate is keeping itself busy with two other major projects off I-75, just north of Alico Road and west of the interstate.

More growth and development news

» No one would blame Southwest Florida executives, or anybody else for that matter, if they played John Lennon's "Nobody Told Me (There'd Be Days Like These)" over and over and over again. Because these have been strange days indeed. Most peculiar, mama. And that's why the execs unfortunately remain pessimistic about the future, according to a recent quarterly report by Florida Gulf Coast University.

» Delayed by the lousy weather we've had, Tiger Woods and his partners opened his PopStroke golf entertainment complex on Wednesday. Beyond the one making its debut in Fort Myers, another is slated for North Naples in the next year or so.

» Want to help local small businesses get back on their feet and start building up again? Here's one way.

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