The New Collier County?

There is still time to speak up against costly and environmentally harmful development in eastern Collier County! Unfortunately, the Planning Commission recommended approval of Longwater to the Board of County Commissioners on April 1. However, Bellmar’s hearing at the Planning Commission is not over.

Bellmar’s hearing resumes on Thursday, April 15 at 9 am and public comment is welcomed.

Click here to find the County’s instructions for speaking at the hearing, whether in person or virtually.


Now is the time to contact the Collier County Commissioners

Call them at 239-252-8097 to vote no on overdevelopment in eastern Collier County.


How does this affect all of us?

Collier County taxpayers and residents will be stuck footing the bill for much of the costs of infrastructure needed for Collier Enterprises’ developments (see below for more detail). These costs could be in the tens of millions of dollars, or perhaps more.

Read our one-page flyer: Who will pay the price for Longwater and Bellmar?


What can be done?

These developments have not yet been approved. Please do not miss your opportunity to provide your input on the way Collier County grows. If we do nothing, soon we will all feel the effects on our wallet, in our daily commute, when we visit our favorite places, and, tragically, the panther will lose an essential piece of their home.


How will Longwater and Bellmar impact us financially?

Growth is supposed to pay for growth in Collier County. This means that the costs associated with new development should be paid for by the developer and not passed on to existing residents and taxpayers. However, this is not the case with Longwater and Bellmar. Here are a few of the many reasons why:

  • Collier Enterprises has plans to add the villages to the Collier County Water Sewer District (CCWSD), but the impact fees to be paid by the developer would cover only a small fraction of the costs necessary for providing water and sewer service to residents of the new villages. We are concerned that Collier County ratepayers will end up paying for some of the costs to provide the villages with water and wastewater service.
  • Because the projects are not designed according to the RLSA’s rules, traffic from the 11,000+ new residents will pour out of Longwater and Bellmar and head west towards Naples to seek out goods, services, entertainment and employment opportunities that the villages will not provide. The additional traffic will not only exacerbate the county’s existing traffic congestion issues, but the developer’s plans show that they are not paying their fair share for the traffic impacts that the villages will cause or for their part in making failing roads even worse. We all may pick up the tab through higher taxes when the County is forced to make improvements to the failing road network, or perhaps other priorities will go unfunded.
  • The costs to provide Longwater and Bellmar Villages with fire and emergency medical services (EMS), sheriff protection, and schools and bussing are all underestimated in the developer’s economic assessments provided to the County. Yet again, the deficiency in impact fees for those services will be passed on to the County, that is — all of us.
  • As soon as Longwater and Bellmar Villages are approved, the developer may conglomerate the villages, along with Rivergrass Village, to create an even larger Town. Collier Enterprises and Collier County are currently negotiating terms of a Town Agreement, that may be signed by the Board of County Commissioners on the same day that Longwater and Bellmar are approved. What is extremely troubling is that based upon a draft of the Town Agreement, many of the developer’s supposed “commitments” are completely discretionary, meaning Collier Enterprises will have no legal obligation to implement key aspects of their Town proposal. Bottom line: Collier Enterprises gets all the benefits and the County gets all the risk. Another concerning aspect of the Town Agreement is that it remains unclear how much review it will have from the Planning Commission before it goes to the County Commission for their consideration.

Click here to learn more about our work involving eastern Collier County.

 

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