How quickly a year goes by! When I was young, it seemed to drag on and on. Now it slips by so quickly you can hardly grab onto each day and enjoy it. The first half of the year is almost finished. Heck, I might as well just take out my Christmas ornaments and start decorating! By the time I finish it WILL be Christmas. But now we have Christmas in July coming forward, and another holiday to enjoy, even though it’s just a tiny fun thing. And then we have the 4th of July – always a delight to the kids and men! It’s fun to celebrate things even though they might just be an excuse to celebrate and get together, and that’s what is most fun: being with friends and neighbors for an enjoyable day.
- There are a lot of new development projects applying for permits, zoning approvals, etc. I have a very strong personal policy against approving anything, especially if it might be controversial, during the months of June, July, August and September, when so many people are out of town, or on a summer or family vacation while their kids are out of school. It is just plain wrong to approve things that could affect a neighborhood or community while people who would be affected cannot even attend a public meeting or neighborhood information meeting. Thankfully, the other commissioners agree with that philosophy and accept that we should wait until after September to publicly discuss these sensitive issues. It is a pleasure working with them.
- Speaking of developments: when applying for a project, it would sure be nice to have the development actually say what they want to build. Asking for a rezone, and then saying there was no name for the commercial use they want rezone to, says they are hiding something, in my mind. Or here’s another one: “New Shell Building – Steel Structure” at 8760 Davis Boulevard. Is it just me that thinks this way? Why not say right up front what they want? Afraid someone would object?
- The County Parks & Rec Department is delighted that a “soft opening” to the new Eagle Lakes Pool started a little earlier. The neighborhood children have been so excited about the opening, and the parks staff is excited to begin “learn to swim” classes. Most of these children have never been to a pool, and some have never even seen one. Our parks people are also sensitive to the fact that many cannot afford to pay much money to swim, so I know they are trying to find ways for these kids to enjoy the pool. I’ll keep you posted when they arrive at answers. The official Ribbon Cutting will take place on Friday, June 29th at 10 AM and all are welcome! It will be a fun celebration. Meanwhile, kids who happen to stop by beforehand will be allowed to “try the water,” as our employees are getting all the bells and whistles in place to be ready for the big day.
- There is so much development action about to take place in the Whitaker Road, County Barn Road area that it’s hard to keep up with everything. Whitaker Road is located off County Barn Road, and right now is home to Youth Haven. Whitaker Road is located within an old, established community with many “old timers” who have lived there most of their lives. Along Whitaker Road, Habitat for Humanity is now planning on building still another Village Housing 151 Dwelling Units, and another developer is building the Memory Care Cottages of Naples right down the street, plus First Haitian Alliance Church is planning on building a new church, and another house of worship is also going through the motions across the street from Mayflower Congregational Church. It’s a busy area. Then move down to 8615 Collier Blvd. and Rattlesnake Hammock Road where there is a proposed 7-11 gas station which will take the place of the existing building on the property. There are also site deviation plans being discussed to build an auto service station on the property. Then Rattlesnake Hammock Road and Coyote Drive wants to construct a car wash building, parking area, and utility connection and landscaping under the name of Naples Car Wash. Still in that same area, at The Lords Way and Milano Lakes Circle, a pre-app is working its way through the system for a future EMS station.
- A RaceTrac gas station will be built at the corner of U.S. 41E and Shadowlawn Drive, plus another RaceTrac will be built at Sierra Meadows on Rattlesnake Hammock and Collier Boulevard, and a WaWa gas station will be constructed at the Naples South Plaza at Rattlesnake Hammock and U.S. 41E, where they will remove one-half of the tired shopping center and replace it with a new gas station. I wonder how many more gas stations they can build in one area before they cancel one another out!
- The first craft beer business will be making its entrance on Bayshore Drive, and the old existing building from Small Engine World is already being reconstructed. They hope to open in October. The Honda Dealership on Davis Boulevard will be replaced by Germain BMW. Wow, a Porsche and BMW within a block of one another on Davis Boulevard. That ought to be interesting. The Bayshore Food Truck Park is in construction now, across the canal from its owner 360 Market – Rebecca is your host. They also hope to be open by October.
- Aldi Grocery Store at Tamiami Crossing and Collier Boulevard will be built shortly as a stand-alone grocery. They are moving through the process as I write.
- Milano Lakes apartment living is continuing to be constructed at the Lord’s Way and Collier Boulevard. They are constructing five, 40-unit, four-story multifamily buildings, and three, 32-unit, four-story buildings, plus a lake, a large community pool, a new clubhouse, a dog park, a fitness center, and all within a gated community. They first phase has already been constructed, and they are ambitiously continuing to build.
Hopefully your very hot summer is doing well and you are not out weeding your yard, but enjoying the comfort of your air conditioned home. It’s kind of like when you were in the winter up north, when you couldn’t go outside, so you stayed in and baked and cleaned until spring came. That’s what we do in Florida in the summer…we just switch seasons to stay indoors.