For Walter Chancey, the road to success has taken a number of turns in his almost five–year journey to locate an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) here in Collier County. First came the determination of need for just such a facility here in the area. Then came the search for a suitable location that would meet their need for the grounds to accommodate the physical building and the requirements of its residents and staff, which was here on Marco Island.
They originally proposed a combination of Independent Living, Assisted Living and Dementia Care with over 160 rooms. That plan was rejected by the city, considering the impact of increased density and other issues.
After being disappointed in 2019 and having to put his plans on hold for one year, Chancey came back in 2020 with a much smaller proposal than what was suggested in 2018 and rejected in 2019. The new proposed facility would encompass 86 units and a maximum of 92 beds, and include no independent living quarters.
“All of our research shows us that there is a need for this type of facility within this community,” said Chancey, Managing Partner of Chancey Design Partnership from Tampa, FL. Since last summer, the Chancey Design Partnership, along with CW Development Partners and Watermark Communities, have been working diligently to answer questions and deal with concerns of residents regarding their proposal to build the facility here on Marco Island.
Most recently, at the February 1, 2021, meeting of the Marco Island City Council, his new proposal still raised some questions by inquisitive councilors. Many of those questions were from newly elected Councilman Joseph Rola, as well as Councilor Eric Brechnitz.
Rola concentrated his line of questioning on the issues of increased density and where those density numbers would be coming from. “Our Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code calls for us to be reducing density, not increasing it,” said Rola. Presently the land has no residential density associated with it due to its zoning. The petitioner is requesting a rezoning of the property to a Planned Unit Development (PUD), which would provide for the 86 units of density.
Another important issue which was explored was the commitment by NCH to build a new state–of–the–art Urgent Care Center. When Councilor Brechnitz attempted to obtain an ironclad statement to that effect from Richard Grant, the attorney representing NCH, Grant was not comfortable committing to that for upper management.
It was apparent from the issues concerning the density questions, commitments from NCH on the construction of a new Urgent Care Center, and questions concerning “unified control” of the PUD itself, that there were issues yet unresolved.
Council did, however, vote 6-1 to move forward and await clarification of these items from staff and the petitioner. Councilman Rola was the only dissenting vote on the issue. The item will be placed back on the agenda for the next Council meeting in February.