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Residents upset about plan to remove golf course from East Naples neighborhood

Homeowners say plan would flood their homes
Posted at 7:05 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 05:59:25-04

NAPLES, Fla. — Residents of a Naples neighborhood say a developer’s plan to take away their golf course could destroy their homes.

That developer, Naples-based Holes Montes, is seeking a permit that would turn the 18-hole course at Riviera Golf Estates into single-family homes.

The problem, residents of the East Naples 55-and-older community say, is that the golf course a floodplain. They say all the water that comes down during rainy season drains onto the fairways and the lakes.

Residents say filling in the course and those lakes could send all that water into their homes.

“We love our golf course. Our golf course is our serenity. It’s our peace. It’s our greenway,” said resident Peter Osinski. “It’s also our survival because it’s our stormwater drain.”

During the rainy season all the excess water flows to the greenways and into the lakes.

With those gone, Riviera Estates Homeowners Association president Tricia Campbell says it could be their houses that are underwater.

“We’re flooded in the rainy season now, just in a regular storm,” Campbell said. “The greens are little higher than the fairways and the fairways take in a lot water and absorb it.”

Members of the HOA say county rules require a developer to provide green spaces when turning a golf course into housing.

The current plan by Naples-based developer Holes Montes, which it passed out at a recent public meeting, says it cannot provide those green spaces because there isn’t enough room.

FOX4 reached out to Holes Montes but did not hear back.

Collier County officials said the Holes Montes’s Intent To Change (ITC) application is good enough for the company to hold the required Stakeholder Outreach Meetings with the public. Holes Montes must then take the public feedback to the county and submit a new rezoning application.

Those who were playing the golf course on Monday say they like it just the way it is because it’s one of few affordable public courses in Collier County.

“It’s in the area and it’s not a private course that costs $200 or $300,” one golfer said.

Added his playing partner: “It’s the only course that’s under $100. Period. Anywhere.”