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Collier Board denies moratorium for busy East Naples roads

Plenty of opinions, plenty of opposition on formal plans near Immokalee Road or Vanderbilt Beach Road
Collier BOC denies moratorium for busy East Naples roads
Posted at 10:00 PM, Jan 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-23 22:15:51-05

NAPLES, Fla. — Collier County residents are not new to development as its spread throughout the county. Still, now the Collier County Board of Commissioners voted on whether or not to put a moratorium in place for some of the county's busier roads like Immokalee Road and Vanderbilt Beach Road.

The moratorium would put a year-long freeze on future development plans.

Tuesday night, more than 100 people took the opportunity Commissioner Burt Saunders gave them to speak their minds on the matter.

"Rezoning is not something that should just be a rubber stamp given to somebody who comes in here to change residential property into commercial or high-density property,” said Conover.

Many agreed that something must be done about the traffic with safety being a main concern.

"We have an incredibly bad traffic problem on Immokalee Road and on Vanderbilt Beach Road," said Burt Saunders, District 3 County Commissioner. "I wanted to have this hearing for two reasons, one, for staff to come up with solutions, and they have come up with a series of solutions. I need the board to fund those solutions. That will solve a lot of the problems on those roads. Secondly, to impose a moratorium on new rezones and comprehensive land use changes on Immokalee Road and on Vanderbilt Beach Road, so we don't keep making a bad situation worse. This will give us an opportunity over the next year to implement some changes to do more evaluations and come up with other solutions."

Time was the number one request from people here. They say the 12-month stoppage would give them time to adjust to the rapid population growth and the board time to work through the existing development projects on those roads.

Although the pause would not have control over school developments, Richard Conover says it is about more than just the moratorium.

Ultimately, the moratorium hearing did not pass but the commissioners said they would work to relieve some of the traffic stress in the area.