FORT MYERS, Fla. — State lawmakers gathered at Florida Southwestern State College for their annual public meeting, where they decided to put a hold on a discussion about the changes to a new housing development in Alva.
Florida-based developer, Neal Communities, plans to construct more than 1,100 homes along a stretch of North River Road near State Road 31. State lawmakers had planned to discuss a change to how the land for the development can be used.
The communities new structure is intended to resemble the designs of the successful towns of Babcock Ranch and Ave Maria, which would allow it to have access to features such as city water.
State Representative, Spencer Roach, explained the reasoning for postponing the discussion, saying, "It was clear to me that we needed a little bit more time for my colleagues to read, ask questions about this, and study the issue. But also, it was clear to me that members of the community had not had adequate time to look at this."
Last month, Fox 4 spoke with members of Alva Strong, a non-profit organization who has pushed back against the development. Their concerns focus on the potential negative effects the development could have on the area's infrastructure and environment. Alva resident James Kennedy emphasized their viewpoint, stating, "We talk all the time about responsible growth - growth management. It's not just 'prevent anything from coming in'; it is 'build in a way that not only are we maintaining the quality of life that we have right now, but we're sustaining the ability to grow and develop as needs change."
Although the changes to the development aim to address these concerns, members of the non-profit group said it doesn’t really change how they feel. Roach revealed that there is no specific timeline for the next discussion, saying that it most likely won't be revisited until next year.