What's at stake
Orangetree Associates wants to add 1,050 residential units to its planned development and to increase the area’s commercial space from 60,000 square feet to 332,000.
If approved, the vast majority of the new units would be built on the north side of Randall Boulevard, just east of the Immokalee Road intersection, east of the Valencia Lakes and Valencia Golf and Country Club gated subdivisions, which both are part of the Orangetree planned development.
GOLDEN GATE ESTATES — The developer of a major community northeast of Naples is putting plans to expand by more than 1,000 homes on hold until next month.
A vote on the project, which also would include a large commercial area, was on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting of the Collier County Commission.
But Burt Saunders, the attorney representing Orangetree Associates, said Friday that the developer will ask commissioners to again delay a vote.
"There are a couple of issues that still need to be straightened out," he said. "We believe it will be on the agenda for the first meeting in February. We believe we can have all of the issues resolved then."
Saunders declined to comment on what those issues are, but said Commissioner Donna Fiala raised them.
A commission vote on whether to approve the Orangetree Planned Unit Development (PUD) amendment was scheduled for earlier this month, but Fiala said she delayed it because of issues with the utilities.
"I told them to straighten it out and come back to us," she said.
Fiala said Friday she hadn't been contacted about another delay of the vote.
The developers are asking commissioners to amend the Orangetree amendment to add 1,050 residential units, 10,000 square feet of office use and 172,000 square feet of retail space. Developers also want to revise development standards and to eliminate the environmental commitments for the property, which they believe are managed by another federal or state agency or are requirements of the county's land development code.
The property is mostly on the north side of Randall Boulevard, off Immokalee Road.
The proposal sent to commissioners includes several letters from Orangetree residents who favor it.
But not everyone is happy about the plans. Howard Anderson and 12 others sued Orangetree Associates and commissioners in December, challenging the enforceability of a 1986 settlement agreement between the county, GAC Corp. and the purchaser, Amnon Golan as trustee, based on Golan's request to have the property rezoned "PUD by settlement."
If you go
The Collier County Commission meets beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the commission chambers at the county government complex, corner of Airport-Pulling Road and U.S. 41 East.
The settlement agreement led to the rezoning of 2,797.83 acres in the Orangetree PUD. It provided that residential dwelling units not exceed 2,100; 1,600 acres be for agricultural use; and that a 200-acre golf course be constructed. It included a maximum of 60,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial plus motel units, a 25-acre school/park site, a 55-acre community use and a 15-acre utility site.
On Nov. 16, 2004, the Orangetree PUD essentially was split in two, and the overall density and intensity of the Orangetree PUD was increased.
Anderson and the others assert that they are third-party beneficiaries to the settlement agreement as successor owners. The suit asks a judge to find that the approval of the proposed Orangetree PUD ordinance would constitute a breach of contract of the settlement agreement.
"The County Attorney is defending this action, does not believe that the suit has any merit, and recommends that the board give no weight to this suit in the consideration of this application by the board," wrote County Attorney Jeff Klatzkow and Assistant County Attorney Heidi Ashton-Cicko in a memorandum to commissioners.