Naples City Council to consider changes to construction operating hours
The city of Naples is considering whether to limit when it would allow construction crews to work.
The possibility of changes are up for discussion at a Naples city council workshop Nov. 16.
The workshop is for the city council to “determine if any changes are necessary,” Craig Mole, the city building official wrote in an email.
“Changes that could be considered would be reducing allowed work hours by starting later in the day and the consideration of not allowing work on Saturdays,” Mole said. “Also being considered are noise restrictions for construction work being performed in the early mornings and Saturdays.”
City codes allow construction Monday through Saturday. Construction can be performed in residential areas from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in nonresidential areas from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., codes say.
No construction work is allowed on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Mole wrote that the city council asked to review the codes based on complaints from city residents, but no specific homeowner associations have made a complaint.
Changing operating hours could be bad for construction workers and their families, said Ryan Benson, co-owner of A Vernon Allen and past president of the Collier Building Industry Association.
The company is a luxury homebuilder primarily building in Port Royal and Old Naples, Benson said.
“This is very unfair towards working-class families,” he said. “It puts severe restrictions on them and their ability to both have jobs and effectively take care of their kids.”
Benson said the current hours allow construction workers who have school-age children to go to their jobs early in the morning and return by the end of the day to care for their families.
The city could also see an increase in traffic if construction operating hours are reduced, Benson said.
“If we moved everything to when the traditional administrative hours start, between 8-9, we would probably double the traffic through the city and increase the traffic at the end of the day,” Benson said.
Benson said the debate on changing construction operating hours in the city is nothing new.
The Naples City Council last brought up possible modifications to construction hours in February 2019, but ultimately no changes were made.
“I do believe that once this new city council gets to review the implications that come with this, as previous city councils have, that they will not move it forward and table it for a couple more years,” Benson said.
If there are proposed changes to the city codes, there would be two public meetings with city council discussion before final approval.
No votes are taken at public workshops, but the city council could provide direction to city staff at the meeting on Nov. 16 on whether it would like certain proposals to move forward or not. Public comment is also taken at council workshops.
If any changes move forward, they could be part of a pattern in Naples in recent years of efforts to reduce noise in the city.
Last month, the Naples City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s noise ordinance that bans the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers starting in October 2021. The ordinance also prohibits the use of battery- or electric-powered leaf blowers that exceed 65 decibels as indicated by a manufacturer’s label.