Minutes of Alva Inc. February 12, 2007 Meeting
Alva Middle School Auditorium, 7 PM
Because of the expected large turnout the meeting was held at the school. A large representation of the Alva Community was present.
Interim president, Ruby Daniels, called the meeting to order, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. She invited people to support the efforts of Alva Inc. through membership and volunteering for committees. She announced the open house/workshops to be held by County DOT regarding the extensions of Luckett and Sunshine Rds. They will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 pm February 28 at Veterans Park Recreation Center, 55 S. Homestead Rd., Lehigh Acres and March 8 at Olga Grace Church, 14036 Matanzas Dr., Fort Myers.
The remainder of the meeting was turned over to a presentation by Bonita Bay given by Regional Vice President, Mitch Hutchcraft, and Dan Delici, Planning and Permitting. The presentation was about their proposed North River Village development, along the Caloosahatchee River and Rts. 31 and 78. Duke Highway is roughly the southern boundary. It includes parts of William’s Island and Owl Creek Boat Works. It consists of about 1200 acres and an application for a county comp plan amendment to allow about 3000 units has been submitted to the county.
Background information about Bonita Bay emphasized the following points:
- they are a local company here for the long haul; have been in business 25 yr.
- each of their 6 active projects have a unique character; 2 other projects have just started including Murphy’s Landing along the River at the Lee/Hendry county line
- their planning foundations are: environmental commitment, consensus building approach with the surrounding community, innovative land planning and a style congruent with the surrounding community
- additional current and future considerations: respect the history and characteristics of a project site
- mixed use that allows pedestrian circulation; would include some commercial
- greater public access but some areas of their developments will still be gated
- design guidelines that blend with the surrounding community
North River Village Process
- very early in the process
- want to establish a dialogue with the community; looking for input on community values
and willing to reflect these; they want to know what the community’s issues are; they want continued meetings with the community to create a joint vision.
- conceptual site plan will come next
- the application submitted to the county for a comp plan change is from rural land use to a
new category (which was not revealed)
- they assured us that the community will be notified of all county hearings pertaining to land
Questions/concerns raised by the community
- when will development start? In about 2 yrs.
- concern about wild life being driven out, loss of habitat and road kill from increased traffic; how are they going to maintain a light footprint and have minimum impact
- Alva does not do berms!
- mixed use development humanwise - broader diversity of housing, including worker
housing, with possible business/residence units where people live above their work
- what are their plans for Duke Hwy.? (answer - “Don’t have any.”) Probably some
sort of connection but not a throughway from Rt. 31
- lots of concern about density - It’s the elephant in the room! 3000 units way out of line! a River Hall on Rt. 78!
- equal concern about traffic, traffic, traffic, access points on roads and combination with Babcock City traffic
- preservation of Trout Creek wetlands and vegetation and public access
- impact on area wells and septic systems
- impact on area property taxes and tax burden to pay for needed infrastructure
- lack of access to Veranda development to see what a local Bonita Bay community
looks like without having to listen to a 2-hr. sales pitch
- no golf courses visible from main roads - this is country!
Closing community comments:
Bill Redford , Duke Hwy. Resident: We have a wealth here in the ambiance and country character of Alva. Why can’t it be retained, by developing with lot less density and charging a fortune for these fewer units, so the rate of return to the developer can be the same and our present “wealth” and quality of life preserved and not destroyed.
Frank Mann, County Commissioner, District 5 and Alva resident: Density is the elephant in the room. River Hall recently got 800 new units and he was the only commissioner who voted against it. There are other developments pending in the area - huge ones like 7,000 units in the Four Corners area - so the impact facing this community is enormous. We need an united community effort. Alva Inc. can provide this and needs support.
“We need to hang together or we’ll hang separately.”
Meeting adjourned. Bonita Bay representatives remained and talked informally with Alva residents until the school building needed to be locked up for the night.