Collier County Commissioners
pennytaylor@colliergov.net – Bayshore District 4  

donnafiala@colliergov.net E. Naples District 1

andysolis@colliergov.net – North Naples District 2 

burtsaunders@colliergov.net – Golden Gate City District 3

billmcdaniel@colliergov.net – Immokalee/Golden Gate Estates District 5


Naples Daily News Letter to the Editor
It has been encouraged in several Commissioner email replies that opinions on the Cirrus Pointe Project be shared with the Naples Daily News Editor. You may click the link above to do so. 

Cirrus Pointe Affordable Housing Owner Opinions

Owners,
To share your opinion please email the Commissioners and if you should like to share your opinion on this page please email your thoughts to Master@windstaronnaplesbay.net
 

I think it is reasonable to acknowledge the real need for affordable housing in Naples/Collier County. Particularly, for our public service people (police, fire, teachers, etc.) But, the proposal to re-zone one property to allow low income, small, subsidized rental units on the newly important corner of Bayshore Drive and Thomason Drive is way off base. This corner and ALL of Thomasson Drive is about to be vastly improved with a beautiful new round-a-bout and improved sidewalks, lighting, drainage and landscaping. This improvement is paid for by the Bayshore Beautification MSTU which is funded totally by the taxpayers in this neighborhood.
 
In addition, please think about the potential of this corner. The SW corner is the public face of The Naples Botanical Garden (the most important improvement in this area!). Del's is for sale and could offer an exciting new business opportunity there. On the NE corner, Mattamy Homes is about the unveil their new upscale 38 acre community.
 
...and the Cirrus Pointe 10 acres is on the NE corner. 
 
It is time to let our County Commissioners know where we stand!
 
We Should "Say No! to Affordable rental housing on the Cirrus Pointe site across from Del's at the corner of Thomasson and Bayshore Drives".
 
For 17 years we have been trying to improve the tarnished reputation of Bayshore/Kelly Road. This reputation problem has held back new development here and continues to reduce the value of our homes and businesses!
 
The Bayshore Gateway Triangle CRA was created in 2000 to improve the public safety, physical and reputational situation of this neighborhood which was rightly considered a "blighted area" at that time.
 
Improvement in this area's reputation is important to the success and value of Naples Botanical Garden, Hamilton Harbor Yacht club, The Isles of Collier 's Preserve, Windstar on Naples Bay, the Botanical Place community, and Three60 Market as well as to the property values all the homes and commercial properties in the district.
 
We have been making significant headway but building new low income units in this "still getting redeveloped" area is way too early and could devastate the positive momentum of our improving reputation!
 
The success of Mattamy Homes 250 + units directly across the street will be risked.
 
The delicate market for new single family, market-priced homes, finally being built on speculation at Linda Drive, van Buren Avenue, Lunar Drive, Jeepers Drive and Colonial Drive will surely be put at risk and may cease if our "finally improving" reputation takes a hit.
 
The momentum of commercial development along Bayshore could be affected.
 
Finally, it is worth pointing out that there are many other places for this affordable housing need to locate. Collier County has many locations on which to build affordable housing and does not need to risk the success of the rehabilitation in the Bayshore area to achieve the goal of increasing affordable housing. This area already has a surplus of low priced homes.
 
The writer of this email is Mike Sherman. I am a resident of the Bayshore Arts District. I have been in the real estate business for over 40 years and am presently investing and developing small single family homes in the district. I also serve on the Bayshore Gateway Triangle CRA Advisory Board. 
 
The opinions expressed are mine and I am not representing the CRAAB or any other group with which I am affiliated.
TO THE MASTER ASSOCIATION
 
I own a home in Windstar on Naples Bay at 3538 Haldeman Creek Dr., #131 in Compass Point, and  I agree 100% with Mike Sherman’s view against building “Affordable Housing” on the NE corner of Bayshore Drive and Thomasson.
 
Sincerely,
 
Description: GAH_signature
George A. Henderson
Sent to each Commisioner
 
I have lived in Windstar on Naples Bay since 1995 and have been a  Florida resident since 1997. When I first moved to Windstar, on our move in date the Naples Daily New headline said: "Prostitution Ring Busted on Bayshore Dr. A lot has changed since those days, but as is always the case, change did not happen by itself. A group from Winstar lead by a man by the name of Bill Neal spent years in working to make Bayshore Dr a special place that could be included in the Naples Community as an equal as opposed to being the poor relative from the East. The County was more than willing to approve our plan as we were willing to do the hard work and pay for it ourselves by agreeing to tax ourselves to pay for the improvements.
 
Now when you drive down Bayshore Dr. you find a constantly improving area with growing businesses and properties that have gained nicely in value and provide an ever in creasing tax base for the County. Of course The Naples Botanical Garden would never have even considered their location had not the process been in place for continuing improvements on Bayshore as they have continued to expand on their fabulous facility.
 
Suddenly a developer rides down Bayshore and sees a property. His goal in that business is to find property and buy it,  just as you would buy a stock on the NYSE, and either hold it in anticipation that the value may rise or find some manner to exponentially increase the value. When he is done, he will find a manner to sell it and then move to the next investment. He has no connection to what effort it has taken to improve Bayshore and to be fair to him that is not his business. But when he is done, he will make his profit and leave and not care what further happens to Bayshore. He has not had nor will he have any stake in our area. Now, however, under the guise of "Aflordable Housing" which is one of those buzz words that seems to generate 'warm fuzzies' he wants to change the dynamics of the property from "for sale" to "for rent". The property as it stands already has an "affordable housing" mandate, but it takes time and effort to develop the plans, find the right marketable units, build the units, sell the units etc etc....  If he can build an apartment project, when he is finished he can sell it to some insurance company or REIT and just walk away and go to the next property.
 
Home ownership assures that the occupant will participate in the continuing process of maintaining the property and increasing the value of the area. We did not participate in the Bayshore improvement to provide a means for one investor to walk in and change everything so he can have his one moment on Bayshore. It would be totally improper for our County Gov't to change the status of this property after they have encouraged and allowed us to do the work and pay the cost of improving Bayshore only to now allow a rental facility. The prior use of this land was for apartments and changing that use to be for homeowners was right when it was done and is right now.
 
Lastly, I close with this observation. It seems like anyone who desires to make a change to properties has learned that if community meetings can be held between May and September they do not have to deal with large numbers of the Council constituents showing up. I find this something that should be adjusted.  I and many of my fellow neighbors in Naples are obviously away during these months and feel totally underserved by being left out of things that can greatly affect us. 
 
Thanks for listening
 
Tim Kraus

Firstly, the County committed to remaking Kelly Road into a highly desirable, owner occupied Bayshore neighborhood including Cirrus Pointe. That promise induced people like me to invest in Botanical Place on Bayshore and move here. That commitment included a percentage of work force owner occupied units. It did not include a Cirrus Pointe with 100% rentals none of which is work force level. The County must stick to its commitment to those of us who relied upon their vision. 
 
And the County is looking at losing $492,000 under the Note and Second Mortgage from Cirrus Pointe Partners.  Are you so willing to walk away from that $492,000 just to make the Vestcor deal? Why not wait for a better deal in line with our vision?  That is tax payer money!
 
Secondly, I attended the meeting and was very disappointed in the information--or should I say obfuscation--provided. As a matter of procedure, the meeting was inadequate in the extreme.

Off the bat, Ms. Bishop presented the proposed project as a done deal, needing only a couple very "minor" changes to the existing bonus density agreement. She seemed ready to walk out the door after that claim. In fact, the Vestcor proposal is a MAJOR change from the originally approved owner-occupied with a 40% work-force component to all rental with as much as 100% low-income units. 

These are not "minor" tweaks. They change the character of the project and the neighborhood radically.

She withheld all the key details until audience members extracted them and, in many cases, corrected her statements. She had slides and a rendering of the proposed project but did not display them until challenged
 
She kept justifying this complete revision as needed so that "bakers, surveyors, kids like hers who provide services would have places to live." As the audience made plain, the Bayshore Thomasson area already has an overload of affordable housing, negating her rationale.
 
Initially, she specifically denied knowing the following about the Vestcor proposed agreement:
  • the project was all rental or owner-occupied;
  • how many units were 1, 2 or 3 bedroom;
  • that the affordable units were all "low-income" designation;
  • the sizes of the units;
  • the maximum rentals of the units under current Median Income;
  • Vestcor planned to apply for grants requiring more low-income units;
  • the fate of the $480,000 owed to the County under the Cirrus Point Partners Note.
She also claimed to know nothing about the 270 unit Mattamy Homes development across Bayshore from Cirrus Point or the Compass Place (Thomasson PHX) project proposed across Thomasson. 
 
I find it hard to believe that Mattamy Homes would be in favor of this low income project directly across from their project. 
 
Fortunately, the audience did not let her denials and misstatements stand. One audience member had seen the application online and called her to account. She still feigned ignorance even though she had presented the latest proposal to the County on June 30, 2017.
 
There is $492,000 (including interest) owed to the County under the Cirrus Pointe Partners' note. That is almost 50% of the tax appraisal for the parcel. Yet, Ms. Bishop when asked about it claimed to know nothing about what would happen to that obligation. 
 
She appeared to know nothing of the mortgage foreclosure filed against Cirrus Pointe 11/3/16 by South Naples Venture LLC for $1.33M. It is disturbing to see this since the Collier lien is admittedly subordinate and no doubt will be lost, leaving the County with just the note against Cirrus Point Partners without security. Any recovery by the County on its note would have to be at Closing of the Vestcor purchase.
 
There are currently 4713 low income units in Collier County, two of which are Vestcor's Noah's Landing and Tuscan Isles. Putting low income housing into the area of Bayshore and Thomasson, which has a surplus now, will destroy the long-promised goal of the CRA for this area. When I bought, I was promised Bayshore would be on the upswing with Cirrus Pointe an owner-occupied condo community with 40% workforce units. I relied on that promise. I would not have bought with a 100% low-income development within a few hundred feet, not at any price.   
 
Now, there are those who want the 17 acre parcel turned into low-income housing as well, instead of the long-planned arts centerpiece of the Bayshore district.  
 
No one denies that affordable housing is needed in Collier County so don't waste words on bakers and deputies and teachers and waiters. This is not a "not in my backyard" issue. The issue is "not in ALL of my backyard."

-Shirley Garcia
Dear Donna and Penny,
My wife and I have been a property owners in Windstar since 1993 and I can remember the first down we drove down Kelly Drive. We had come to visit friends in Windstar and as we drove down Kelly Road we both said out loud “ Why in the world would our friends ever buy a house in this horrible area? The real estate was a disaster; broken down, unpainted,  and it looked like it all needed to be knocked down and rebuilt. It looked very much like a slum area. The entrance to Windstar looked better but also badly needed a lot of changes. Then, in talking to our friends we were informed that the street was a hooker’s heaven with girls soliciting in numerous locations. We bought anyway because of the people we met and the promises that things were going to change in the future. Well, they have changed. There were people in Windstar, and people like you two, that had dreams that this could be a reborn area that would be a major plus for Collier County. Guys like Bill Neal who had dreams and ideas which started the process that led to the Bayside Gateway Triangle CRA which was created in 2000. The middle of the now renamed Bayshore Blvd. was totally rebuild and replanted and red bricks totally dressed up the areas which had been dirt paths. The people of Windstar strongly bought into what was occurring and contributed financially to the improvements. Over the last 25 years our disaster area became much more respectable. The Botanical Garden, which started in a very modest building at the end of Bayshore, was able to attract incredible leaders who attracted donors who believed that the Garden could somehow meet the hopes and dreams of the early leaders. The whole area has been rebuilt but there are plans for many great things to come. In spite of what has happened we, unlike many communities similar to ours, have had streets, and streets off of these streets that offer lower priced homes to a large number of people. We are doing our share. There are many areas in Collier County where communities exist that no lower priced homes are available. Why should we flood our area with more lower priced places and risk undoing all the wonderful improvements that we have made in the last 25 years? It's not fair to all the people who have contributed their time and their money to bringing a blighted area back to life. Don’t vote for this change. Don’t support some guy who could care less about Bayshore but sees an opportunity to make a quick buck and move on to the next conquest. Support the people who still have a dream that Bayshore can be a still better place to live and a proud part of Collier County.  Thank you for all the help you have given us.    Willard Scott, 2121 Paget Circle,  Naples, 34112.
 

Penny,
 
Last night I, along with some of my neighbors who reside year round in Windstar, attended the neighborhood meeting regarding the planned development of Cirrus Pointe.
 
I was extremely disappointed with both the chosen method of presentation and the quality of the answers provided.  For me this meeting failed to adequately inform the audience of what was being proposed and should therefore be deemed as failing to meet the need for an informational meeting for the neighborhood.
 
Specifically, the presenter was a paid consultant to the developer who was either intentionally or conveniently ignorant of crucial facts in the developer's application before the Planning Commission.  It took, for example, roughly three quarters of the meeting before the presenter even divulged the name of the developer and then only in response to a specific question from a member of the audience.  This delay seemed incongruous with the presenter'sdescription of the developer as extremely accomplished in this form of development in Collier county as evidenced by having completed two comparable developments in the county. The identity of these two other developments, however, was revealed not by the presenter, but by a member of the audience who challenged the presenter's characterization of these other two developments as being comparable to what is being sought after in the case of Cirrus Pointe
 
The presenter's exhibits were few and unreadable from the projection screen. No hard copies were offered. Consequently, the discussion of various pertinent facts were left to the contribution of various members of the audience who appeared much more familiar with the facts contained in the application than was the presenter.
 
Lastly, the presenter representations that the changes were small and relatively inconsequential was insulting to the audience. Renting versus ownership is one of the most fundamental aspects of any decision regarding where and how to live. Also, the reduction in the minimum living space to a mere 600 square feet raises a multitude of questions many of which were posed to the presenter for which she had no reasonable answers.
 
Penny, as our representative I know you've been a strong advocate for the continued revitalization of the Bayshore corridor. This proposal along with the identification of another parcel off Bayshore near North street as a potential site for affordable housing appear broadly inconsistent with the aforementioned goal.
 
Regards,
 
Fred Meltzer
4751 Yacht Harbor Drive