We are concerned about the rapid and extensive growth planned for rural eastern Collier County.  Large RLSA landowners seek to develop 45,000 acres of towns and villages in the RLSA, bringing potentially 300,000 new residents to the County.  These developments will impact all Collier County citizens.

We consider it important to voice our concerns to the County because the proposed developments can adversely impact wildlife, especially the endangered panther, and our water resources, create sprawling communities throughout the RLSA, and require extensive public infrastructure such as roads and utilities, the cost of which will be borne by taxpayers.  Impact fees will not begin to cover these costs.

On January 28, Collier County Commissioners will decide whether to approve the first Village in the RLSA, Rivergrass.  Rivergrass Village was rejected by the Collier County Planning Commission 4-1 last November.  If Rivergrass is approved by the Board of County Commissioners, it will set a precedent for future development in the RLSA—an area meant to protect environmentally sensitive lands, wildlife and our agricultural lands by following smart growth principles.  Rivergrass Village is 1000 acres for 2500 homes, a gated golf course community—it is the first of 4 pending applications for “villages” in the stewardship area.  Rivergrass is the opposite of good stewardship—it will be built in habitat critical to panther survival; Rivergrass is the opposite of smart growth—it is a sprawling development, rather than a compact, walkable community, and Oil Well Road (a future 6 lane highway) runs thru the middle of the proposed Village.

If you’d like to do something about the rapid growth in eastern Collier County, you can join us at County Commissioners hearings on these developments.  Your presence alone speaks.