Collier County planners raise environmental, noise concerns around proposed Naples dump
Image via Collier County.

Growth Management has sent 3 rejection letters so far on a permit application.

Plans for a dump in Naples keep digging up resistance in Collier County.

Collier County Growth Management in April sent a third rejection letter regarding a Naples Disposal/Naples Excavating permit application. The trash disposal company wants permission to convert a 2.5-acre property on Taylor Road into an industrial waste storage and recycling facility near the Autumn Woods neighborhood.

But before disposing of garbage on the land, the companies must dispense with a litany of environmental and legal concerns.

An application letter submitted for the proposed project last year describes the site as well-suited for a dump.

“This site is located within an Industrial Park with similar Industrial uses located to the North, South, and West,” reads a cover letter from Davidson Engineering. “While there is a residential development to the East, this is not proposing an expansion to the size of the preexisting Industrial district, and appropriate landscape buffering plus the existing canal shall separate the uses.”

But the latest rejection comments from county officials say the project as proposed will generate enough noise and pollution to hurt the value of homes in surrounding neighborhoods. That’s largely because dust generated by the industrial machinery could enter the air and settle around the community.

A site walkthrough submitted by General Kinematics on behalf of the project shows industrial conveyor belts and sorting machines that separate concrete, metals and other materials.

County comments sent back to Davidson Engineering in April say the project planners have not accounted for the level residential construction that has occurred around the site in recent years.

While the plans involve an industrial-zoned site, planners wrote that the dump — which is expected to operate every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. — will generate hundreds of truck trips.

Additionally, the inevitable noise from equipment used to crush, sort and recycle garbage, along with vehicle traffic, will likely run afoul of noise ordinances in the city of Naples.

The land where the companies want to dump garbage also lies in the Naples’ Coastal Ridge wellfield, one of just eight areas in the county where freshwater gets drawn from the Floridan Aquifer.

Applications say the dump won’t take highly hazardous materials, but the conditional use being sought for the dump will allow for fertilizers, paints, asphalt and cleaning materials to be disposed of there.

The plans include construction and demolition debris processing, which comes with environmental concerns. Destruction of concrete, wood and drywall can result in toxic and airborne dust.

The walkthrough from Kinetic says dust byproducts can be addressed by using misting systems and spray hoses to keep the particles out of the air, but that brings its own concerns about runoff that can impact the groundwater, in this case potentially polluting the aquifer.

The project as planned right now will require an additional permit from the South Florida Water Management District allowing discharges into the Taylor Canal and Gordon River extension.

Planners for the project have negotiated with county staff since beginning the pre-application process last July.

But county officials continue to cite an array of concerns. That latest application rejection letter included concerns from Comprehensive Planning, Landscape, Zoning and County Attorney reviewers. That message also makes clear the application will need to be resubmitted in full.

The proposal also cannot go before the Collier County Commission until companies hold meetings with neighborhood associations, including the Autumn Woods Master Association, along with community organizations in Stonegate and Mill Run.

The Autumn Woods area alone is home to 548 households, most in 350 single-family homes in a community across the street from the site.

Review Comment Letter 3 by Jacob Ogles on Scribd

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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