Zone changes slated for Naples public hearings

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Robert Fogg, who owns Q-Team Tree Service, purchased a strip of land that abuts his property. The company would like to get a zone change approved and start with engineering plans.

According to Town Manager Derik Goodine, Fogg does not want to postpone the zone change until the next scheduled town meeting in June because then the expansion work would coincide with Q-Team’s money-making season.

Meanwhile, the Causeway Restoration Committee has prepared its fundraising campaign with the goal of garnering the money to pay for a proposed amphitheater and splash park. However, a zone change will be needed for a pavilion to be constructed in that shoreland area. Without the zone change approval, donors will be less likely to financially back the project, Goodine said.

With pressing timelines, these two zone changes cannot wait until town meeting in June. So, those changes will go before Naples residents at special town meeting on Feb. 25.

On Monday, the Naples Board of Selectmen scheduled public hearings for the zone changes. Those public hearings are slated for Monday, Feb. 11, two weeks prior to the special town meeting.

The spot zone change would allow only the pavilion over the amphitheater’s stage to be constructed closer than 100 feet from the high watermark. If passed, the zone change would not allow Causeway business owners to build in the shoreland space.

A third item requiring residents’ vote is an addition to the town’s ordinances. According to Naples Code Enforcement Officer Renee Carter, who drafted the language, the proposed ordinance resolves a Shoreland Zoning issue, and was discovered by the State Attorney General’s office.

Typically, if someone owns a home located on the Shoreland Zone, the landowner is allowed to set a foundation without moving away from the watermark the footprint of the original structure.

“With this new ordinance you would have to see if you can set it back. We are going to try to change it before the state does because the state might take a year,” Carter said.

Goodine said the three issues will be presented as separate warrants at town meeting rather than being grouped as one.

“That way if a people like two of them and not the other, they won’t all get voted down,” he said.

Another ordinance that will govern how the Causeway green space can be used will not be ready for adoption until this summer, Goodine said.

In related business, CEO Carter has created a photograph requirement for residents applying for tree-removal permits in the Shoreland Zone.

“It gives the applicants a way to avoid fines,” she said. “They will have to submit a photo of trees and vegetation. Instead of going through the legal hassle after the fact, we can catch any problems before the trees are removed.”



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