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Collier County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Tuesday a height increase for the fifth and final tower of the Kalea Bay waterfront condominiums in North Naples, along with further amendments to the existing settlement agreement with Detroit-based developer Lodge Abbott Investments Associates.  

The Cocohatchee Bay planned unit development was originally approved in 2000. In 2005, Lodge Abbott Associates sued the county to remove Collier’s bald eagle protection rules and permit it to develop near an eagle’s nest. The county settled in 2008. Kalea Bay and the Kinsale Golf Club are the existing approved residential and golf course developments within the parcel. 

Kalea Bay has built four of five towers since construction began in 2015. Construction on the fifth tower is expected to begin after this year’s eagle nesting season, but Lodge Abbott sought an increase of allowable dwelling units from 590 to 600, changing the maximum building height from 17 stories to 20, totaling 250 feet in height.  

Additionally, the settlement agreement was amended to permit essential services to the Kinsale Golf Club tract for the creation of a 10,000-square-foot fire station on U.S. 41 just south of Tarpon Cove along with an emergency access to the Tarpon Cove community, which will provide a second way in and out of the neighborhood.  

The third piece of the amendments involved a 3-acre parcel across from Kalea Bay, which is zoned for commercial use. Lodge Abbott originally offered 1.61 acres to the county with plans to turn the remaining vacant space into a commercial development by May 2026. The 1.61 acres would have been turned into a parking lot owned by the county, providing additional spaces for boat owners, but designed and constructed by the developer.  

The deal changed when Commissioner Chris Hall proposed that all 3 acres be given to the county. Land-use attorney Rich Yovanovich said the developer would give up development rights on the entire parcel for an additional allowance in height for the fifth building. The building will have 10-foot ceilings instead of nine, correlating to an additional 20 feet in height for the 20 stories. The deal also includes London Abbott not assisting in any of the design or construction processes of the parking lot.  

Kalea BayCollier County Planning and Zoning Director Mike Bosi said the county should continue to pursue a parking lot on that property even if the developer doesn’t help with any of construction phases.  

“There’s over 24,000 registered vessels in Collier County alone. You currently have a total of about 326 boat trailer parking spaces in your county parks countywide,” Bosi said. “Getting this parcel and adding those parking would be a tremendous benefit to the public and the residents.” 

Public speakers were surprised by the deal, including Paula Kutlick, a resident of the nearby Aqua community who voiced concern about the county not having definite plans for the entire 3 acres. The land zoned for commercial could allow for developments, such as a shopping center or a restaurant with outdoor dining.  

“We have a very luxurious neighborhood here, and it’s been a very nice luxurious neighborhood for years now, so that that is a very big issue for all of us here,” Kutlick said. “To put anything commercial in that place now or even a parking deck would ruin a gorgeous neighborhood.”  

Former Collier County Commissioner Frank Halas was involved in this development during the lawsuit in the 2000s. He alluded to the work of commissioners at the time to reach the settlement and said this vote would put that work to waste.  

“It was a great day for Collier County to see this lawsuit withdrawn from the developer. Let’s not repeat county history by tearing up the hard-fought agreement by all who worked to relieve this huge burden that was placed upon the county and its residents,” Halas said. “No rights of the developer have been infringed. It is critical that the county residents can count on their elected representatives to uphold the agreements that have been made in the past”  

After public comment concluded, the board and Yovanovich agreed that Lodge Abbott would provide $1 million to construct the parking lot once the county officially commits to building it. 

Commissioner Rick LoCastro said this could help expedite the construction process as the county is spending money on other lots, such as Caxambas Park on Marco Island that still has damage from Hurricane Ian.  

A timeline for the fifth tower of Kalea Bay is unknown at this time.  

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