NOVEMBER 14, 2018 — Habitat for Humanity is building a wall. Well, segments of a wall at least.
It’s for an affordable housing project in Naples called ‘Regal Acres Phase II.’
116 units will be available to the working population in Collier County.
“This is where people will be able to live and raise their families in peace and harmony in a safe and secure community,” said Habitat for Humanity President, Nick Kouloheras.
The Zoning Project was approved in early November, but surrounding neighborhoods were not very excited about it.
“Really, we’re building a wall to the north side of the property and the south side of the property primarily for noise-buffering reasons more than anything else” said Kouloheras. “I think the concerns were more general concerns of ‘well you know, we just don’t want more housing here.’”
Michael Yancon, who lives in Naples, wasn’t too happy about the wall. He’s the President of Naples Preserve.
“Whether it’s Habitat for Humanity or million-dollar homes back there, we just didn’t want the preserve to be torn down because we enjoy it back there,” Yancon said.
Michael received a letter in the mail about the development project, so he got an attorney, then met with Habitat for Humanity.
“So we were sitting there brainstorming with Nick and he was the one who proposed, ‘well what if we put a wall along the buffer zone?’ And spruce it up with vegetation and that will help with the view and also the sound.”
Michael created a flier and got some signatures of neighbors who also support the wall.
"Whether it’s here, there or somewhere else we just didn’t want anything back there - but it is what it is. Nothing was in Naples Preserve before somebody came and tore down the preserve and built my house so really who am I to say that you can’t tear down the preserve and build more homes,” he said.
Habitat for Humanity is expected to start building the community - and its wall - in 2021.