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State Approves Controversial Plan to Build Docks on Vanderbilt Channel in North Naples

Boat Docks
Boat Docks

Signature Communities’ controversial plans to build 49 boat slips along a mangrove shoreline west of Vanderbilt Drive and east of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park was approved by a vote of 3-1 by Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet. “The docks, part of the Dunes project, required approval of a lease of state submerged lands and plans to place riprap beneath the dock and dredge”. Collier County approvals and a permit from the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers are still needed.

The plans were opposed by the Vanderbilt Beach residents and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida because they say the docks will ruin the waterway by destroying mangroves and harming manatee habitat. Backers of the project did not agree. Both groups were represented in Tallahassee to express their views to the Cabinet.

“Signature Communities agreed that instead of paying a one-time $31,000 lease fee, the project would also pay any fee increases the Cabinet or the State Legislature approve within two years of the lease going into effect, according to the lease. They have also agreed to deed 54 acres of submerged land and deed another 66 acres above the mean high water line to the state of Florida.