Rod and gun club proposed as first compact rural community in eastern Collier County

It’s a sometimes overused word, but a new community planned in eastern Collier County is unique.

It’s not a town, or a village.

It’s a compact development, the first one proposed under the county’s Rural Lands Stewardship Area, or RLSA, program.

The community’s name reflects its rural character. It’s dubbed the Collier Rod and Gun Club at the Preserve, with an emphasis on the word preserve.

Naples-based Barron Collier Cos. is behind the proposed development, about five miles east of Ave Maria and 10 miles south of Immokalee.

The project is still winding its way through the regulatory channels. It will go before county commissioners for final approval on Tuesday, but remains under review by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District, for its required permits.

The long-time local developer has proposed a seasonal, nature-inspired retreat, with no more than 225 single-family homes, or “cabins,” on about 260 acres, with a main entrance off State Road 29.

The Collier County Planning Commission and county staff are recommending approval of the two petitions.

When asked to share his thoughts on the development by the planning commission at a hearing in August, Mike Bosi, the county’s planning and zoning director, said: “Staff’s a pretty muted group, but we like it.”

Louise Le Gardeur, an associate principal with Hart Howerton, a design firm and consultant on the project, told the advisory board that the development would celebrate, rather than try to tame, the Everglades’ “powerful ecology.”

“Our firm’s and our client’s shared goal is to create a club community that respects and builds upon the existing natural characteristics and land’s heritage, the indigenous ecology, and the preservation of native features,” she said in her presentation. “In order to accomplish this, these projects preserve wetland areas and extend forested areas, enhancing the overall natural environment.”

Read the full article in the Naples Daily News.