Commission OKs Naples (Fla.) Daily News’ New HQ and Plant

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By: E&P Staff

Reversing its decision of several weeks ago, Florida’s Collier County Commission yesterday approved the siting of the Naples Daily News headquarters and production plant in North Naples.

Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of the project, which according to the paper is expected to “create at least 50 new jobs.” The newspaper plans to build on 36 acres once used for a produce farm.

The vote followed what today reports was “a heated and often emotional rezoning hearing” lasting over five hours and attended by neighbors opposed to the project. The crowd overflowed the commission’s chambers, according to the Daily News.

They and the commission’s chairman (who represents the district and cast the lone vote against the site approval) view he project as incompatible with the area’s neighborhoods and inconsistent with the requested business-park zoning because of the press hall’s 75-foot height and the site’s round-the-clock, seven-day use.

Approval came because one commissioner changed his vote, as expected, providing the “super-majority” required for such a measure. His original vote against approval resulted from what he said at the time was his misunderstanding of what would be permitted under the sort of zoning being considered.

To meet resident concerns, the unit of E.W. Scripps that owns the Daily News offered further concessions, including more landscaping and more restrictions on signs, lighting, reports.

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