Proposed Golden Gate Estates church causes concern
GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Fla. – A proposed church in the center of a rural community in Collier County is being met with mixed reactions.
This week, neighbors living near 22nd Avenue Northeast and 8th Street Northeast in Golden Gate Estates found flyers in their mailboxes from the Iglesia Pentecostes Peniel Church in Naples Park. It informed them that the church purchased two parcels on the northwest corner and envisioned turning it into their new 5-acre main location.
The site would include a three-story church, no larger than 7,000 square feet and 108 parking spaces. But first, the County must OK two things, rezoning the lot to “Conditional Use” and amending the County’s Growth Management Plan.
Alien Garcia lives next door to the site.
“If it’s going to impact anyone on this corner, it would be us,” Garcia said.
In addition to the flyer, Garcia said a few weeks ago, a pastor from the congregation knocked on his door to explain the project.
Garcia said the Pastor assured him that there will be a 75-foot buffer between the site and neighbors, including landscaping.
“I felt fine with it because I mean there really is a lack of places to worship here in the estates. If you take a look, for miles and miles on, you’re not really going to find a place of worship,” Garcia said.
But others said the project’s potential impact is nothing to worship.
“This is not a question of church or no church, it’s the question of setting a precedent of rezoning,” said Teymur Akhundov.
He said he fears it could open the floodgates to overdevelopment.
“Now, it’s a church. Next time it’s going to be a tire shop. Next time it’s going to be something else,” Akhundov said.
The church will host a neighborhood information meeting Thursday night at 6 p.m. at their Immokalee location at
13260 Immokalee Road, Suite 7 Naples FL, 34120.
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