Florida ATV park plan takes another step forward

Publish Date: 
Jul 20, 2012

NAPLES, Fla. – A long-awaited ATV park in Collier County is a step closer to becoming reality with the first meeting of a citizen committee organized to weigh possible sites.

County commissioners appointed the five-man committee in June. It met for more than an hour Wednesday to hear an update from county land buyers about the progress of the search.

Stantec Consulting Services has drawn up a map of possible sites, and the county has sent letters of inquiry to owners of some 80 parcels — from fewer than 100 acres to more than 5,000 acres — in agricultural areas around Immokalee and in East Naples. Most didn’t respond or aren’t interested, but a few are, according to the Naples Daily News.

Committee members agreed they wanted any riding spot to be controlled and family-friendly, focused on ATVs and dirt bikes, and to not attract a rowdy crowd with larger vehicles.

In 2003, the South Florida Water Management District pledged to find 640 acres for riders in exchange for the county handing over some roads for an Everglades restoration project. By 2009, the county took the district to court over the failed search. The two sides settled the litigation in 2011, and the county got $3 million to continue to search by itself.

The committee set its next meeting for Sept. 12. The county is still looking for two alternate committee members. More information about the search is available at www.colliergov.net/atvpark.

Posted by Holly Wagner