Golden Gate Estates neighbors petition against proposed church
GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Collier County – Some residents in Golden Gate Estates are petitioning against a proposed church on 22nd Avenue NE and 8th Street NE.
Iglesia Pentecostes Peniel Church is hoping to move from a small lot in the middle of Naples Park on 107th avenue North to over five acres of land of Randall Blvd.
Neighbor Alien Garcia said, “This is a non-profit company. They don’t have a lot of budget. They’re just trying to make do.”
A few years ago, the church purchased two vacant lots on the corner to combine into the 5.15-acre lot that will hold their new main chapel. Garcia said he heard about the project when the church’s pastor knocked on his front door. He said, “they provided a blueprint of where they were going to construct and it looked like.”
Their newest renderings feature a 30 ft tall chapel that holds 250 seats. Outside there will be 108 parking spaces, a preserve, and 15 foot wide landscaping hedges, which will be used as a buffer between neighbors.
Despite that, several neighbors are against the project. Annette Kniola said, “it’s just…absurd. I don’t know how else to describe it.” Kniola said her problem has nothing to do with religion. Instead, she fears it’ll set a new precedent for her community. She said, “they have music, dancing, and whatnot. I don’t know the extent to which once they get a permit, they can go ahead and request for daycare. They can request for banquets…:”
Now she and Heidi Severyn are joining together to create a petition against the project. Severyn said, “We just want to be able to keep it residential.”
Tuesday, petition supporters are meeting at the Mobil gas station off Randall Boulevard to collect signatures from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
NBC2 reached out to the church for an interview but did not hear back.
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