Collier commissioners OK rezoning for new North Naples car lot

Corey Perrine/Staff 
 Louis Marsala looks at a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV for his wife Friday Oct. 12, 2012 at Tamiami Hyundai in East Naples. Hyundais are among the hottest-selling cars in the U.S., and Tim Zellers needs more space. The president of Tamiami Hyundai Mitsubishi and Tamiami Ford have entered into an agreement to buy the King Richards amusement park site because his dealership a few miles south on Airport-Pulling Road simply is too small, he says.

Photo by COREY PERRINE, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

Corey Perrine/Staff Louis Marsala looks at a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV for his wife Friday Oct. 12, 2012 at Tamiami Hyundai in East Naples. Hyundais are among the hottest-selling cars in the U.S., and Tim Zellers needs more space. The president of Tamiami Hyundai Mitsubishi and Tamiami Ford have entered into an agreement to buy the King Richards amusement park site because his dealership a few miles south on Airport-Pulling Road simply is too small, he says.

— The site that today features the go-carts of King Richard’s Family Fun Park will someday have Hyundais instead.

The Collier County Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved a petition by Hat Holdings LLC to buy King Richard’s amusement center on Airport-Pulling Road and develop it into a Tamiami Hyundai dealership.

The family park would be replaced by a 65,000-square-foot Tamiami Hyundai automobile dealership with related repair services at 6780 Airport-Pulling Road N.

“We are just happy it worked out,” said Tim Zellers, president of Tamiami Ford, Hyundai and Mitsubishi, after the approval.

Zellers said he is looking forward to an increase in business and hiring people. The dealership would employ a total of 40 to 50 workers at the new site and existing Mitsubishi lot.

The revised petition was presented to commissioners Tuesday by Tim Hancock, director of planning at Davidson Engineering Inc.

Top Hat Holdings LLC had a contract to buy the property and develop it, subject to the county’s approval of rezoning for the property. Last month, the Collier County Planning Commission unanimously endorsed a petition by the land owners to change the zoning at the 11.6-acre site.

Hancock said the earliest the land would be developed is starting sometime late this year, with completion scheduled for fall 2014.

Before Tuesday, the owners met with residents to address concerns raised by planning commissioners and residents.

Hancock presented six additional concessions, including building height, outdoor lighting, buffer trees and a wall. These plan revisions were made recently after working with concerned residents.

He assured residents that noise from the car wash wouldn’t affect the community pool area or residences. The car wash will have bay doors that remain closed during the entire wash cycle, including drying of the vehicle. The doors will open only for vehicles to enter and exit. It’s the first of its kind in Collier, to Hancock’s knowledge.

Many neighbors aren’t concerned about a car dealership going there.

During public comments at the commission meeting, David Pezzullo, a member of the Walden Oaks homeowner association committee established to address the application, said what residents wanted at first was for the application to be rejected but they found no solid legal basis to do so.

“These conversations improved our thinking, obliged us to dig deeper into the facts and made us all better representatives of the community or common interest,” said Pezzullo, who has lived at the subdivision off Airport-Pulling Road, near Pine Ridge Road, for more than three years. “With very few exceptions, our neighbors have been willing to discuss this emotional issue, in a civil fashion toward the best solution we could find together.”

The dealership would include an automobile showroom, service area, car wash and detail area.

The family park site, owned by Bic’s Investment Corp., has been listed for sale since 2006.

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