In the Know: Why are the medians greener on the other side?

TIM ATEN
The median on Vanderbilt Beach Road between U.S. 41 and Airport-Pulling Road lacks plants, shrubs or trees. This shot was taken last week looking east near the Pelican Marsh entrance on Vanderbilt.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

The median on Vanderbilt Beach Road between U.S. 41 and Airport-Pulling Road lacks plants, shrubs or trees. This shot was taken last week looking east near the Pelican Marsh entrance on Vanderbilt.

Q: Naples is the most beautiful place in Florida. The landscaping is gorgeous. I live in Pelican Marsh in North Naples and I don't know why there is no landscaping surrounding it on Airport Road or Vanderbilt Beach Road. Can you find out why? I have asked several people, including the city and can't get an answer.

— Dianne D., Naples

Q: Are there any plans in the works to have any landscaping work done on the Vanderbilt Beach Road medians between U.S. 41 and Airport-Pulling Road? They look terrible compared to the other beautiful medians in Naples. Thanks.

— Paula Brock, North Naples

Q: As a part-time resident, we are always enamoured with the landscaping on private properties and roadway medians in Naples. As Santa Barbara Boulevard is a major road, what is the latest status on landscaping the medians? Thanks.

— Andrew Golis, Naples

Q: When can we expect landscaping to begin on Collier Boulevard north of 41 to I-75? Thanks.

— Ed Farrell, Naples

A: Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side of town, but there usually is a reason for it.

Basically, economic necessities have changed the way medians are landscaped in Collier County. If county budget constraints exclude median landscaping, residents can opt to pay for it themselves. In other words, you have to spend more green to get more green.

Although the specific median areas in question may have changed, the answer from Collier County government basically remains the same: The county's Landscape Beautification Master Plan is unfunded, but private property owners and homeowners associations can opt to tax themselves for landscaping improvements by creating a special taxing district for a specific area.

"Collier County Growth Management Division appreciates public interest in adding landscaping along the county roadways such as the portions of Airport Road, Collier Boulevard, Santa Barbara Boulevard and Vanderbilt Beach Road mentioned in the questions that you provided. At this time, funding is not available for new landscaping," said Connie Deane, community liaison for Growth Management.

"If communities wish to landscape, it can be done through the creation of a Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) or Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU)."

An MSTU handles capital improvements that typically require continued maintenance. An MSBU is a special assessment or one-time benefit for improvements without maintenance requirements. Either option may be created by a citizen-sponsored petition or a voter referendum, or can independently be created by the county commission. For information on the process and steps necessary to create an MSTU or MSBU, click here.

In addition to paying for improvements, MSTUs have the ability to petition county commissioners to add the new maintenance responsibilities to the county's program. If a community or group is ready to landscape and maintain improvements, another option is a landscape maintenance agreement, Deane said.

Proposals for the creation of MSTUs have already been made at two of the areas asked about above: Vanderbilt Beach Road between U.S. 41 and Airport-Pulling Road, and Airport-Pulling between Vanderbilt Beach and Immokalee roads, Deane said. Other candidates include Radio Road from Santa Barbara Boulevard to Davis Boulevard, Davis Boulevard from County Barn Road to Collier Boulevard, and Pine Ridge Road from Logan Boulevard to Collier Boulevard.

Citizens interested in these landscaping options should contact county staff in the Alternative Transportation Modes Landscape Section at 239-252-8192 or growthmanagement@colliergov.net. Information is also available on the county's website, www.colliergov.net/ATM.

This sketch of a comprehensive streetscape master plan for major roadways in Collier County was rendered by landscape planner George Botner, ASLA AICP.

This sketch of a comprehensive streetscape master plan for major roadways in Collier County was rendered by landscape planner George Botner, ASLA AICP.

Landscape master plan

On April 22, 2003, county commissioners approved the Collier County Landscape Beautification Master Plan, which sets "a base level of landscaping" for new road construction projects. This basic landscaping includes clean median backfill with landscape-quality soil, Bahia grass, electrical and irrigation sleeving, curbing, and brick pavers at the median ends, the master plan mandates.

The master plan requires "Type B" landscaping improvements on all six-lane arterial roads, budget permitting, and permits "Type B" and "Type C1" landscaping improvements for medians. "Type B" improvements replace the basic Bahia grass with St. Augustine sod, and shrubs, groundcover, flowering trees and planting beds span the median. "Type C1" improvements include all "Type B" median elements with the addition of roadside plantings.

Roadside plantings have two levels: "Type C1," which contains roadside canopy trees and/or palms irrigated with a bubbler irrigation system, and Bahia grass planted on the edges; and "Type C2," which contains all of the components of "Type C1" in addition to roadside shrubs, flowering trees, planting beds and/or St. Augustine grass.

"Because of the current drought conditions and narrowed medians, floratam sod is no longer being planted in the medians, and in most instances is being replaced by mulch and bedding plants," according to the master plan's executive summary. "Budget constraints have resulted in an elimination of side of the road trees which were further restricted due to limited right of way competing for space with needed utilities."

Dairy Queen's classic red A-frame has been a Naples fixture since at least the mid-1950s.

File

Dairy Queen's classic red A-frame has been a Naples fixture since at least the mid-1950s.

Dairy Queen landmark

As reported last week, Dairy Queen is opening a new Naples location at the site of Ric's Café & Grill, which is closing this month. The question is what will become of DQ's classic red A-frame that has been a Naples landmark since at least the mid-1950s?

Do you have memories to share about going to the longtime Dairy Queen location at 410 Ninth St. N.? What are your thoughts about the iconic structure? Send me a note at intheknow@naplesnews.com.

Here are some comments readers made about the local landmark on one of last week's "In the Know" columns online:

■ "So disappointed about the DQ closing. I used to take my kids there every day on the way home from the beach. Also made many stops there after watching the sunset. The A-frame building is an absolute icon in our town."

— dixiedrifter

■ "How can you move the Dairy Queen. It has been here forever????"

— livinginnaples

■ "What a bummer to hear the Dairy Queen will be moving. (Used to go there as a kid. I agree, Dixie, that building IS an icon in Naples. Might have to take my kids there before they move."

— BonitaBuoy

■ "Can't believe it about DQ. Parents would take us there after church (when we behaved, I suppose!) way back in the '70s. Have been taking our own kids there after beach days ever since they were born. As a Naples native, it makes me sad."

— Sherri

■ "Hearing that DQ is moving made me feel sick to my stomach. Keep a DQ in that location and open another at the new location. Don't care how close the 2 are together, that DQ is one of the last landmarks of this town."

— ocelot_snake

___

Have a local question? Email it with your name and city of residence to intheknow@naplesnews.com.

"In the Know" is published Mondays and Wednesdays in the Naples Daily News. Find a complete archive of "In the Know" columns at naplesnews.com/intheknow.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 23

MisterK writes:

Watermelons had been planted years ago. They were delicious.

Sick writes:

They spent all the money in the wealthy area medians 1st in case they just so happened to run out of money.

I guess they should have pre planned how much money they had and spent it accordingly for all median landscaping.

Maybe like a budget?

All they had to do is ask any housewife how she keeps the grocery list in budget and still figures out how to feed everyone in the house.

Collier county planning dept. is a joke. Worse than drunken sailors.

HAP writes:

Great info. Will be interesting to see what becomes of our beloved DQ!

adirondacks writes:

To : Dianne D., Naples

" Naples..the most beautiful place in Florida " What are YOU smokinn..girl ??? Ya ever get out much !!!!

mikemorrow2 writes:

Why is it necessary to ask each question 3 or 4 times? Seems like you are just trying to fill space or you are getting paid by the word.

Therealist writes:

People really like the man-made landscaping? It blocks a clear path of view for drivers, is expensive to maintain when compared to grass, and gets dirty water all over the road often.

I've also seen plenty of skidmarks into said medians with bushes and trees destroyed by drivers who more than likely should not have been driving.

And Sick, Golden Gate Blvd. is not a wealthy area but has had landscaped medians for some time now.

Max_Headroom writes:

in response to mikemorrow2:

Why is it necessary to ask each question 3 or 4 times? Seems like you are just trying to fill space or you are getting paid by the word.

It's because other 'snowrats' have asked the same question and the NDN saves them up till they run a story, fool.

manforpeace writes:

The problem is people in pelican marsh expecting the wasteful spending to continue.
Second problem is the NDN will justify it.
Tim, have you been taking propaganda classes from Laura Layden?
Stop the wasteful spending and trying to make part time residents feel good.

Gifted1 writes:

Why? We are a bankrupt nation. Stop spending money on things like this.

HarryNuts writes:

Airport Pulling road and Golden Gate parkway deserve the same treatment as anywhere else in Naples. Is there obvious unfairness going on? Of course.

Instead of focusing only on the areas where the tourists drive by, why don't we keep a tighter leash on those in charge of our money and try to keep all of Naples beautiful?

PeopleSpeak writes:

To Dianne in Pelican Marsh:

"I have asked several people, including the city"

First, I was not aware that Pelican Marsh had incorporated as its own municipality or as part of a City of North Naples. Would be news to me and a whole bunch of lying Realtors.

Second, guess what honey, you don't live in Naples! Did you cry when you called the City and they informed you that Pelican Marsh and portions of Vanderbilt and Airport that front it are not within their jurisdiction?

Naples boundaries for reference: http://napgis.naplesgov.com/staticmaps/

KennyR (Inactive) writes:

Its hard to believe with all the (necessary) budget cutting, people are actually complaining about median landscaping?!??

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to Gifted1:

Why? We are a bankrupt nation. Stop spending money on things like this.

Well at least we have the medians instead of another committee function, suing each other, a grand dinner, and so many other do nothing produce nothing studies and falderal!

They were going to pave our roads, too? Money already 'obligated?' in perpetuality, eh?

Time for another "Master Plan?", meetings to CONSOLIDATE? and someday stuff!

jt1120 writes:

BTW, add the Shrimp Shack in Bonita to the list of closed restaurants. I guess all of those 2-for-1 meals finally caught up with them.

cnc1128 writes:

Those people who are concerned about plantings on the medians have "clear heads". I wish I had their problems. What about the economy, people losing jobs, homes, the one's who are sick and alone? What a selfish community Naples has become.

ocelot_snake writes:

Always see it as a waste of money myself and in an emergency, someone needs to get across the median, its easier if nothing is there

nativeonepointone writes:

How about an "In the Know" about Naples council members Sam Saad's wife getting the DUI this weekend?

http://www2.colliersheriff.org/Arrest...

PeopleSpeak writes:

in response to nativeonepointone:

How about an "In the Know" about Naples council members Sam Saad's wife getting the DUI this weekend?

http://www2.colliersheriff.org/Arrest...

+1

I hear she knows a good lawyer...

NoHurricanes writes:

OR- stop looking at the medians and concentrate on the texting and phone calls... you know the "real things" you should be doing while driving... we have homeless people living in collier and we are complaining about medians? Wow life is tough.

stur writes:

The county should make grass the standard for medians. It is a terrible waste of tax funds to pay for anything else. As they say if some neighborhoods want more that neighborhood should pay to install it and for the maintenance and upkeep with a special tax district.

No1Uno writes:

in response to sirknowalot:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep, from the Freezer to the Steamer....

What about Latitudes?

desperado writes:

Pave the medians and paint em green !!! Ouch..can't put the mexican landscapers out of a job now can we !! Here's a question DIANE.." Why is the sky blue or " Why is the ocean wet "...HAHAHAHA

desperado writes:

Stick a fork in it...Paradise is Done !

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