Naples parking project leads to land-use suit

A resident alleges the city exceeded its authority by allowing Clearwater-based Brookline Cos. to build a parking garage in Naples where a restaurant once operated

The former St. George and the Dragon restaurant in Naples
The former St. George and the Dragon restaurant in Naples

A Naples resident claims in a lawsuit that the city government exceeded its authority when it approved the redevelopment of a former restaurant property.

Joan Fiore’s lawsuit in Collier County alleges that the Naples City Council violated the city’s charter and land development code by approving a Clearwater company’s plan to redevelop the site of the former St. George and the Dragon restaurant.

Clearwater-based Brookline Cos. plans to build a four-level parking garage with three levels above ground.

Fiore claims the approved redevelopment would violate restrictions on commercial building heights within city limits.

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In 2000, Naples voters approved language in the city charter that limits commercial buildings “to three floors and building heights of 42 feet.”

The city charter doesn’t specify whether any underground floor of a commercial building should be included in a calculation of the building’s height, according to Naples City Attorney Bob Pritt.

On Aug. 31, Brookline bought the former St. George and the Dragon restaurant site at Fifth Avenue South and 10th Street South and a nearby parking lot for $8.8 million. [Naples Daily News] Mike Seemuth