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More beach parking in Bonita Springs could be coming – The News

The owner of a 5-acre parcel on Bonita Beach Road wants to use part of the property for beach parking.

Alan Codi owns a vacant site at 4200 Bonita Beach Road, a mile east of the beach.

But first, he needs approval from the city of Bonita Springs.

“It’ll also be a good test to see if people are willing to park a mile from the beach,” said Codi, whose company ACODI Realty has a welcome center at 3570 Bonita Beach Road.

“We have three to four people a day stop in and ask ‘Where can we park?’ … If we develop a reputation for being a place you can’t find parking, it’s going to decrease the allure this place has as far as beach going goes.”

He proposes putting in a temporary clam shell lane without knocking down any trees so 50-100 cars could park. He said people could then take a shuttle.

LeeTran Route 150 runs by the site every 90 minutes.

“It’s not a problem to add a stop to an existing route,” said Joann Haley, LeeTran marketing manager. But she said the county does not have funds to add another bus to the route for more frequent service.

Codi said a private tram operator could offer the service. He said it would probably cost $5 to park plus trolley charges.

“If you go park at the Barefoot Beach access it’s $8 for the day,” he said. “It would come out to the same as if they were parking at the beach access.”

Lee County’s Bonita Beach Access #1 charges $2 an hour.

City Manager Carl Schwing is meeting with Codi next week. He said he needs to hear more about the proposal.

“We’re just asking to expedite this,” Codi said. If he gets approval in December, he said he could put a temporary lot in January during season.

He said its usage would let him know if he should reserve part of the site for permanent beach parking.

Codi plans to develop it as the Barefoot Plaza.

“We’d like to do something that’s very beach oriented and possibly put a couple of restaurants and put a lagoon pool,” he said. “People could come and spend the day. Picnic tables. We’ll even put some parking spaces for some food vans.”

The 5-acre site was in foreclosure when Codi bought it for $700,000 in February.

“We really got a good deal on it,” he said. “We can afford to use some of it for parking.”

Article source: http://www.news-press.com/story/news/local/bonita-springs/2014/11/28/beach-parking-bonita-springs-coming/19640135/

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