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Tag Archives: city staff

LTE: Request to Reconsider the Proposed Rental Ordinance

Lettertoeditor

To: City of Marco Island Council Members After reviewing the most recent draft of the proposed Rental Ordinance 15-01, I am providing the following comments, and request that the Council seriously reconsider the scope of the proposed ordinance. The noise and nuisance problem that Council is attempting to address is limited to a small number of single family homes that are rented for less than 30 days. In addition, ordinances already exist to address noise, parking, and occupancy, and these ordinances apply to all Marco residents regardless of whether they own or rent the property they occupy. The proposed ordinance is extensive and represents unnecessary ... Read More »

Planning Board discusses Density Credit Ordinance

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By Pat Newman Acknowledging that there is “work to be done here,” Planning Board Chairman Charlette Roman and fellow members will once again review proposed changes to the Density Credit Transfer Ordinance at its March 20 meeting. With the end of the temporary moratorium set on density credit transfers looming, the board chose to continue its discussion from March 6 after debating the language contained in the ordinance and the actual number of credits that exist. Alan Gabriel, Planning Board Attorney recommended that the proposed ordinance which was advertised for public hearing be “reformatted” and more importantly that it is ... Read More »

Design, Use of Mackle Park Community Center Discussed

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com It was supposed to be a discussion about the size and design of the proposed new Mackle Park Community Center. As happens often times when the subject of Mackle Park comes up, though, the joint workshop between the Marco Island City Council and its Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) — held Tuesday, Jan. 20 — quickly devolved into a discussion about projected programming numbers, competition with private community and business organizations, and whether or not the sole focus of this project should even be Mackle Park. The workshop was a culmination of more than ... Read More »

Commercial Properties Landscape Buffers: Let’s Keep the Island Beautiful

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It is well-known that Marco Island is naturally beautiful and not just for its beaches. Designated as a “Tree City USA” for five consecutive years, the landscape and trees are very important to all residents for the high quality of life standard on the island. Appointed by City Council, the Beautification Advisory Committee’s mission is to advise them on the beautification of the community’s landscape that is consistent with the tropical character and natural beauty of Marco Island. This committee strives to educate residents about planting the right plants in the right place, irrigation with water conservation techniques and proper ... Read More »

Planning Board Drafts Rental Ordinance

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By Pat Newman A rental ordinance requiring property registration, a fire inspection and enforceable fines for violating city codes governing noise, parking and tardy trash can removal was drafted by Marco Island’s Planning Commission at its Nov. 21 meeting. Following hours of public comment both for and against an ordinance regulating long- and short-term rentals, the board decided to use the city of Marathon’s ordinance as a model and proceeded to go section by section adding and deleting lines to make it Marco Island specific. Board Chairman Monte Lazarus deferred to members in the decision, calling the model ordinance “tangled-up.” ... Read More »

Utility Rate Discussion Continues at City Hall

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Last week, Marco Island’s Finance Director Guillermo Polanco sent a report out to City Council members. The topic: balancing the budget for Marco Island Utilities. According to City Manager Roger Hernstadt, the report says the Council voted to approve the budget on September 8th and 22nd, 2013 that included a 2.1% increase in utility rates. The Council deferred the implementation to determine if the implementation of a new rate structure would mitigate the need for the additional revenue. Unfortunately, that effort has not reached a consensus to date. Therefore, the Council will have to either ... Read More »

New Median for Bald Eagle Drive and Park Avenue

City staff hopes the new right-turn-only, permanent median will help will traffic congestion caused during the Farmers Market and other large events held at Veterans Memorial Park.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Next month, the traffic pattern at the intersection of Bald Eagle Drive and Park Avenue will be changing. According to Tim Pinter, the city of Marco Island’s public works director, the city will be building a raised concrete median island there to limit the traffic exiting from Park Avenue onto Bald Eagle Drive to right turns only. The median is slated for construction during the first week of November, and while city staff does not yet have a firm price for the project, they are soliciting bids from contractors. Still, the project comes at the ... Read More »

Change Comes to Code Enforcement

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Since April, Marco Island’s Code Enforcement Department has been quietly undergoing reconstructive surgery. It started with the assignment of city Environmental Specialist Nancy Richie to the three-person department to carefully examine all means and methods used by enforcement officers. The process will continue through this year as City Manager Roger Hernstadt and the City Council make crucial decisions about hiring a magistrate and organizing a new City Code Advisory Committee. “Nancy was a good, impartial person to bring in there and examine how (the department) was handling its responsibilities in an unbiased way,” explains Hernstadt. ... Read More »

Smokehouse Bay Bridge Update

Work on the southbound span of the Smokehouse Bay Bridge is about 20 percent complete. PHOTO BY FRANK STEIGER

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The sign posted on the exit door of the Starbucks at The Esplanade on Tuesday, Sept. 30, sent caffeine junkies into instant withdrawals. Starting Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 8:30 PM, the store would be closed — closed? — due to a boil water notice, and unless otherwise notified, the store would not reopen until Saturday, Oct. 4. According to Jeff Poteet, general manager of Marco Island Utilities, bridge contractor Quality Enterprises will be tying in a new 20-inch water main that was recently installed as part of the $8.625 million Smokehouse Bay Bridge project. In ... Read More »

Get Out and Vote on Mackle Park Referendum

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The time has come for Marco Islanders to cast their ballot and let the City Council know where they stand on the construction of a new Mackle Park Community Center to replace the current 25-year-old center. The referendum question: “Shall the city expend up to $3.5 million to construct a new community center up to 16,000 square feet at Mackle Park?” It is a question that — in some way, shape or form — the Marco Island community has been dealing with since 2005 when the city released the Mackle Park master plan. Since the ... Read More »

PRAC Tackles Farmers’ Market Issue

File Photo.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com It was a scene unfamiliar to the members of Marco Island’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Twenty community members attended the committee’s special workshop Aug. 5 focused on the future of the Farmers’ Market. These 20 individuals were all market vendors. In attendance representing city staff were City Manager Roger Hernstadt, the city’s Recreation Facilities Manager and Farmers’ Market Manager Alex Gliana and Community Events Coordinator Samantha Malloy. Sandi Reidemann and Jacquie Koon of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce were present. The workshop came on the heels of rising concern over suggested changes ... Read More »

Work Begins on Smokehouse Bay Bridge

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Despite a small glitch, work has begun on the city’s $8.625 million Smokehouse Bay Bridge project. On Aug. 4, bridge contractor Quality Enterprises USA began traffic pattern modifications to close the southbound portion of the bridge, which will allow work to begin on the major utility relocations and directional boring for the 20” water main under the channel. The bridge project received the green light for the Marco Island City Council earlier this summer after years of debate over its cost and design. The deal was sweetened in June when Marriott International Inc. offered to ... Read More »

Mackle Park Referendum: Island Parks & Rec Foundation Rallies Support

The Plan

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Greg West is no stranger to the Mackle Park Community Center referendum, which is set for a vote in the Aug. 26 election. Until recently, West served as the chairman of the city of Marco Island’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC), and was one of the masterminds behind the committee’s marketing plan for the new community center. Now, as the president of the Island Parks & Recreation Foundation Inc., West is pulling out all of the stops for one final push to raise the community’s awareness and favor for a new Mackle Park Community ... Read More »

AAA Lot Mowing Cited for Repeat Violations

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By Carol Glassman Donald Liston, a tractor operator for AAA Lot Mowing owned by Bernard Wegman, ran up a very expensive tab for his lunch break May 12. Liston decided to have his lunch “with a better view” and “possibly seek another client,” but chose the wrong location. 1929 Indian Hill Street is a privately-owned lot that for approximately 15 years, according to city staff, has been deemed unmowable. In addition, the lot has been posted by Wegman himself, as a result of a previous conviction, as a protected gopher tortoise habitat. In December 2012, Wegman’s company was found guilty ... Read More »

Approved: 1st Reading of Marriott PUD Amendment

Marco Island city councilors listen to both sides of the Marriott project debate during the June 2 meeting.

By Noelle H. Lowery The Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort’s $150 million renovation plan cleared its first hurdle Monday (June 2) night when City Council approved the amendment to the hotel’s planned unit development and master plan by a vote of 4-2. Councilors Amadeo Petricca and Chuck Kiester voted against the measure, and Councilor Joe Batte was not in attendance. The approval came after nearly six hours of presentations, impassioned community responses, in-depth discussion and a surprise promise from Marriott General Manager Rick Medwedeff. The hotel’s ownership group will kick in $1 million to expedite the renovation of the Smokehouse ... Read More »

City Council Notes

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The Marco Island City Council got down to business during its May 19 regular meeting hashing out a number of issues, including the purchase of an emergency standy-by generator for its South Water Treatment Plant for $200,000, the award of the $7.625 million contract for the Smokehouse Bay Bridge project to Quality Enterprises USA and a detailed discussion on how the city creates its ordinances and resolutions. An Electric Deal Council tackled the generator purchase first, agreeing to include the purchase of the emergency standy-by generator from Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) in its FY2015 ... Read More »

Marriott Launches Web Site

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By Noelle H. Lowery Rick Medwedeff is fighting fire with information and technology. The general manager of the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and his staff have launched a new web site — www.good4marco.com — to help dispel continued rumor and innuendo about the resort’s proposed $150 million renovation project and to provide supporter’s of the project a platform from which to speak. “We want to get rid of some of the mystery,” Medwedeff told a room full of Marco Island media and businesspeople. “As much as there have been efforts on many parts to communicate what this project is all ... Read More »

Become a ‘Marco Island Specialist’

The Marco Island Specialist Designation class welcomes new agents and seasoned veterans. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The Marco Island Area Association of Realtors is offering a new designation for local Realtors. Agents who complete the four-module course “to learn all things Marco Island” will receive a “Specialist Designation” through the MIAAOR. Currently, the local Realtor group is conducting its inaugural class now, and the course will be offered twice a year, May and October. “The ‘Marco Island Specialist Designation,’ like any other leadership development course, will help each Realtor member garner more knowledge about their surrounding area and those businesses who support our real estate community, ultimately benefitting the clients they ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: Marriot Ordinance denial

Lettertoeditor

One Marco Islander’s Opinion:   Under the leadership of Councilor Petricca and Councilor Batte, our City Council must be commended for recognizing the inadmissibility of the proposed Marriott expansion petition.  Their petition was rejected because it had been written by the petitioner, the Marriott itself. Hopefully, this means the City of Marco Island is finally starting to demand respect for and compliance with our laws, agreements and procedures.  Regarding the latter, the correct procedure is contained in the mission statement of our Planning Board that reads in pertinent part: “…THE PLANNING BOARD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR [reviewing Comprehensive Plan changes] AND ... Read More »

April City Council: BCC, Community Affairs and Bike Routes

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The big news out of the April 21 Marco Island City Council meeting was the approval of the ballot language for the August referendum on replacing the nearly 30-year-old Mackle Park Community Center. Councilors voted 5-2 to approve the following: “Shall the city expend up to $3.5 million to construct a new community center up to 16,000 square feet at Mackle Park?” That language now is on its way to the office of Collier County Supervisor of Elections Jennifer Edwards to be added the August primary election ballot. It was a clear victory for the ... Read More »