Friday, September 20, 2019

Code-Alert: Vacant Lots

Old furniture and trash dumped on a vacant lot. (Photo by Eric Wardle)

Old furniture and trash dumped on a vacant lot. (Photo by Eric Wardle)

This is a series of articles to educate citizens on various code violations occurring throughout the City. Let’s talk about vacant lots specifically, respecting the rights of the property owners. 

A previous article by Code Officer Liz Carr talked about the times that trash containers may be placed at the curb and the placement of landscape debris at the curb. Now let’s address trash on vacant lots.  This includes the illegal dumping of landscape debris, building material, garbage, abandoned appliances, and just about anything else that may be considered refuse.

Vacant lots are private property and enjoy the same rights as the property where your house sits. The fact that the lot is vacant is not an invitation to dump unwanted items or landscape debris: it is illegal.  Waste Management will not pick up trash or debris from

Old and dead landscape material, plants and trees, illegally dumped. (Photo by Eric Wardle)

Old and dead landscape material, plants and trees, illegally dumped. (Photo by Eric Wardle)

vacant lots, so the palm fronds picked up from your yard on Saturday and dumped on the vacant lot down the street may sit there for weeks. Eventually the vacant lot owner will have to remove the items at his own expense.  It is an eyesore and isn’t fair to the neighborhood or the vacant property owner.

Compliance with this code is essential for keeping our paradise the way we want it: welcoming, peaceful, and beautiful. Do not abuse the vacant lots.  Illegal dumping can result in a citation or a hearing before the Code Enforcement Board with fines imposed. 

Landscape debris should be hauled away by your landscaper, or if you do your own landscaping maintenance, place the debris on the curb after 6 p.m. on Wednesday for a Thursday pick-up.  If you do not want to

Illegal dumping on a vacant lot. (Photo by Eric Wardle)

Illegal dumping on a vacant lot. (Photo by Eric Wardle)

wait for the pick-up, there is a recycling center on the island, (listed below) and you can access more information on the Collier County web site www.colliergov.net .

In addition to debris not being placed on a vacant lot, other rules apply to vacant lots too. They should not be used as parking lots, storage lots for boats, building materials, RVs, or anything else. One exception to this is seawall staging (with a building permit) and construction or public works projects that use the lots for storage with permission from the owner. 

Code Compliance concerns can be called in to 389-5060 or e-mail ewardle@cityofmarcoisland.com.  Eric Wardle is Chief Code Compliance Officer for the City of Marco Island.

Marco Island Recycling Center
990 Chalmers Dr.
Marco Island, FL 34145
Hours:  Tuesday thru Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.,  and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone:  (239) 252-5153

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