Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Council Deals With Wide Range of Issues


Randal Perkins, Chairman of AshBritt Environmental thanks the city for cooperation during the clean up after Irma.

Randal Perkins, Chairman of AshBritt Environmental thanks the city for cooperation during the clean up after Irma.

The outset of Marco Island City Council’s first meeting of 2018 provided councilors an opportunity to give thanks to two separate organizations and have the city itself commended for its cooperation during the debris pick up post- Hurricane Irma.

Council presented the first proclamation to Tommie Barfield Elementary School for their longstanding tradition of celebrating Veterans Day with Marco Islanders who served in the armed forces. Each year an assembly is held by the school where local veterans are the guests of honor and are recognized for their service the nation.

Councilor Howard Reed proposes a bonus to directors for service during Hurricane Irma. Photos by Steve Stefanides

Councilor Howard Reed proposes a bonus to directors for service during Hurricane Irma. Photos by Steve Stefanides

The second proclamation commended the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 9-5 on its 50th Anniversary, and recognized their commitment to boating safety by providing safe boating courses, vessel safety checks and exams, and other educational offerings.

Randal Perkins, Chairman of Ash- Britt Environmental made a presentation to the city council detailing the conclusion of debris removal that was accomplished as part of the city’s choice to piggyback a Collier County contract for that expense.

Perkins complimented city staff and department heads for their cooperation in meeting timeline goals to complete the task. “This is a wonderful team you have here serving your community,” said Perkins. Designation For Park and Density Credits Repeal

Veterans Community Park rezoned a park.

Veterans Community Park rezoned a park.

When in 1999 the property now known as Veterans Community Park was acquired by the city, it was designated as a PUD under the city’s zoning ordinance. We were a young city, barely two years old, but the city council at the time could see the value of acquiring that piece of land from its owner, Dale Glonn.

Taxpayers paid $9.7 million for the property, seeing it as one of the last large pieces of green space that might have potential future value for community usage. Ten years later, a committee worked on designing some conceptual uses for the park and there it remained until a controversial proposal for a small hotel was proposed across the street from the park, just before the last election.

The issue of rezoning the park to its intended designation came up during the last year, as council has labored over that and the issue of “density transfer.” That practice would allow residential building credits to be purchased and moved from one parcel to another to insure the potential economic viability of a project.

On January 8th council voted 6-0 in favor of the change of zoning to officially designate the land as a park, and then by a 4-2 margin in favor of eliminating the transfer of density credits. Councilors Bob Brown and Joe Batte would vote against the elimination of the right to transfer density, citing concerns over the potential impact in the future. Other Business

Council quickly moved forward to extend the temporary moratorium prohibiting swale and alleyway parking. This allows those commercial properties to park in or on swales through the next several months in commercial districts.

They also moved forward to approve a Site Development Plan for the Sami’s Pizza Grande, as that owner converts his convenience market into a regular restaurant at 227 North Collier Boulevard. This is a comprehensive plan to improve landscaping, drainage and lighting at the site.

Councilman Howard Reed brought forward a discussion to provide special compensation for the former interim city manager and department directors for bonuses in recognition of their service during Hurricane Irma. That discussion will continue until next month.

Council will meet again on January 22, at 5:30 PM in chambers at 51 Bald Eagle Drive.

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