Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Is Madeira Ready to Renourish their Beach?


On Marco’s Central Beach – mounds of sand are being deposited in front of the Madeira Condos. The sand trucks are coming from the South end of the island, where a Beach Renourishment Project is currently underway. 

Reaching out to Gary McAlpin of Collier County Coastal Zone Management on Friday, March 27th, for confirmation – this was his reply: “The work that is being done at Madeira is being paid by Madeira and is in no way being paid by the County. Madeira is contracting directly with the Contractor and also the Engineer of Record. Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has issued a Consent Order for them to come into compliance. They are placing about 4,000 Cubic Yard of material to come into compliance and another 1,600 Cubic Yard to increase the slope of their beach.”

The FDEP Consent Order referenced by McAlpin’s reply above is the Consent Order dated December 3rd, 2019, issued by Florida Department of Environmental Protection to the Madeira Condominium Association and to RR Restoration of Georgia LLC to resolve the violations noted in the FDEP complaint dated July 2nd, 2019, which revealed “unauthorized removal of dune vegetation, beach scraping, and excavation of heavy equipment resulting in damage to existing dune contours to reveal the underlining shell fill materials in preparation for use as a staging area and support base for a large crane necessary for roof repairs for the 16-story condominiums. The above activities were conducted WITHOUT an FDEP permit and is in violation of 161.053(2) F.F.”

Furthermore, the FDEP’s Consent Order required the Madeira to “within 180 days to replace a designated quantity of beach appropriate sand fill in the affected area, obtained as part of a Collier County beach renourishment program.”

Photos by Maria Lamb | Madeira Condominium Association was fined by the FDEP for unauthorized scraping and excavation resulting in damage to existing dune contours to reveal the underlying shell fill material—in preparation for use as a staging area and support for a large crane for roof repairs.

Both Madeira Condo and RR Restoration were fined by FDEP each for $8000 which included a $500 administrative fine. Per the Consent order, Madeira is referred to as a Luxury Condominium with 101 residential units. A fine of $8000 equates to $79.21 per unit.

As background, in February 2019, a Beach Renourishment Project started in front of the South Seas West Condominiums and moved south to the Royal Seafarer Condominiums. The project consisted of dredging approximately 150,000 – 175,000 cubic yards of sand from the nearshore borrow area. The dredged sand was placed on the beach and graded up to the dunes to create a wider berm seaward of the upland dune with a seaward slope to mean high tide. This was meant to eliminate the pooling and ponding of the beach during the rainy season.

According to Gary McAlpin, Director of the Collier County Coastal Zone Management, there were six condominiums where the Erosion Control Line (ECL – which designates private property) is non-existent. He stated that Collier County required the execution of a temporary construction easement only during the duration of the project to be able to regrade the beaches in front of those condos.

Five of the six condominiums south of the MICA property all signed a temporary construction easement allowing the regrade in front of these condos—thus correcting the pooling and ponding during the rainy season. 

Only the Madeira Condominiums DID NOT SIGN the temporary construction easement and did not participate in the Beach Renourishment Project. Each summer, a large lake forms in front of the Madeira condo during the rainy season.

According to McAlpin, Madeira plans to deposit of “1,600 cubic yards of sand to increase the slope of their beach.”

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