Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Letter to the Editor: Marco Island Civic Association

 

 

Dear Councilman:

The Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) was established over 40 years ago and is one of the oldest and largest associations. Our charter provides that the general purpose is to promote and advance the principles of civic improvement and betterment on Marco Island. Subsequently, the Deltona Corporation delegated enforcement of its Deed Restrictions to MICA to maintain the Mackle Brothers’ vision for development of Marco Island.

That vision was to develop a community of residential properties supported by businesses to meet the needs of the community. Tourism would play a role in the development of the island supported by resort hotels and businesses. The Deltona vision was adopted as part of the city Comprehensive Plan.

After a number of public presentations by the Marriott it became clear there were opposing views regarding the need for such a major project. Some groups stressed approval on behalf of their membership in organizations that have vested interest in the outcome. They claim the benefits derived from this expanded resort will outweigh any projected costs needed for the maintenance of infrastructure during the construction phase. The benefits are not quantified nor offset by costs of excessive maintenance of the infrastructure generated by the project. Additionally, there is no direct benefit to the community identified or proposed in the proposed amendment to be voted on May 5.

The many property owners, who do not support the Marriott project, are concerned with the negative image of convention locations with its attendant congestion, traffic, and infrastructure and construction disruption. 2000 respondents to the 2013 MICA survey opposed amending the 2001 PUD agreement.

May 1, 2014They are fearful that this project will change the character of the island, and it will no longer be the residential community they envisioned.

We understand the Marriott conference areas need to be updated, however, this should be accomplished under the long standing provisions of the 2001 PUD. Another major concern of ours relates to the planned additional square footage for the new meeting space and gaming space. Marriott has publicly stated they will only entertain usage of these spaces for groups that rent rooms in the hotel. This is not a guarantee by Marriott, however, it should be. Once the amendment is granted, the Marriott will be free to use this space as desired unless specific language is incorporated to prevent this.

If the Marriott was truthful in stating its intentions regarding conventions, they should commit to that and agree to its inclusion in the amendment to the agreement.

If this cannot be affected, MICA urges city council to deny the application for amendment thereby guaranteeing there will be no convention business on Marco Island.

Sincerely,

Ruth McCann
Executive Director For the MICA Board of Directors

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