Saturday, September 21, 2019

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

 

 

Each property owner or resident on Marco Island owes the Deltona Corporation/Mackle Brothers a huge debt of gratitude for their conscientious development of our Island. Not only did they set aside locations for Houses of Worship for many denominations, their vision for the Island was based on the concept of “Love Thy Neighbor.”

That is why the Mackle Brothers protected us all against aggressive developers and neighborhood blight by creating Deed Restrictions on all properties subdivided on the Island. That way, irrespective of zoning and political decisions, none of us would find a gas station in our backyard, or a Medical Building next door, or a Bar across the street from our homes. MICA has also played an important role in enforcing those restrictions that were assigned to them by Deltona, expressly for that purpose.

These Deed Restrictions have stopped many inappropriate land uses. And most recently, these Deed Restrictions may, once again, play an important role in stopping a runaway train (the proposed Marco Island Charter High School) and a Pastor who saw dollar signs, from burdening our entire City with a Development that would have affected all of us.

The New Life Community Church, has decided to execute a lease with the Marco Island Academy for placement of up to 25 temporary trailers (it may’ve changed to 13 recently) for the purpose of hosting a Temporary High School for an initial period of two years. (FYI, MICMS  was in trailers for eight years.)

The Church property is across from Veteran’s Park.  Imagine the traffic and log jam that could occur Farmer’s Market or any Art Show held during the week, including Fridays. Imagine the impact on the Joint Use Agreement for Parking that the City desires in return for approving a site expansion for the Church. And, as residents of Joy Circle and Rio Court streets, we could not imagine the ingress, egress, noise, trash and potential vandalism that could occur in the neighborhood, including the Church itself.

In response, a group of Joy Circle residents met with the Pastor in an effort to better understand the lease arrangement and to discuss options and alternatives to the proposed Charter School lease. After a long meeting where we asked that they strongly reconsider and not create an environment that would place extreme difficulty on the community, the outcome appeared prearranged. Unfortunately, the decision to move forward with the lease had apparently been made, where the Pastor suggested that there was a need for the Church to expand its missions to the subject School and its students. While we agree and fully support the Church in its goal of giving comfort and opportunity to others, it should be done at personal sacrifice, and not the sacrifice of others. In this case, we see a “hand out” of the Charter School arrangement and not a “hand up” as expressed in a recent local newspaper article. Again we ask, “What ever happened to the concept of “Love Thy Neighbor”?

The entire process of placing trailers on this site requires a Conditional Use Permit and City Council approvals. It would most likely require other approvals as well as it would be in violation of the Comprehensive Plan filed by Marco Island with the State of Florida. As we all know, these decisions can go either way. We respect the City Council and trust that they would have reached the correct decision.

It would seem to us (the neighborhood), as the majority of Islanders seem opposed to the idea of a Charter High school on Marco Island, that the School would be prudent to consider, once again, locating at the YMCA or the Charter Middle School. It would seem that a decision like that would eliminate a lot of Island opposition at the CCSB hearings coming up.

Communities grow and flourish when they “do what they should, not what they can.” In this case, we’re thankful that Deltona had the strong vision and foresight and protected another neighborhood from inappropriate development on Marco Island.

Thank you MICA and Thank You Deltona Corporation.

Ed Issler

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