According to the Marco Island Police Department, on October 21, 2019, at 9:30 AM, a Community Service Officer (CSO) assigned to Beach Patrol observed Greenscapes, a landscaping contractor, cutting foliage in the dune area of 350 South Collier Boulevard, the Madeira Condo. According to Captain David S. Baer, the CSO immediately stopped the activities to determine if the contractor had a valid permit and if the activities were permitted. Upon further investigation, it was determined that Greenscapes Landscaping did not have a valid City of Marco Island landscaper permit, nor were the activities permitted.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection was immediately notified, as was the City’s Environmental and Community Affairs Department.
Greenscapes Landscaping and Madeira Condo were issued a Notice of Violation for the following ordinance violations: Dune Protection, Vehicle on the Beach and Landscape Certification (Greenscapes only). Additional investigation is underway to determine if any native or exotic foliage were removed or any endangered species impacted.
Madeira Condo recently appeared before the Code Enforcement Magistrate on September 24th with their new attorney, Caleb Pringle. Pringle requested a continuance, stating that they are still in formal proceedings with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and they were going through the DEP’s “wish list,” and have not submitted a formal plan of dune restoration.
An impatient magistrate stated, “That is exactly the same thing I heard at the last hearing.” Attorney Pringle replied, “We are working as fast as we can with DEP, but they do not always move as quickly as I would like them to.” Pringle added, “I was just retained Tuesday and am not completely familiar with what happened before.”
Marco’s City Attorney Joseph Natiello also expressed the city’s concern regarding the dune situation. “The eyesore that the existing situation has created; lack of dune protection, and the continued erosion, if left as is.”
The Magistrate repeated her concern from the last hearing that “if the dune is left as it is, and the fact that the defense testified that the roof was not going to be done anyway until May, 2020 – that is a huge amount of time of having the beach in that condition exposing it to further erosion.” The Magistrate also indicated that there might be no temporary fix.
The Magistrate granted the continuance to the next meeting (October 29th) with the proviso that a copy of the submission to the DEP of the final plans for restoration be provided to the City of Marco Island within 20 days. And if possible, it should also include the proposed temporary fix for the dunes.
Per FDEP, a plan was submitted on October 13th and is being reviewed by their Tallahassee office.
In the meantime, the Madeira continues to accrue Notices of Violation. The Madeira also received positive word from Raul Perez of the building department that in his official capacity, the only place to locate the crane is on the beach.