Monday, September 28, 2020

Planning Board Has Full Schedule

Photo by Steve Stefanides:Vacant lot at 928 Park Avenue, where a proposed multi-story, multi-use building was not approved by city staff, as it did not meet architectural standards according to code. The owners are appealing the decision to the planning board and council.

Photo by Steve Stefanides:Vacant lot at 928 Park Avenue, where a proposed multi-story, multi-use building was not approved by city staff, as it did not meet architectural standards according to code. The owners are appealing the decision to the planning board and council.

By Steve “Stef” Stefanides

The Marco Island Planning Board will reconvene on Friday, January 6 to undertake a fairly full agenda of items. A number of fairly complexed issues will be before the board when it meets at 9 AM in council chambers on that date.

At the last city council meeting on December 5 one councilman opposed the board taking up any further work on the Land Development Code (LDC) revision work, calling them a “lame duck” board, while also questioning the work that had been completed to-date. He was not supported by his fellow councilors and Council Chairman Larry Honig cut off any further discussion by that member on that item.

Another item, which may pique the attention of the public, lies in the recently approved state constitutional amendment legalizing medicinal marijuana within the State of Florida. The board’s attorney has a memo to members concerning that amendment for their information. In October of 2014 the City Council voted to allow the sale of that product through only licensed pharmacies on the island with specific guidelines should Amendment 2 pass. That action was taken ahead of the vote that year which saw the item fail in 2014.

The board will take action or review the following:

  • A revision to the LDC which would allow “nautical boat garages” by conditional use in residential single family neighborhoods. This is the second reading of this change, originally approved last month.
  • Changes to the LDC which will allow for alley parking and the details surrounding how to implement same will also come forward. This is once again an attempt to deal with the shortage of parking for commercial operations and providing for provisions regulating how that would occur. Some of the items being discussed may include how to pay for the capital improvement and the possibility of meters to defer those costs is being suggested by at least one commercial property owner.
  • The LDC revision and review is also on the agenda for the board’s recommendations for changes to the city council. This is Phase 1 of the review of the LDC to deal with issues within it as the board and the council seek to insure it is in compliance with the overall Comprehensive Land Use Plan and deal with the realities of growth on the island today.
  • Condee Cooling and Electric has been acquiring property along both Front Street and Marco Lake Drive to deal with space requirements for their growing business. As part of that plan they are bringing forth a Site Development Plan to deal with a segment of that redevelopment they are planning.
  • Property at 928 Park Avenue is being proposed for a “mixed use development.” That property sits directly adjacent to the building which houses Dr. Madison’s Eye Center and Summit Communications on Park Avenue. The proposed building is not in conformance with the architectural requirements of the LDC and the Growth Management Department cannot approve same. There is a provision for the petitioner to appeal staffs’ decision to both the planning board and council and on Friday that hearing will be held before the board.
  • While still on city council, Amadeo Petricca sought to deal with what he described as a “loop hole” in the city ordinance, which would allow seawall contractors to stay on a vacant lot for over one year, essentially establishing a “factory” of sorts to produce seawall panels. He was responding to complaints from constituents in regards to noise and debris. That item is again being brought to the board for action.

The Planning Board meets at 9 AM on January 6 in Council Chambers at 51 Bald Eagle Drive for its first meeting of 2017.

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