My wife and I have owned a beach condo on Marco Island since 1999. We became residents in 2005 and are fully integrated into our wonderful community. We support all efforts to have a beautiful beach and all creature inhabitants.
However, I have been concerned for the last few years about the overzealous efforts to change our community. For this reason, I am submitting the following recommendations for consideration:
- Restrict cars on the beach to emergency vehicles only. A 4-wheel ATV would meet the needs, which appears to be what the sea turtle lady uses. Exceptions can be made through permit (e.g., construction).
- Set realistic goals to promote sea turtle life. Encourage support from owners, instead of the current onerous enforcement, which are counterproductive to the goals. If there are no active sea turtle nests, as has been reported this year to occur on October 3, why continue onerous enforcement? Overzealous enforcement does not lead to community support.
- Report violations with accurate information and not doctored photos. Is there any acceptable level of lighting? If so, how is this measured? Where can acceptable lights be obtained and what are their specifications? Please provide methods to test ordinance compliance to owners and buildings.
- Fines should be for owners and not buildings. The beach owners have an address just as do all homeowners.
- Develop an effective education program that communicates directly with Beach owners. Email and voicemail would be a good start. The current methods are not working.
- Set realistic calendar dates that are flexible. November 1 should be flexible in both directions. If nesting season extends past November 1, then so should enforcement. However, communication with owners is essential to community support. There is a light restriction time of 9 PM. What about morning? Should there be restricted time to 6 AM?