We have heard, read, and seen the mess with parking in the Olde Marco section of Marco Island for years, and it is only getting worse. Officials either throw up their arms in defeat or suggest street parallel parking which will only exacerbate the driving on Bald Eagle Drive. But there is a solution and it exists with the Port Marco housing complex (trailer park) next to Snook Inn. The owners banded together several years ago to sell their individual structures for a total of $16,000,000 and it’s still on the market. The city should purchase the property at a reasonable price and split it into two properties, selling the waterfront parcel for a restaurant or other commercial venture and retain the remainder fronting the street for a three to four story parking garage similar to the one in Old Naples. The city parking garage would charge a fee which would be used for maintenance and upkeep. The restaurants in Olde Marco could reimburse the drivers for parking when they use their restaurants.
This could also serve to settle the parking conflict with the group trying to develop a restaurant on the other side of Snook Inn. Snook should buy the cleared triangular shaped property to expand their car and boat parking as well as potentially expand their seating, all of which are currently overcrowded. The new restaurant group could purchase the waterfront property, giving them a larger waterfront for boat parking and potentially would allow them to expand their restaurant back to the original size.
Let’s move forward with a workable solution that satisfies all, including current residents.