Saturday, June 25, 2022

Code Magistrate Hears Numerous Cases

Photos by Steve Stefanides


You wouldn’t think that success was a bad thing for most people. However, for Davide Italian Café, it appears success, as well as not filing the appropriate paperwork as required by the City of Marco, responding to compliance notices regarding seating, and delayed compliance with the city’s Grease Trap Ordinance may be problems they no longer can ignore.

In March 2010, the restaurant was issued a Certificate of Zoning Compliance to operate with a total of 22 seats. At the time, a small under-sink grease trap was installed which matched the needs of a facility with 22 seats. A subsequent inspection in October 2016 showed the seating had increased to 52 seats. Then, in January 2018, an inspection revealed a total of 68 seats. The latest inspection of the facility, held in April 2021, revealed an increase to 80 seats, which is in violation of City Codes.

In 2016, the City’s new Grease Trap Ordinance came into effect, allowing non-conforming restaurants two years to come into compliance. Of the 40 in non-compliance, only one remains.

Patrick Hayman, who handles these matters for the city’s utility department, reported the city was seeking the business to come into compliance by installing a newly sized grease trap, paying all due impact fees, and applying for a new land-use compliance letter from the city.

Juana Velasquez represented Davide Italian Café and explained they were attempting to deal with the issue but have experienced difficulty finding a contractor willing to tackle the size of the job, which is complicated by the routing of the sewer lines. She went on to state that the other two associated issues cannot be addressed by the city until the grease trap is installed.

The Special Magistrate granted the company an additional 60 days to come into compliance due to the complexity of the matter.

Second Fine for Councilor

City Councilor Becky Irwin once again was called before the Special Magistrate due to noise complaints regarding a property she owns at 917 Arawak Avenue. The Councilor did not appear. Captain David Baer of the Marco Island Police Department approached the Special Magistrate to inform her that he had met with Ms. Irwin and negotiated a settlement which requires the Councilor to pay a $500 fine and $50 administrative fees for this second ticketed offense at that location.

Sidewalk Issue Again

Over the last several years, the issue of sidewalks and who should be responsible for them has been of great concern to members of the community and some members of City Council. At the May Magistrate hearing, this issue was raised again.

This time, it appears that when the city’s contractor laid in the lateral piping in the street and sidewalk at the property located at 232 North Barfield Drive, the fill beneath the area they sliced through suffered from poor compaction below the new cement slab they poured to facilitate placement of the piping. The property owner may be saddled with the repair of that defect unless the city revisits the issue. Even though they attempted to explain the problem to the city’s Magistrate, the Magistrate had little knowledge of the history of these problems.



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