Monday, October 25, 2021

Planning Board Finalizes Sign Changes

Photo by Steve Stefanides | The city’s attorney, Kathryn Mehaffey of Weiss Serota, addresses the planning board.

The Marco Island Planning Board met on May 4 to put the final touches on a newly revised sign ordinance for the city, which would update the existing ordinance and bring it into compliance with recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Their changes would deal with many aspects of signage, from the square footage allowed, limiting their ability to deal with content, when older signs would have to come into compliance, permitting issues, and where signs may be placed.

The process has been a tedious one and at times raised concerns within the business, volunteer organizations and real estate community as to proposed restrictions and costs. The board had to work its way through what is practical and deal with compromises to insure all aspects of the community would be satisfied.

The revised ordinance will now be returned to the city council for its review and public input before a final vote of council to approve the ordinance.

Assisted Living Facility

The petitioners who are proposing to build a new assisted living facility on property which will be purchased from Naples Community Hospital at their campus at the intersection of San Marco Road and Bald Eagle Drive have once again requested a rescheduling of that hearing before the board. That hearing will now be held on June 1 at 9am in council chambers.

That request will require an amendment to the present Land Development Code and how it addresses issues of intensity of development on the island.

Some board members complained regarding the inclusion of what they considered to be a packet of lobbying materials from the petitioner regarding the conceptual attractiveness of this type of development.

Parking Questions Delay ABC Liquor Request

Concerns regarding a shortage of parking for a proposed ABC Liquor Store to be built at 725 Bald Eagle Drive caused the proposal to be returned to city staff to deal with what was discovered to be a shortage of available parking. The proposed location is at the corner of Bald Eagle Drive and Chalmer Drive on a vacant lot.

After a lengthy discussion, staff and the board agreed to look at the matter again in June after the deficiencies were addressed. They would also be reviewing the signage to insure it meets the city codes.

Sherman Williams to Build

Sherman Williams came forward with a proposal to build a stand-alone project at 515 Bald Eagle Drive to house their paint store facility. The building would be located at the corner of Hartley Avenue and Bald Eagle Drive on the vacant lot near Kretch’s Restaurant.

Parking and flood elevation were all found to be in compliance for the project. The lot had previously had a gasoline/service station on the property. Board member Goldstein was concerned that the packet was not complete, as he was concerned he had no available drainage information concerning storm water.

Public Works Director Tim Pinter advised that he had reviewed the storm water plan and it was acceptable, but timing prevented it from being included in the board’s agenda. Board members did review their questions with staff and the petitioner’s engineering representatives.

The board would approve the petition by a 5-2 vote. Vice Chair Goldstein and board member Issler were still concerned about storm drainage, while Chairman Brechnitz and members Mulligan, Adams, Rola and Vergo were comfortable with the explanations of staff and the petitioner.

The next scheduled meeting will be on Friday, June 1 at 9 AM in council chambers at 51 Bald Eagle Drive.

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