Friday, October 22, 2021

Planning Board Update



By Maureen Chodaba

The Planning Board of the City of Marco Island serves as the Land Development Regulation Commission in managing growth and development, while protecting our island’s integrity and small town character. Their recommendations are brought forward to the Marco Island City Council. This board held its regular meeting on June 3. Several important items were addressed.

The board unanimously approved a time extension of a temporary use permit for Rose Marina. In the course of its ongoing construction, the marina encountered the need for an 80-day extension for the temporary use of vacant land, owned by the marina, to be used for construction staging. Although a neighbor of the marina expressed his objection in an email to the board, attorney Craig Woodward spoke on behalf of Rose Marina, stating that Rose Marina has followed code regulations in every aspect and was merely asking for a time extension, not a change in usage.

The board also approved the recommendation for an amendment to the Land Development Code (LDC) in relationship to residential tourism (RT) zoning districts. This matter was brought forth because of a request for a physical therapy office to replace a law office in the San Marco Residences Condominium, a commercial/residential complex located at 291 South Collier Boulevard. Planning board member Rony Joel expressed his concern. He stated that in this particular case, it would seem acceptable, but cautioned against a blanket approval throughout the city in other RT districts. Planning board member Charlette Roman also expressed her concern, but with a different matter. She questioned the language of the item, particularly the words “any other use which is consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan and is pursuant to the conditional use process set forth in section 30-64 of this code.” The vote concluded with board members Adams, Mulligan, Patterson, Povlov and Trotter voting in favor, and Joel and Roman voting “no.”

A related item was passed unanimously for recommendation for the Marco Island City Council to approve. That was the approval of the request to allow through the conditional use process the following existing uses in a RT zone located at 291 South Collier Boulevard: beauty salons, chiropractor offices, nail salons, dental offices, real estate and brokerage offices, physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists. These particular types of businesses currently operate in the building at 291 South Collier Boulevard. Now that the Land Development RT Code amendment is also moving forward with a planning board recommendation, the city council can consider both the code amendment and the physical therapy conditional use at their next council meeting.

The planning board voted unanimously to recommend the approval of a site development plan for the construction of a Dollar General store at 440 W. Elkcam Circle. If approved by city council, construction would begin in August and would be completed in November.

Public Works Director Tim Pinter set the stage for discussion at the June 6 Marco Island City Council meeting regarding parking in Old Marco. Old Marco Pub, Marek’s, the Snook Inn and Old Marco Square have each voluntarily contributed $3,544.50 for the engineering design of on-street parking in the Old Marco area.

At the June 6 city council meeting, Pinter presented the option to city council for the City of Marco Island to pay the other half of this engineering study needed to progress to the point where a finite construction price will be known. There was no discussion of how the cost of construction will be paid for if it is authorized. The councilors decided to discuss the funding of $14,178, the city’s share, at their July 8th Budget Workshop.

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