The City of Marco Island Planning Board held a regular meeting on July 1. All board members were present.
Parking issues on our little piece of paved paradise have been a continuing saga of much recent attention. The Planning Board took a positive step toward resolving a part of this issue, specifically as it applies to the Marco Walk plaza. Marco Walk, located at 599 South Collier Blvd., is a very popular venue for shopping and dining, particularly dining with outdoor seating. When a building permit was recently filed for a new restaurant with outdoor seating to be opened in vacant space formerly occupied by Marco Fish Company, it was found that there was currently insufficient parking space as required by a previous resolution. Previously, 27 additional parking spaces were being leased by the owner of Marco Walk, Venetian Investments, LLC. Those spots were located across the street from Marco Walk at the intersection of Landmark and Winterberry. However, that lease had expired and the spaces were no longer available, resulting in the insufficiency. Through much negotiation, Venetian Investments, LLC obtained the solution of leasing 27 parking spaces from the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island, located at 990 Winterberry Drive across the street from Marco Walk. Leon Agami of Venetian Investments, LLC is also offering to pay for the construction of 22 additional parking spaces along Landmark Street, adjacent to Marco Walk. These spaces would not be necessary according to the existing requirements, but would provide an ease to the parking dilemma, particularly during the busy season. Bob Mulhere, FAICP, led the discussion on behalf of Venetian Investments, LLC, outlining the proposed plans in great detail.
The Planning Board did express much concern about the location of the new parking spaces at the Jewish Congregation. Safety was a huge concern. Planning Board Chairman Irv Povlow suggested the possibility of a crosswalk at the intersection of Peru and Winterberry. MICA deed restrictions were another concern. However, it was noted that the Jewish Congregation, represented by attorney Fred Kramer, is following the proper procedure to have the deed restrictions released. Following much discussion, including comments from Al Musico, the chair of the Bicycle Pathways Committee, a motion was made by board member Rony Joel, seconded by Frank Mulligan, for the addition of several requirements to the proposed resolution. The new resolution would include requirements that the parking spaces at the Jewish Congregation would be limited to employees and valet only, that there would be a requirement for a special permit approved by the City Manager for special events to take place at Marco Walk, those events being limited to non-profit or charitable purposes; that a study for a pedestrian crosswalk would take place, with a specific concentration on the intersection of Peru and Winterberry; and that there would be no interference with the current and future bike lane construction along Landmark Street with the construction of the 22 additional spaces along the street. When all was said and done, it passed unanimously. It will now move on to the City Council.
In other business, the board unanimously approved the temporary use extension for the Oakbrook Homes model, located at 1034 San Marco Road and for the construction staging site of the future Dollar General.
For more information and to view the video of this meeting, please visit www.cityofmarcoisland.com.