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"Our city knows it made a mistake and it needs to take action to protect these residential properties, unsuspecting restaurant patrons and the public driving along Bald Eagle Drive in Old Marco."
This is a classic mixed use problem, where residents and commercial cannot share or view ROWs in the same light. And the city created "solutions" that do create double standards.
My view is that residents who live in a mixed use zone will see an onslaught of commercial activity and it will not go away. In fact, in Old Marco there are a few dusty parking and "storage" lots. Imagine, when the city was encouraging a CRA this area was not included.
I truly understand Ms. Ward's position, but in mixed use areas the residents are at an extreme disadvantage historically. Given the city's view of Collier Blvd as the premiere commercial zone coupled with the city's goal to redevelop Market Center via density transfer credits and a never ending expansion of projects and services, the city overlooks these "off" Collier Blvd areas as lesser concerns and consequently does not adequately prioritize and look at areas like Old Marco and other commercial/mixed use areas that in my opinion require more attention. Why? because they are used to capacity during season with limited options.
ROW can function as parking sites, but it requires a serious planning effort. May I suggest the city concentrate on the problem areas and quit creating projects based on TIF/CRA benefits or a grandiose Market Center to increase density in a given area.
Solutions exist but the city must focus its capital expenditures and nice architectural renderings in public areas that are impacting its residents in a negative way. Old Marco meets this criteria and should be a high priority, higher than the current city focus on Market Center with pedestrian walkways and parking garages. And this under the umbrella of density transfers!!!!!!
I suspect, the residents and restaurants in Old Marco are looking for a small village atmosphere.
Its been done before, we just need to prioritize those areas on this island that need attention and beg for solutions. Not a misguided Market Center dream scheme to increase density in the center of town.
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