A new obstacle may be rocking the boat yet again for the Marco Island Yacht Club’s request to create two expansive docking facilities on the shore of the Marco River.
MARCO ISLAND YACHT CLUB PETITION
- PHOTO GALLERY: Marco Island Yacht Club petition
- DOCUMENT: Marco Island Yacht Club sketch: Proposed dock
- DOCUMENT: Marco Island Yacht Club sketch: Proposed with channel
- DOCUMENT: Marco Island Yacht Club sketch: Vessel paths
- RELATED: New kink possible in Marco yacht club’s dock plans (10-08-07)
- RELATED: Third time a charm for Marco yacht club? (10-03-07)
- RELATED: Marco Island Yacht Club returns to drawing board (09-07-07)
- RELATED: Yacht club proposal to go before planning board again Friday (09-06-07)
- RELATED: Yacht Club petition to go before planning board (08-08-07)
The Marco Island Marina Association, a partner in the plan, may be reconsidering its role, which provides both the additional shoreline and extra parking spaces necessary for the docks’ approval.
MIMA President Carl Westman said the marina wants more time to assess its role in the deal.
“We feel that there is definitely more negotiation that needs to happen before we commit to this,” Westman said.
With the plans delayed for review by the board until January, Westman said he feels that is enough time to clear up any concerns. He declined to comment on the particulars of MIMA’s reservations.
The Planning Board was set to consider the request for a third time Oct. 5, but received a request to continue the item until the board’s next meeting Oct. 19. The board instead slated the item for the first meeting of 2008.
Yacht Club Vice Chair Rudi Landwaard said the continuance was requested because the club “needed some more time to figure out a few things.”
However, Landwaard said, nothing has changed from the previous agreement with MIMA, and that both entities are moving forward as planned. One requirement requested by the Planning Board was a joint agreement signed by both MIMA and the Yacht Club.
“We have a joint agreement that was signed in 2004,” Landwaard said Monday. “That’s how we’ve always gone forward.”
The design, as presented previously to the Planning Board, states that the Yacht Club will own 30 of the 40 slips, and MIMA will own the remainder. Plans have since been scaled back to 39 slips to accommodate fears from the board and city staff that the docks protrude too far into the waterway.
The original design called for the longer L-shaped dock to extend 420 feet into the river, with a shorter T-shaped dock fitting inside that.
Since they were first presented in August, the docks — now limited to 345 feet at their longest — have been shuttling back and forth between the Marco Island Planning Board and the drawing board.
Current city code dictates that docks longer than 20 feet need approval from the planning board, though the docks appear to satisfy other regulations including how much of the waterway they can take up, the length of shoreline needed and the necessary parking.
However, the latter two stipulations are subject to MIMA remaining a partner in the proposal.
The Yacht Club owns 324 feet of shoreline facing the Marco River, and the marina owns the adjoining 164 feet of shore.
State manatee protection criteria hold that every 10 boat slips need at least 100 feet of shoreline, which means that the 39 slips proposed would not pass muster given the shoreline owned by the Yacht Club alone.
“If they were partnered they have the advantage of using all of the sea walls contiguous to the river, providing the desired 40 wet slips,” City Planner Bryan Milk said. “Otherwise the Yacht Club has approximately 325 feet of sea wall shoreline, which would allow them only 32 or 33 wet slips.”
Also, additional boat slips require additional parking spaces, at least one for every two slips, Milk said.
Those 20 additional parking spots are located on MIMA property.
But Landwaard, who is also the chair of the Yacht Club’s ad hoc committee in charge of the docks’ design, contends that there is no wrench in the plans.
“Nothing has changed,” he said.
Aside from city approval, the plans also await approval from the state for the submerged land lease permit.
Joseph Cunningham, a designer for the firm Turrell, Hall & Associates, told the board Sept. 7 that the design has made it through reviews from both the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“The Corps of Engineers is complete and ready to issue their permit, and the DEP incorporates the Corps permit into its permit,” Cunningham said. “As of now, the submerged land lease permit is the last step that remains.”
Aside from the city’s okay, that is. And judging from the stormy ride the plan has weathered so far, the road to approval may be bumpier still.