Ficus trees OK for now

Trees, water quality and MICA nab council attention Monday

Article Highlights

  • Conservancy disputes water quality issues with city
  • New tree ordinance to focus first on public property, fewer private property restrictions preferred by council
  • MICA hopes for agreement with city on rear setback requirements
Don't lower the water quality standards, Jennifer Hecker of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida urges council. Public Works Director Rony Joel recommended the city support a resolution to study new waterbody classifications, which he says could save the city money. Hecker said it would only cost the city water quality.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff

Don't lower the water quality standards, Jennifer Hecker of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida urges council. Public Works Director Rony Joel recommended the city support a resolution to study new waterbody classifications, which he says could save the city money. Hecker said it would only cost the city water quality.

Sue Oldershaw, past president of the garden club and a BAC member, suggested ficus not be allowed on-Island due to the threat their root systems can cause to infrastructure, such as Marco's new sewer system.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff

Sue Oldershaw, past president of the garden club and a BAC member, suggested ficus not be allowed on-Island due to the threat their root systems can cause to infrastructure, such as Marco's new sewer system.

Marco Island Civic Association Vice President and Chairman Jim Johnson said the city and MICA work together well and the only difference between city code and MICA's deed restrictions is in the area of rear setbacks on singe family homes.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff

Marco Island Civic Association Vice President and Chairman Jim Johnson said the city and MICA work together well and the only difference between city code and MICA's deed restrictions is in the area of rear setbacks on singe family homes.

Should Marco prohibit ficus hedges?

See the results »

View previous polls »

— While utility issues received most of City Council’s attention during two meetings Monday afternoon and evening, council also took notice of proposed tree regulations, water quality issues and the Marco Island Civic Association.

Tree regulations

After considerable debate, council decided an ordinance regulating trees on public and private property wasn’t going to work. Instead, they directed that an ordinance regulating trees planted on or overhanging public property be drafted, followed by a future separate ordinance to address landscaping on private property. Council and several residents said they were hesitant to support an ordinance regulating trees, particularly prohibiting ficus, on private property. View the live council blog online to learn about the details of the debate and proposed ordinance.

MICA: How their deed restrictions work with city code

MICA Vice President and Chairman Jim Johnson said deed restrictions set by the Island developer, Deltona Corporation, which MICA enforces, differ slightly from city code. He said it would be helpful if the city’s code and MICA’s deed restrictions pertaining to rear set backs on residential properties were consistent. Johnson said the current difference is that MICA allows only pools and pool barriers within the 25-foot rear setback and city code allows roof lines and lanais in that area.

Conservancy, city officials differ on importance of water quality and classification

Public Works Director Rony Joel brought forward a resolution for the city to support reclassifying water bodies in Florida and on-Island.

City Manger Steve Thompson said the recommendation for support originated from the Florida League of Cities.

Joel said reclassification may save the city money because some waterbodies may otherwise be required to meet unnecessary quality standards.

Jennifer Hecker, Natural Resource Policy Manager with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, urged council not support the resolution.

She said the new water quality standards will be lower.

“Why would we want to support any initiative that lowers the water quality requirements? ... It doesn’t make sense,” Councilman Bill Trotter said.

Council unanimously chose to table the issue until Sept. 8.

Audit advisory committee created

Council voted 6-1 to create an audit committee with Councilman Wayne Waldack voting against it. Amadeo Petricca, Ron Saffin, Tom Kirstein, Ray Beaufort were appointed and Councilors Chuck Kiester, Frank Recker and Waldack deferred choosing appointees.

View related stories below for more on Monday's council meeting

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Related Links

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features