Councilors meet with business owners at Esplanade over noise, parking complaints

Code complaints top city manager's weekly report

— Permit Issues at 901 Montego Court.

City Council has requested a summary of the permit issues at 901 Montego Court. The Community Development Department has been working with the owner of the property over the course of the past two years to resolve outstanding code compliance issues. To date, all outstanding violations have been satisfactorily resolved, except that the property owner, Mr. Olson, has not signed an outstanding fence permit and acknowledged permit conditions as required.

A full summary from the Community Development Department is in a supporting documents sidebar to this story.

Parking and Noise Levels at the Esplanade.

On Thursday, Feb. 19, Community Development Director Steve Olmsted, Code Enforcement Chief Eric Wardle and City Manager Steve Thompson met with residents and representatives of CJ’s, Guy Harvey’s and Summit Management at the Esplanade to discuss parking and noise issues at the Esplanade.

Councilors Chuck Kiester and Jerry Gibson also attended, and overall the discussion was positive and frank, as any good working meeting should be. Out of this discussion we developed a number of suggestions on how to both accommodate the needs of the residents and the businesses while maintaining the special events at the Esplanade.

This is scheduled for discussion with City Council, March 2, and the agenda yellow sheet will provide the details of this meeting.

Maintenance and Lien Process for Abandoned and Foreclosure Homes.

During the Feb. 17 meeting of City Council, City Council requested a summary of the maintenance that the city performs on private properties involved in Code Enforcement issues on Marco Island, and Steve Olmsted and Eric Wardle have summarized the issue and process for this request.

At times on Marco Island and in cities across the country, property owners will fall behind in maintenance of their property. To secure these properties, for health and safety reasons, and support neighboring properties the City does require maintenance. If the property owner is unwilling or unable to perform the maintenance the City provides contract maintenance, and places a lien on the property to recover the public’s costs in this effort. The most frequent problem in today’s environment is with properties on which the owner is allowing the bank or mortgage company to take the property and to assume this responsibility. On Marco Island we rarely have truly abandoned properties, but in the foreclosure process the bank may not be aware of maintenance problems and the grass may not be cut, the pool not maintained, trees or bushes may obstruct the sidewalk and landscape debris such as coconuts and palm fronds may not be picked up. These are all code violations for which the City can abate, or pay a contractor for the maintenance and charge the cost to the owner. The procedure is to mail and/or post a Notice of Violation to the property owner listed on the Property Appraisers Records. If the violation is not corrected within 7 days the City will correct the violation – usually with contracted maintenance – and will continue to maintain the property by cutting grass/weeds, picking up debris and treating swimming pools. The cost of abating the violation and an administrative cost of $100 are billed to the owner, with a lien placed on the property.

This lien allows the city to recover the costs for this maintenance when the property is eventually sold or transferred. These cases are generally not submitted through the Code Enforcement Board. Other violations, such as seawall or pool fence violations, are treated under the notice and fine process – the city issues a Notice of Violation to the current property owner, and if the owner fails to correct the violation, a hearing is scheduled before the Code Enforcement Board. The Code Enforcement Board can impose fines for failure to correct the violations, and these fines then become a lien on the property.

The city does not perform landscaping beyond cutting the grass, and does not conduct exterminating (pest control) on the property. Properties in the queue for bankruptcy are a problem in the city, but Code Compliance is addressing each property as we become aware of it and doing everything that can be done to bring the property into compliance.

Please call City Manager Steve Thompson at 389-5001 if you have questions.

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