MARCO ISLAND — Residents vying for permission to have shell driveways, got another setback Friday as the Planning Board heard from Marco Island Rescue Fire Department officials that it’s a life and safety issue because gurneys don’t roll easily over shell.
About one year ago the Marco Eagle brought readers the story of Ann Sepe and Alfred Marchand, who began to install a shell driveway at their Piedmont Circle home liking the aesthetics and the environmental benefits of the material. They were told by Code Enforcement officials that it was not allowed and city officials have debated in several Planning Board meetings about the ordinance’s meaning regarding the prohibition of “dustless” driveway materials.
Sepe took a chance and installed the shell driveway as the city continues considering the issue, Community Development Director Steve Olmsted reported.
The afternoon before the Planning Board was to consider an ordinance to specifically allow gravel, stone and shell driveways, Marco Island Fire Rescue Chief Mike Murphy supplied his opinion that a safe walkway parallel to such driveways should be required for safely rolling gurneys.
Planning Board member Vince Magee disagreed saying it should be left to personal choice. The Planning Board voted 6-1 to continue the shell issue to a meeting scheduled 9 a.m. Jan. 15 and to amend the ordinance given new information from Murphy and Marco Island Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Chris Byrne regarding safety and consideration for the ordinance to permit shell and stone material in single family residential areas only.