Update/Seawalls: Allowing vinyl, defining failure on city agenda

Will new businesses be required to fund arts? How about the $350,000 commitment to the museum?


City Clerk Laura Litzan announced Thursday afternoon that the City Council agenda has changed. There will no longer be a workshop Tuesday at 3 p.m. Instead, all issues will be covered in the evening, regularly scheduled business meeting, beginning 5:30 p.m..

A new ordinance to require non-residential developers on Island to pay a new art fee of $1 per square feet or the equivalent value of art be purchased and located at the new development is now on the regular business agenda.

Posted earlier

Hundreds of miles of seawalls on Marco are likely to fail more frequently as they age and City Council will be considering an ordinance to help address the expensive problem for property owners at a meeting scheduled Tuesday.

Public Works Director Rony Joel estimated there are roughly 200 miles of seawall on Marco Island with canals running through many of the Island’s neighborhoods.

Replacing a seawall is expensive and many of Marco’s seawalls are extending past their useful life, reported Bob Yakola, a city inspector.

New seawalls cost, on average, about $275 per linear foot and most seawalls on Marco Island are at least 80 feet long, per information provided in Marco’s Seawall Owner’s Manual.

Enforcement action is taken to protect a neighboring property because seawalls often have the domino-effect — if one fails, the one next to it fails.

Yakola has said that existing city codes didn’t clearly define when a seawall fails, making it difficult for him to condemn them.

The proposed ordinance will define failure and allow a seawall to be added waterward of an existing seawall, which several contractors on Island said could save a property owner considerable money when compared with full removal and replacement. These additions are often vinyl seawalls.

Other key components of the ordinance, which will require a second reading by council before it passes, are:

- Indicators of a failed seawall shall include at least one of the following conditions: Severe bowing or outward movement of a seawall; broken panels or separation of panels; severe wall rotation and severe wall settlement.

- Within 60 days of notification of a failed seawall by the City of Marco Island, the property owner shall submit a building permit application to the Building Services Division for repair or replacement of the seawall.

- The new seawall cannot extend more than 12 inches farther into the waterway than the existing seawall.

Other issues council will decide Tuesday evening, beginning 5:30 p.m., include:

- Whether to contribute $350,000 to the new Marco Island Historical Museum. The city offered to match up to $350,000 with Collier County. The county commission approved spending another $250,000 in a meeting in January and requested that Marco still match $350,000 by also taking into consideration the $100,000 already committed by the Tourist Development Council prior to their offer. The money is to be used to purchase exhibits for the $4.5 million museum complex. The city also contributed $100,000 previously.

- Appointing John Arceri, a former councilman, to the Coastal Advisory Committee to replace incoming council member Larry Magel. Arceri is the only one who applied. Councilman Ted Forcht’s seat on the CAC will also have to be filled following the expiration of his term on council. Magel or any other council member may opt for that seat.

- Spending approximately $200,000 for D.N. Higgins to construct improvements to the water main on Winterberry and South Heathwood drives. The project will relieve water supply shortages and water pressure fluctuations, Joel reported.

- Spending about $118,000 for Stahlman-England Irrigation to replace a 40-year-old lift station at Island Manor Condominium.

Discussions planned

Items to be discussed, but not likely creating an immediate expense, during the meeting include:

- Recognition of Marco Island as a new Tree City U.S.A. as designated by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This will allow the city to be eligible for more grants, reports Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk.

- Presentation by former Charter Review Committee Chairman Jim Riviere on the significance of the seven proposed amendments to the city charter and what the passage or failure of each in the January election means for Marco.

- A presentation by South Florida Water Management District officials regarding water supply in the area.

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