Plenty of interest but not much movement on Marco’s Tract K property

— Land sharks continue to circle Tract K, the vacant property on Marco Island owned by the Collier County School District.

The city remains engaged in any discussions of a potential sale or any use for the land through ongoing meetings held between Superintendent Dennis Thompson, District operations officer Michele LaBute, City Council Chairman Frank Recker and interim-City Manager Jim Riviere.

“We just want to represent the citizens the best we can and when we see this much interest in a property, we keep involved,” Riviere said.

Collier County School District board member Pat Carroll has said a sales proposal looks to be in the works between the District and the city, although the timing of such discussions remains unclear.

In a recent memo to council, Riviere said council should consider a two-year option to buy and if city interest wanes after that, back out of the agreement at that time. He didn’t elaborate on the details of that agreement, which is to come before council in the future.

The issue is not on the council’s agenda for Monday, however a general direction from council may be given.

The city is among many interested parties, said Carroll, who has said she does not want to sell the property.

Thompson however disagrees, saying Tract K is too small at approximately 11.8 acres for the District to ever use.

“The superintendent is doing the best he can for the school district and the people of Collier County,” Riviere said. “That’s a good administrator.”

Riviere said he was only aware of two “substantive” moves toward acquiring Tract K, including the city and the proposed charter high school, Marco Island Discovery Center. The charter school recently sent a preliminary application to the District, however spokeswoman Leanne Zinser said the District is declining to comment on whether that application was well-received.

Marco Island Discovery Center chairwoman Jane Watt could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Other parties once interested in Tract K are falling away, Riviere said.

That includes Conservation Collier, which decided on Monday that the property didn’t fit its land conservation requirements, despite a plea from Marco Island residents Fran and Doug Enman for the county to consider purchasing and protecting the land.

The Enmans have sought to keep the property for all county residents’ use, while not impacting the nearby Tigertail neighborhood with much traffic and noise. They also sought to ensure protection of the nesting American Bald Eagles on the site, they said.

Those eagles will remain protected and construction potential on the land is limited due to regulations, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission bald eagle specialist Ulgonda Kirkpatrick on Thursday.

No construction is allowed when nesting eagles are present within 330 feet of the nest, said Kirkpatrick.

Currently on the table is a purchase option in the name of the city with the potential of representing all the different Marco organizations’ uses for Tract K, Riviere said on Thursday.

No price range is currently being discussed, he said. Previously, a sale price of $3.6 million payable over 10 years was considered, but council said that price was too high.

The ball is now resting in Marco’s court, officials said.

“Right now, we’re in a quandary,” Thompson said in a televised interview with Daily News editorial page editor Jeff Lytle on Monday. “We own it, but Marco controls it.” .

Riviere agreed. Any party interested in Tract K will have to make it through the Marco Island Planning Board to get the proper zoning, which has halted sales of the property in the past.

In other business, council is to set the maximum millage rate at the 5:30 p.m. meeting on Monday, following budget discussions in a workshop scheduled for 2 p.m.

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Comments » 10

ClearlyStated34145 writes:

No development of any kind near those eagles

lauralbi1 writes:

Dear Dr. Recker and Dr. Riviere: In my opinion, any City purchase or agreement entered into with the County for this land, if it involves any City taxes or monies, should be contingent on a agreement with the Board of the Charter High School to reimburse the City of any monies.
There is no reason for Marco Island to purchase this land other than the High School. It can remain as it is for eternity and that would be fine also.
Ed Issler

Brillo writes:

Mr. Thompson,

Thank you for having the foresight in seeing clearly in this matter. In this case size and for that matter location is everything!

ajm3s writes:

Disclaimer: I am not up to par on this issue. But did not the Mackle brothers set this land for a specific use and then the city transferred property to Collier County for $1 to specific use? Now Collier County is willing to forego specific use, and we are willing to pay how much? What happenned to the intend of a $1 transfer sale. So appreciation is going to be how much? 3.6 MM is toooooooooooooo much, I believe.

Suggestion: Simply reverse the $1 sale by having Collier County transfer for $1. Reversal of intent.

I admit I do not get it, I may be confused or misinformed. Not atypical for me.

lauralbi1 writes:

Islandeye1#236971: This is NOT a question of zoning. It is an issue of Deed Restrictions. Ands Marcoi Island does not control Deed Restrictions. Actually MICA does in a sense, but all Deed Restrictions on all land on Marco have been extended for 30 more years and cannot be changed.
The Deed Restrictions on Tract K (and I have not actually seen them) but I believe them to say that Tract K will be used for a School. It's that simple. A school. I think maybe we both should request a copy of the deed from MICA to educate ourselves. I am certain that someone that reads these blogs has seen the deed and can fill us in. But I know that you are incorrect when you talk about zoning.
Ed Issler

Brillo writes:

If you read the other blog related to this topic the word school is NOT specifally used for Tract K. Take a look at the other blog towards the latter ones and someone actually has the document in hand and tells what it says.

Beached writes:

The Collier County School Department can do whatever they want with "Track K" within the zoning requirments of Marco Island. There are no restrictions in the deed, unless of course there is another deed that I haven't read. While the deed does refer to restrictions on other parcels mentioned in the deed, it does not place any restrictions "Track K".

Brillo writes:

Thank You Beached,


Once again you have proven yourself well. You hereby qualify for the heretoforth, uncelebrated, until now, lost tribe of Marco Island. They are the "MUPOMI" tribe, otherwise known as the "Most Uniformed People On Marco Island.".

SchoolReform writes:

Read this proposal carefully. What the Naples News isn't telling you is that there will be a variance on Tract K to allow construction within 100' of the nesting eagles because of the school's environmental theme.

Brillo writes:

Eagle's nest aside. The whole concept of destroying retired peoples lives for somebody's dream is unfair and unnecessary. This is wrong by any socially acceptable standard I can think of.

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