The Marco Island seawall manufacture, construction and repair ordinance covering seawall staging on empty lots in residential areas has been under attack (and rightfully so) by citizens of Marco for many years. This council and previous councils sat through barrages of complaints from the citizens, attempting to restore their residential communities to what they expect to be peaceful, safe and aesthetically presentable.
A recent event of unlawful dumping of demolition debris that took place on an empty lot adjacent to my home, triggered an investigation by city authorities as well as members of City Council. This issue was presented to the Planning Board, to the local seawall contractors and to members of the Waterways Committee for resolution.
On Oct. 1, the City Council passed another round of changes to the ordinance, which not only resolves the dumping issue but sets the stage for a more effective solution and alternatives to the existing ordinance. The City Council ordered that the current ordinance sunsets on April 1, 2013. This is encouraging considering that those who understand the sentiment of the public and the requirements for future seawall replacements must come up with a better plan.
It is clear to me that what comes out of the joint meetings between the Planning Board and the Waterways Committee is what should have been done years ago! And that is to find another resource for staging sea wall panels,to offer new technology which eliminates the staging process on empty lots, maintain competitive pricing, and still be able to address the expected deterioration of our seawalls.
I have been critical of City Council and the Planning Board, probably due to my level of impatience with issues that seem to me go to deaf ears or to those who procrastinate on coming up with favorable solutions. However, I commend the effort of all the players and have confidence that the new City Council will continue to restore dignity to our communities.
Nice job City Council and Marco Island city staff.
Joe Varano | Marco Island