Letter to the Editor: The secret menace to single family homes

I watched today as the city discussed the establishment of permanent industrial sites in single family residential areas. The city is reviewing the present policy allowing sea wall contractors to use vacant lots as a permanent industrial staging area for the construction of concrete sea walls. Presently, sea wall contractors can use these vacant lots for four months out of every 16 months, and this process can be repeated forever. For all practical purposes a di-facto re-zoning from residential to industrial while the lot is empty. I heard firsthand how these lots are used to build concrete panels, to store them along with trucks and equipment for long periods of time and then to anchor huge, rusty cranes adjacent to the vacant lots for additional months. I heard firsthand how the dust, dirt and noise associated with this industrial work has destroyed the personal enjoyment of property by homeowners, destroyed their views and hurt their property values. Any vacant lot next to your home, in front of your home or across the canal can become at any time a permanent industrial factory under the present city ordinance.

This allowance of a permanent industrial site in a residentially zoned area is something none of us ever expected when we built our homes on Marco Island. Somebody testified today in favor of keeping the ordinance by giving the example that if you move next to a chicken farm; do not complain later of the smell from the chickens because the factory was already there. Nice example, but not applicable to our situation. Most of us did not build a home next to an industrial site. It is something no nearby community would even think of allowing. In addition, I heard today that this deep intrusion into single family property and zoning rights was done without an independent, professional review. Also, supposed sea wall cost replacement savings were not studied, nor was a detailed review of alternatives used by other communities or technically available solutions were done. In my opinion, when a government allows such an intrusion into one’s property and zoning rights, they must assure, that the action is fully justified and that there are no less intrusive alternatives. Again from what I heard today, it does not appear that this was done.

With some 2,000 vacant lots on Marco Island, this could mean that some 4,000-5,000 single family homes could feel the impact of this permanent industrial blight right next door to them. It is, in effect, a sleeping giant, a menace waiting to happen

Finally, I hope City Council will be taking a look at this matter in the very near future. I suggest all vulnerable single family homeowners familiarize themselves with what may happen and notify City Council of their feelings on this critical matter. Call your City Councilman at 389-5000 and let them know how you feel, they need to hear from you. Also contact those running for City Council and find out where they stand on this important issue.

Joe Granda

Marco Island

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Comments » 7

MrBreeze writes:

Seawall panels should all be built offsite in a plant then delivered to the jobsite. The process is evolving to new areas where the need for new panels of refinishing old panels will be the new choice. I agree, empty lots are not building or staging areas for a panel operation. The City needs to step up and cure this.

jwputnam writes:

I have a vacant lot not next to me that has been used many times for seawall construction....not always even close to this location. It is an irritant, but only made worse by the workmen themselves. They throw their lunch garbage all over the property and never tidy up the area. One contractor even hooked up to my neighbors electric power without permission in order to pump out his sinking barge (guess which contractor). The neighbor called me wondering why his electric bill was $300 while he was gone in the summer. I had a similar problem last summer while I was gone.

mrz333 writes:

It's hard to believe that our City could let businesses operate like this. There are few reasons why the City Council allows such a strangle hold on our community.
Until we, as homeowners, organize ourselves into one voice we can only expect more of the same. In fact, we can expect the entire residential nature of our community to become a service area for the needs of business and investors. Don't you see it happening now?
I think it's time for residents to bring our city government to court and force them to abide by the contract we all have with them - our city codes!

MrBreeze writes:

All part of the Master Plan. Get ready for even more grief as I see the building boom to begin and the Demolishing of older homes with low tax base to ramp up.

If the fincincial downturn had not occured in 2008 this would have already happened.

ajm3s writes:

in response to mrz333:

It's hard to believe that our City could let businesses operate like this. There are few reasons why the City Council allows such a strangle hold on our community.
Until we, as homeowners, organize ourselves into one voice we can only expect more of the same. In fact, we can expect the entire residential nature of our community to become a service area for the needs of business and investors. Don't you see it happening now?
I think it's time for residents to bring our city government to court and force them to abide by the contract we all have with them - our city codes!

If you want a glimpse of how the city treats litigants, take a peek at this which relates to a public record request of documents the litigants originally provided to the city, for which the city now claims cannot be provided due to copyright issues. Unbelievable, city documents are now copyright protected? Really? Another City Clerk fiasco to which the citizens will pay for representation?

http://marcoislandblog.blogspot.com/

And some on Council and city administration will claim some citizens are just naysayers, negative malcontents. In fact, many in the city's past regarded Dr. Sanchez, who provides this information in his blog, as the epitome of malcontent. This provides yet another example to support the claim that the city is at war with citizens as a result of the city's own action.

However, there is hope, citizens are making headway when city representatives or proponents of "growth" actually suggest that malcontents leave the island, especially those malcontents who have lived here for decades. I find this so revealing of the city's character.

I for one encourage open debate but sometimes the debating is thrown into a courtroom. I only hope the debating occurs in a public forum with council members being cognizant of citizens with issues that impact quality of residency.

MrBreeze writes:

rolomokat, What are you talking about?

2themoon writes:

The secret menace to single family homes and condo owners?
One word: Aceri

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