Recently a Marco island property owner built a pitch-and-putt golf course on the island. The Marco Island Civic Association took the owner to court for failing to get it’s (MICA) permission to do this work. Many residents have made a concerted effort to remove MICA from it’s position as defender of property owners and have the golf course approved without conditions. Let’s take a look at the facts and the consequences of these actions.
MICA was officially appointed as the licensing authority for changes to the overall plan of the island as designed and built by the Deltona Corporation. The Mackle brothers wanted to ensure that their island would not be defaced or degraded by indiscriminate planning and construction in areas not intended for that use. MICA has operated without serious question in this capacity for many years, and the result is that our island looks the way Deltona wanted it to look. Any change in the structure of the MICA responsibility would cause irreparable damage to what we love about this island, it’s beauty, character, and of utmost importance, it’s value.
Let’s suppose there was no more MICA and the City Council could make alterations of the building codes for their constituents as they pleased. What would be built next to your home, a hamburger stand or garage? What would the value of your home and your peace and quiet be worth then? Property values would plummet. The owner of the golf course refused to cooperate with the duly-appointed authority, MICA, when asked, and then told that he must do this before building anything on that lot that was non-conforming. The actions of the owner were very ill-advised, according to the court decision that the property must be put back in it’s original condition before construction was performed at his expense.
I urge residents of this lovely island to re-evaluate their stand on this issue and put the blame where it belongs. We must have our island stay as it was intended and has been all these years. Let MICA do what it is charged to do and protect us from indiscriminate changes. Regarding taking away MICA’s controls of our island’s zoning structure, be careful what you ask for.