Letter to the Editor: Understand the facts

I encourage all Island residents to understand the facts of the Marco Island Marriott’s renovation plans before deciding if they are for or against this project.

After listening to a recent presentation by Rick Medwedeff from the Marco Island Marriott, and seeing the depictions of the proposed plans, I was pleased to understand the real facts of this project.

A convention center is not in their plans. Additional meeting space is, but it is nowhere near the size of a convention center. The proposed space won’t even double their current meeting space; definitely not a convention center. Nor will the space allow for large conventions. The addition is simply not that big.

Traffic and parking has been a concern. A parking garage is not in the plans; a one-level parking area is. According to their plans, an increased setback from neighboring homes will actually provide more barrier than the current parking lot does. By adding lush landscaping and aesthetics, the depictions of the proposed plans are actually more appealing visually than the current parking lot.

One topic that most all Islanders can agree to is the beauty of the Marriott property. If they proceed with the project, no doubt it will be done in their customary first class manner with as little impact to its surroundings as possible.

For those interested, I encourage you to reach out and understand the real facts. Facts and fiction are two very different things.

Stephanie Davis

Marco Island

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Comments » 35

ajm3s writes:

"The addition is simply not that big."

Why do they need a variance to exceed the current height limitations? Perhaps, I do not understand the facts as to what is big. Well, as to the current proposal, the Marriott plan is non-compliant with city ordinances. Is it too bold to say "too big" or perhaps I misspoke or simply continuing in perpetuating a lie.

"A parking garage is not in the plans; a one-level parking area is."

Oh no! I must have clarification as to the distinction between a one-level parking area vs parking garage. This is pathetic!

Want a fact: Read page 15 of the PUD agreement signed by the Marriott/Mass Mutual as to the disposition of the parking area on the east side of Collier. Is the language ambiguous?

http://www.cityofmarcoisland.com/modu...

"In no case, shall above grade buildings or elevated structures, including parking structures, be permitted on the east side of Collier, other than elevated tennis courts as provided...."

No elevated structures! If you want to call it a one-level parking area, it is still an above grade structure. That is the fact!

And as to the issue of a convention center and factual basis, when is a meeting room not a convention center?

Please "understand the facts"!

ajm3s writes:

in response to Hascle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"The presentation was self explanatory"

As in most presentations, it is what is NOT presented or omitted that is the crux, as in requiring a variance and amendment to PUD. Or not considering standards that are followed on the east coast of Florida.

The presentation to the Planning Board was a follow-up trial balloon after one-on-one private presentations to each council member. This was the umpteen time in the hopes a new Planning Board and council will amend past agreements that were quite clear in language when enacted.

I found the public comment discussion following the presentation to be more illuminating as to the options the Marriott could pursue but dismissed. I thought the public recommendations were of higher quality than that proposed by the Marriott.

I ask why not create a first class facility that is of higher standards found on the east coast of Florida? Why must we accept low cost proposals from a first class hotel on this coast. I thought quality matters in the hotelier industry, especially for the Marriott that claims the highest standards.

I guess I cannot distinguish fact from fiction.

marcofriend writes:

It is important to recognize that Marco Island is what it is because of the many attributes that have been brought here. While I would never want a Myrtle Beach or South Beach to be built on Marco Island, we have two cornerstones that have given us a gentle tourist industry and given much to our community.
Just as we have options available to change or amend our ordinances, we also can change or amend a PUD. The biggest question is what type of facility could be worked out on the East side of Collier and that is where I would be cautious so that we don't cause further discomfort to the neighbors behind the current wall. Once that issue is dealt with, the new design will give us a premier facility on the island that will keep the facility a profitable entity that will also work and donate to our community.
Mr. Medwedeff is working hard to please everyone on the island. If a one story parking structure is "dug" in and is slightly lower and fixes the "line of sight" issue, it is a win-win for everyone.
Please be open minded and let's all work with the Marriott by offering realistic suggestions that will help them while still helping the community.

marco826 writes:

I support the project. A big win for the Island.

lauralbi1 writes:

There are naysayers that beg for the Marriott to be "neighborly". This word carries with it many attributes. The Marriott, throughout their history on Marco Island, has been more "neighborly" than any retiree or neighbor on the Island. Whether it is supporting local schools or donating to charities or assisting charities and Marco organizations in the accomplishment of their goals, the Marriott has always been there !!!
All while going about their business with minimal disruptions of our Island Lifestyle and lives.
A few of those naysayers suggested a Referendum. I say go for it. The Marriott has been so helpful to so many that a vote would only reinforce how most of us feel.
Ed Issler

WMissow writes:

Ms. Davis

What is a double layer parking area if not a parking garage? Do you want the noise, fumes from cars, outdoor lighting, loss of exposure and air circulation annoying you every night? The residents of that area certainly do not no matter how "pretty" the structure is.

Ed, I wish you would tell us more about your denying the MIA from using property near your home 3 years ago. You hired lawyers to fight the same group which the Marriott gave several donations to as long as they were NIYBY. Yours and your wife jewelry store at the Marriott will benefit greatly from the Marriott's plans, No?

One thing many of you who posted for the Marriott to not live up to their WRITTEN AGREEMENT of 2001 wish to increase your personal gains at the expense of others.

Yes, the Marriott has been there helping others and so would any other institution who wished to gather support when they planned to do something contrary to previously signed agreements. You know the old expression "business comes first".

Another thing is that every resident that I have spoken with regarding this issue is for the Marriott to live up to their promises as everyone else should. This is both people who are in the organizations which the Marriott has donated money to. Go think!

IF we do not want precedents which will be taking away a bit more of paradise, the vast majority chose Marco to live in the first place - Speak up against this enterprise.

If you want a convention center or whatever the "word of the day" is go to Miami and have a ball.

ajm3s writes:

in response to marcofriend:

It is important to recognize that Marco Island is what it is because of the many attributes that have been brought here. While I would never want a Myrtle Beach or South Beach to be built on Marco Island, we have two cornerstones that have given us a gentle tourist industry and given much to our community.
Just as we have options available to change or amend our ordinances, we also can change or amend a PUD. The biggest question is what type of facility could be worked out on the East side of Collier and that is where I would be cautious so that we don't cause further discomfort to the neighbors behind the current wall. Once that issue is dealt with, the new design will give us a premier facility on the island that will keep the facility a profitable entity that will also work and donate to our community.
Mr. Medwedeff is working hard to please everyone on the island. If a one story parking structure is "dug" in and is slightly lower and fixes the "line of sight" issue, it is a win-win for everyone.
Please be open minded and let's all work with the Marriott by offering realistic suggestions that will help them while still helping the community.

The Marriott does not have to change any ordinance or PUD to accomplish its goal to maximize the number of rooms to ~800 and create a convention hall conducive to better address its clients.

There are many options, but the Marriott chooses to cling to a plan that is the lowest cost approach. In Miami and other east coast cites that cater to the hotel industry, they build parking under ground. The Marriott chooses not to entertain that option.

As a good neighbor the limiting factor is not the ordinance, it is Marriott's refusal to look at other options to meet the additional hotel rooms and larger more efficient layout for a convention. All requiring more PARKING to meed code.

Realistinc suggustions were offered at the last public presentation to the Planning Board and the board requested that the Marriott review and amend its plan given the public comments provided by some individuals with experience in hotel/parking construction standards.

From my perspective, it was the Marriott that was balking.

WMissow writes:

Realistically,

It is not my job to offer one of the world's largest insurance companies a way to side step their promise and written agreement not do what they appear to be planning.

They have enough people who are well paid and far more versed in what they can and can not do.

Like most other "negotiations" they "know" what they really want to get out of the project. Asking for a great deal more and then "settling" on something less is a normal style of negotiation for any intelligent business. They hope they can get more than what is in the "Written Agreement of 2001".

Give an inch and they will take a 100 yards if they could.

Konfuzius writes:

" The Marriott has been so helpful to so many that a vote would only reinforce how most of us feel."

Of course, Eddi,

This Marriott hotel is one of the best in the Marriott organization worldwide. And it brings continue people (guests) to the island. The entire Marco Island infrastructure is based on the needs of the hotel. I mean nothing wrong with that. And of course they have a big budget to support Marco Island needs and wishes. But this project is too big for Marco Island. Too much trouble.
This is a project belong on a referendum.
Fair enough.

WMissow writes:

How soon we forget!

We have already paid for the infrastructure that the Marriott uses by means of high STRP expenses. We pay significantly higher water rates than the Marriott does so that their expenses are kept in check.

They, already, benefit far in excess of their "donations" to community organizations.

Now they are asking the rest of the Island to pad their pockets while interfering with their neighbors and the quiet enjoyment of Marco Island that the vast majority moved here for.

Go ahead, have a referendum, "IN SEASON" and see what the residents of this island really want.

lauralbi1 writes:

Someone above mentioned MIA using the New Life Church property for their temporary campus. Our neighborhood hired a lawyer and we met with Deltona and MICA. There are Deed Restrictions on this property prohibiting the property from being used as a school.
Marriott is not violating any Deed Restrictions.
Move on regarding that subject.
Ed Issler

ajm3s writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

Someone above mentioned MIA using the New Life Church property for their temporary campus. Our neighborhood hired a lawyer and we met with Deltona and MICA. There are Deed Restrictions on this property prohibiting the property from being used as a school.
Marriott is not violating any Deed Restrictions.
Move on regarding that subject.
Ed Issler

Thank you Ed Issler for raising the issue of Deed Restrictions.......

The proposal brought forth to the Planning Board several months ago by the Marriott to expand their facility was in violation of two restrictions per current Code of Ordinance:

1. Height restriction: the proposal was in violation of existing height limits. It would require a variance to allow exceeding height restriction by 17 feet.

2. Elevated structures: the PUD agreement specifically created for the Marriott property and signed in 2001 by the city and Marriott/Mass Mutual forbade any raised structures, specifically parking structures on the east side of Collier.

Thank you for raising the issue of deed restrictions. I would think you would be sensitive to the plight of neighbors bordering the parking area the Marriott plan came to fruition.

WMissow writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

Someone above mentioned MIA using the New Life Church property for their temporary campus. Our neighborhood hired a lawyer and we met with Deltona and MICA. There are Deed Restrictions on this property prohibiting the property from being used as a school.
Marriott is not violating any Deed Restrictions.
Move on regarding that subject.
Ed Issler

Hit a sore spot Eddie me boy!

You can talk about how others should or not do what is right for them but when it comes to yourself anything goes. The use at the New Life Church was only temporary NOT PERMANENT and you yourself caused them a great deal of grief and some expense which could have gone to the education of the students.

So in fact you yourself could care less about MIA as long as it was NIYBY.

Again, the Marriott is going against a promise and a WRITTEN AGREEMENT made by them to the City in 2001 and to me that is quite telling of their intentions.

Konfuzius writes:

Remember the last election. A tsunami. Maybe next time we will have the same effect. Listen to the people city council. That’s your job. And you promised it. Referendum time.

captnjimbo writes:

As I have looked at the plans the setback from Collier looks more than adequate. The people that will be affected live in the cul de sacs on the other side of the wall. It would seem to me that they should have a major role in the process...would a check for 100K each be adequate compensation?

WMissow writes:

Maybe those bordering the property would agree and that some people may be willing to take an offer, but one has to remember that would all depend on the devaluation of said property due to a parking structure. Some might want to sell their property outright to the Marriott, who knows? I can not say because I do not live there.

The MAJOR problem still is that the Marriott still has to deal with the Written Agreement of 2001 with the city and as far as I have seen or heard, there relatively very few residents who wish to relinquish this document for any reason.

The only ones who appear to have written and blogged in favor are those who will appear to benefit financially one way or another.

Hascle, maybe these people already have had their price met?

lauralbi1 writes:

All the Marriott has to do is make an arrangement with the Vacation Club that is where the Radisson used to be. There is plenty of space for Marriott parking (what they require) and they could buy some of the density if they need it. Thwe Vacation Club will not be using all the density that comes with that property, anyway. Joey's has leased additional parking and there is no reason why Marriott cannot do the same. With a Valet Shed and some Golf Carts, the Marriott woyuld be good to go.

So many solutions to what amounts to such a small problem. Let's all just enjoy all that the Island has to offer
Ed Issler

WMissow writes:

Quite a different tone, Ed, if only there is a way for the Marriott to live up to their agreement and at the same time be a good neighbor.

Now we have to deal with the many dozens of tractor trailers which will be both tearing up roads and causing disturbing vibrations and noise. The convention design in the new plans leads to that interpretation no matter what the word of the day for convention center might be.

We have to remember that this is OUR island paradise not Marriott's income producing money tree.

It is what works for us FIRST then Mass Mutual can build its coffers.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

All the Marriott has to do is make an arrangement with the Vacation Club that is where the Radisson used to be. There is plenty of space for Marriott parking (what they require) and they could buy some of the density if they need it. Thwe Vacation Club will not be using all the density that comes with that property, anyway. Joey's has leased additional parking and there is no reason why Marriott cannot do the same. With a Valet Shed and some Golf Carts, the Marriott woyuld be good to go.

So many solutions to what amounts to such a small problem. Let's all just enjoy all that the Island has to offer
Ed Issler

Wrong Eddi like usual,

the vacation club lot is the next extension plan. Another building with 300 to 500 rooms and a parking lot. Marriott plan is to make Marco Island the home of conventions in tropical environment. Looking for a third golf course. Your phantasy is not big enough to see the big future picture. Maybe some times a sky train between the properties including the former Hilton property is another big attraction. Money talks, BS walks! Future of Marco Island is a resort destination Let the people go.
I am wondering that the airstrip on the Marco Island airfield is not extend for bigger commercial planes. The first step, a taxi way is already finished.
Think big Eddi, you are to small for Marco Islands future.

Konfuzius writes:

Sorry. Wrong blogged wrong subject.

Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country. ---Calvin Coolidge

Marriott is looking out for themselves by not looking out for Marco Island.
I can not believe that somebody on Marco Island believes in the impact for the Marco Island business community. The resort thinking of the Marriott concept is keeping their guests inside the Marriott facilities. The plan of the top of the world restaurant tells you everything.
Wake up Islander. It is referendum time.

WMissow writes:

Has anyone noticed that there has been no direct publicity regarding the Marriott over the past several weeks? Not a murmur from the Marriott organization at all!

MICA, just recently, had a poll which showed a 62% against a parking structure on the west side of the property with only 28% in favor with about 10% undecided. There were over 3500 votes cast, most representing residences with two voters each.

There goes a pro blogger's failure to once again, recognize or understand the desires of the residents of this island as compared to the business owners and recipients of the Marriott's minimal donations as compared to what Marriott gets or benefits from OUR City.

Could it be that talks are taking place or have already taken place that has decided the issue at hand without the need for a public referendum?

Time will tell!

liberator100 writes:

Marriott will build their addition and it will be very good for the Island. Notice; it is only three bloggers filling this page. You know who they are; non-contributing, useless members of society otherwise known as "leaches" who use every facility the Island offers without contributing a minute of their time. Non-volunteers who criticize everything; work for nothing and think they already died and arrived in "paradise.". Marco Island needs the Marriott and Rick has been a great friend to many organizations on the Island. ajm3s and Wmissow; I urge you to blog and let us know what you have ever contributed to this Island other than your feces into the new sewer system and unbearable bad breath?

WMissow writes:

If you had something relevant to say, which was factual it might be worth it. Since it is loaded with meaningless and childish rantings, everyone knows what level of intellect you are at.

ajm3s writes:

in response to liberator100:

Marriott will build their addition and it will be very good for the Island. Notice; it is only three bloggers filling this page. You know who they are; non-contributing, useless members of society otherwise known as "leaches" who use every facility the Island offers without contributing a minute of their time. Non-volunteers who criticize everything; work for nothing and think they already died and arrived in "paradise.". Marco Island needs the Marriott and Rick has been a great friend to many organizations on the Island. ajm3s and Wmissow; I urge you to blog and let us know what you have ever contributed to this Island other than your feces into the new sewer system and unbearable bad breath?

Liberator100:

Appreciate your passionate response to "non-volunteers who criticize everything; work for nothing..."

I hope this adds to your cause in swaying the folks to a Marriott plan that violates code of ordinance and PUD. I did not write the code of ordinance, your city essentially adopted those regulations; and the Marriott PUD was signed by the Marriott/Mass Mutual, NOT ME!

As to my contributions, I shall lay claim to writing every word as it relates to the Marriott expansion, and stand by my comments.

"who use every facility the Island offers without contributing a minute of their time. Non-volunteers who criticize everything.."

Regarding volunteerism, I will leave that to the organizations I support...which by last count pay for most private and public use of facilities. Although there are some private organizations and businesses that offer free use of their facilities on a scheduled basis with no quid pro quo. Note: I do believe the Marriott falls under that list.

What you fail to recognize, the majority of folks abide by the building codes and ordinances which regulate improvements to property on Marco Island...but the Marriott makes several efforts to challenge these regulations. And "leeches" who challenge their proposal and support a neighborhood raising objection to such expansions are NOT "leeches" but actually residents who share a perspective of a quiet residential community with a tourist business that can work within the regulations set by the city standards at its infancy.

As to your last comment, I wish to keep my butt and breath out of the discussion....unless you want to kiss my...

LOL

ajm3s writes:

Correction: Note: I do believe the Marriott falls under that list???? or NOT???

WMissow writes:

AJM,

Which one of those who are in favor of the Marriott breaking their agreement is also one of those who voted to have a liar's name on the front wall of City Hall?

That is the kind of "volunteerism" Liberator wishes to honor.

Konfuzius writes:

Liberator got a medal for his head shut in Vietnam. He is accused.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to WMissow:

AJM,

Which one of those who are in favor of the Marriott breaking their agreement is also one of those who voted to have a liar's name on the front wall of City Hall?

That is the kind of "volunteerism" Liberator wishes to honor.

He wasn't lying. He made a hoax!
That's a difference.

WMissow writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

He wasn't lying. He made a hoax!
That's a difference.

I guess you can call it that when you perceive yourself more clever than your constituents!

Konfuzius writes:

in response to WMissow:

I guess you can call it that when you perceive yourself more clever than your constituents!

Unfortunately you are right.

Captian_Cataracts writes:

WoW! You Olde Geezers don't have much of a life do you. The property where the Marriot sits is Marriott's property not yours.

I do believe it is up to them to decide what is best for the use of the property don't you?

If you think you know better then I suggest you buy the property with your own funds then do as you wish. Maybe turn it into a seaside cemetery.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Captian_Cataracts:

WoW! You Olde Geezers don't have much of a life do you. The property where the Marriot sits is Marriott's property not yours.

I do believe it is up to them to decide what is best for the use of the property don't you?

If you think you know better then I suggest you buy the property with your own funds then do as you wish. Maybe turn it into a seaside cemetery.

The owner of the putt-putt property is the owner too.

If you think you know better then I suggest you buy the property with your own funds then do as you wish. Maybe turn it into a inland cemetery.

I guess this is a very s----- argumentation. Right!!!!

WMissow writes:

in response to Captian_Cataracts:

WoW! You Olde Geezers don't have much of a life do you. The property where the Marriot sits is Marriott's property not yours.

I do believe it is up to them to decide what is best for the use of the property don't you?

If you think you know better then I suggest you buy the property with your own funds then do as you wish. Maybe turn it into a seaside cemetery.

Captain,

Written agreements are written and agreed upon for a purpose sorry you fail to "understand" the importance of that.

Is it really necessary for your demeaning if not insulting comments? They only prove to readers your own level of intellect.

ajm3s writes:

in response to Captian_Cataracts:

WoW! You Olde Geezers don't have much of a life do you. The property where the Marriot sits is Marriott's property not yours.

I do believe it is up to them to decide what is best for the use of the property don't you?

If you think you know better then I suggest you buy the property with your own funds then do as you wish. Maybe turn it into a seaside cemetery.

"I do believe it is up to them to decide what is best for the use of the property don't you?"

Yes I do, and the owners of the Marriott drafted, presented and signed an agreement with the city to that end in 2001. It is the Marco Beach Resort Planned Unit Development (the PUD) signed by the owners of the Marriott and parking facilities.

http://www.marconews.com/comments/rep...

And because we live in a county and city with codes that establish specific regulations with regard to improvements, namely Collier County Land Development Code and Marco Island Code of Ordinance...and let us not forget the pile of federal and state regulations that guide the process of controlling what we want or can do on our own property.

And you are correct, "The property where the Marriott sits is Marriott's property not yours", however you fail to appreciate that the PUD was the Marriott agreement with the city to abide by certain conditions.

This geezer gets it! I suggest your issue is with the Marriott now reneging.

Not bad for a geezer who doesn't have much of a life given we have only one life to live....unless you ascribe to some eastern philosophies....then we have the potential for multiple "Olde Geezer" lives....and deaths.

Oh No! more cemeteries!

Rockin' my life away!

Captian_Cataracts writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

The owner of the putt-putt property is the owner too.

If you think you know better then I suggest you buy the property with your own funds then do as you wish. Maybe turn it into a inland cemetery.

I guess this is a very s----- argumentation. Right!!!!

So is what I said any more s----- than you olde geezers demanding that a private property owner conform to YOUR demands?

I don't think so. be careful or you'll find a liquor store & a 7-11 and pawn shop sitting there.

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