Letter to the Editor: Against Marriott expansion

I write as a part-time resident of Marco Island, our family having owned our residence for over 36 years. We abut directly with the east side of the Marriott property, and are one of the 12 properties most directly affected by the proposed expansion, including the proposed two-level garage.

In 2001 the City Council amended the PUD to permit the Marriott Hotel expansion including the spa area, Madeira, removal of tennis courts and construction of a 1,000-space parking lot on the east side of Collier Boulevard, walling off the neighborhood from the hotel property. As part of the amendment to the PUD, Ordinance Section 01-14 amending 91-102, Page 15, specifically states that “in no case shall any above ground structure, to include an above ground parking garage be built on the East side of Collier Boulevard.”

As adjoining property owners we are now confronted with the possibility that the city would again amend the PUD and further prejudice the adjoining property owners by allowing the hotel to construct a two-story parking garage (that’s what the hotel originally called the structure and only switched nomenclature when its architect advised them to call it a parking platform).

So the issue is quite simple. When can the citizenry of Marco Island place full faith and credibility in its government? The city partially sold out its residents in 2001, and we are now confronted with a further diminution of the enjoyment of our property. Notwithstanding the obvious litigation that will inevitably result were the city to reverse field and once again amend the PUD to permit such expansion on the East side of Collier Boulevard that it specifically prohibited, why do the citizens have to face yet another threat to the enjoyment of their property and be subjected to such distress.

The deal was struck in 2001. The PUD was amended in 2001. Residents such as our family relied upon the ordinance, and expended significant amounts to purchase and improve their properties under the assumption that any further expansion of the hotel would be prohibited on the east side of Collier Boulevard.

George and Marcia Argyris

Oakland, California

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Comments » 9

Konfuzius writes:

YES! You are right!

naples_rocket writes:

Lost cause neighbors, lost cause. Mark my words that's how it's going to go: staff will be fully behind this as our planning department "recommends approving" whatever crosses their desks: forklifts crossing Bald Eagle, horses galloping up and down Collier, etc, etc. Planning Board will at least consider options, but with Monte steering that ship, expansion will be approved. And finally, our city council will spend 2-3 hours on deliberations, couple council members might vote no, but the majority vote will be yes.

marco826 writes:

Council will accommodate and not rile the almighty.....property owners have no representation.

ajm3s writes:

Hang on folks, last nite at the Marco Island Property Owners (MIPO) public meeting, Mr. Medwedeff advised that a new plan is coming forth but could not reveal the details.

Since Mr. Medwedeff will not provide the details other than to say that the Marriott plans will attempt to comply with the PUD agreement of 2001.

Here is my take: the beach side will have parking on the ground floor and they will ask to go higher again, higher than the 100' allowed, or the 117' in the first presentation, or the 125' in the second presentation. Now what are we to expect?

I now see a new height approaching 150' or maybe more on the west side to again break the agreement by over 50%. Is this getting absurd?

Why? The Marriott needs to be competitive; it needs a room/meeting ratio greater than 78. Well then let's do the math and find a solution....

Answer: simply reduce the number of rooms you wish to add relative to the volume of meeting space...and voila you can have a higher ratio with the volume of meeting space you need to compete.

My solution: abide by the agreement and do the hard design work to renovate/remodel and accommodate the folks in this town that understand INTENSITY.

In the end, the plans submitted or revisions are NOT set for prime time. I believe the Marriott needs to seriously consider its options, because it can meet both 810 rooms and more meeting space BUT it requires expanding the floor plan and perhaps building above the lanai section.

Time to be creative or else the rumors will fly again because the Marriott will not submit a plan that meets the codes and conditions established.

RayNetherwood writes:

Matter should go to a referendum. The City should simply hold the Marriott to the contract it signed. Marco Island does not need the nightmare of Collier Blvd becoming a freeway, a whack-a-valet hazard with elimination of self parking, and even more trucks blocking traffic. The Marriott should be free to remodel / refurbish within its walls, but should otherwise live by the contract it signed.

I will vote NO.

Tom_Massie writes:

Ray,

There are quite a few residents on this beautiful island paradise who fully agree with you.

This island was never developed with the intention of being a Marriott Magnet. The taxes we save, if any, in taxes, if this project is allowed to be done, after the costs of road and bridge repairs will be no more than a couple visits to McDonalds.

The Marriott has what it has by agreement. Let them stick to it and be a good neighbor as they have been, in the past.

Tom Sr.

captnjimbo writes:

Marriott has to come to terms with these people. I lived in a town with a large corporation that foresaw a need to expand...30 years ago. One by one they started purchasing homes in the neighborhood...some by awarding tenancy for life. I would like to see the Marriott get their expansion (No Trade Shows)but they need to make it right for their neighbors on the east side of the wall...my two cents.

mrz333 writes:

Marco residents need to establish an identity for their island. Since development began a hotel was meant to service a residential community not dominate it. As an island we have only so much to offer in the way of infrastructure and space.

We residents are being squeezed off our island by the belief that large corporations have a greater right to prosper here than the residents.

My suggestion to the Marriott is to make the best of what you already have or find someplace else to develop. Perhaps they should investigate placing their convention center off island where the can develop and grow without hurting the community at large. You do, after all, have the resources to create whatever you wish.

Our leadership lacks the creativity to come up with solutions and the resolve to establish an identity for a tiny island. Our residents have invested, in many cases, a lifetime of work and savings with the promise that existing rules would be adhered to not constantly modified to fit the needs of a large corporation. The Marriott has only one goal and that is profit and that goal is contrary to the well being of our residents.

Let's get it over with! Change the name to Marriott Island and let's all sell out and rent a room!!!

ajm3s writes:

in response to mrz333:

Marco residents need to establish an identity for their island. Since development began a hotel was meant to service a residential community not dominate it. As an island we have only so much to offer in the way of infrastructure and space.

We residents are being squeezed off our island by the belief that large corporations have a greater right to prosper here than the residents.

My suggestion to the Marriott is to make the best of what you already have or find someplace else to develop. Perhaps they should investigate placing their convention center off island where the can develop and grow without hurting the community at large. You do, after all, have the resources to create whatever you wish.

Our leadership lacks the creativity to come up with solutions and the resolve to establish an identity for a tiny island. Our residents have invested, in many cases, a lifetime of work and savings with the promise that existing rules would be adhered to not constantly modified to fit the needs of a large corporation. The Marriott has only one goal and that is profit and that goal is contrary to the well being of our residents.

Let's get it over with! Change the name to Marriott Island and let's all sell out and rent a room!!!

"Our leadership lacks the creativity to come up with solutions and the resolve to establish an identity for a tiny island. Our residents have invested, in many cases, a lifetime of work and savings with the promise that existing rules would be adhered to not constantly modified to fit the needs of a large corporation. The Marriott has only one goal and that is profit and that goal is contrary to the well being of our residents."

Excellent! I suggest you attend the Planning Board meeting, Friday @ 9 am. They do not generally get a crowd, but in this case the folks will need to show their faces or send an e-mail to the Planning Board members via the City Staff Liaison:

Joe Irvin
Interim Community Affairs Director, 239-389-3990
email: jirvin@cityofmarcoisland.com

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