Dear Members of the Marco Island City Council and Marco Island Planning Board:
Marco Island Civic Association board members have attended all Marriott Resort presentations, in addition to a presentation directly to the board by Marriott Resort general manager Rick Medwedeff. The presentations were informative and clarified many of the issues raised within the community.
The chief objections voiced centered on the parking scheme for the east side of Collier Boulevard; the size of the building renovation on the west side of Collier Boulevard; an increase in infrastructure intensity and amending the original 2001 PUD agreement.
MICA’s major concern is the breaking of a covenant with the citizens who signed off on the original PUD in 2001. The original agreement of 2001 was clear and specific that no additional parking or other elevated structures other than tennis courts were permitted on the east side of Collier Boulevard. It also limited the height of the building on the west side to 100 feet.
MICA’s membership surveys, with approximately 3200 responses, did not support amending the Marriott Resort’s PUD. For reference, the questions and their responses follow.
2013: Marriott Resort officials have briefed six of seven City Council members regarding a proposal related to a conference center and parking structure. The Planning Board, learning of this at a recent meeting, requested that Marriott officials bring this presentation to them at a meeting in August.
Would you support City Council granting an amendment to the Marriott Resort’s PUD, which could allow a structure on the east side of Collier Boulevard and/or grant increased height on the west side of Collier Boulevard?
Yes: 28.2 percent. No: 62.1 percent. Undecided: 9.7 percent.
2011 Would you support City Council granting an amendment to the Marriott Resort’s PUD, which would allow construction of a building on the east side of Collier Boulevard, across from the present hotel?
Yes: 27 percent. No: 64 percent. Undecided: 9 percent.
If the Marriott Resort seeks and is granted an amendment to their PUD by the City of Marco Island in order to build on the east side of Collier Boulevard, should the Marriott Resort create a buffer space by purchasing the properties behind the parking lot currently on the east side of Collier Boulevard?
Yes: 65 percent. No: 15 percent. Undecided: 20 percent.
The survey questions reference building on the east side of Collier Boulevard rather than a parking structure, but the take away is resistance to amending the PUD. The board also recognizes that if the survey were to be taken again with the current information, results could be significantly different.
Further, the MICA board believes if the parking issue could be resolved, for example, expanded to Crystal Shores or other offsite location, the Marriott Resort could focus on the height issue and reach a compromise with the community.
We offer this opinion to the Planning Board and City Council members who will eventually decide this matter and to encourage the Marriott Resort to seek alternative methods to accomplish its objective.