MARCO ISLAND — Rose Marina may be able to store boats higher and dryer thanks to approval on first reading of four amendments to Marco Island’s Land Development Code. Second reading is scheduled for Jan. 17.
If approved by Marco Island’s Planning Board and City Council, conditional use applications could be made for marine boat and trailer storage in C-5 and C-4 zoning districts. The decision came Friday at the request of Marco River Marina, Inc., doing business as Rose Marina.
The marina owns land on both sides of Bald Eagle Drive near Old Marco. Its .92 acres, located at 900 Bald Eagle Drive and across the street from Rose Marina, are in the city’s C-4 zone. The property is currently an overflow parking lot and grassy area.
On the waterside, the marina has an active business in C-5 zoning and owns several undeveloped residential lots. Dwight Stiehl, president of the corporation, explained the company is seeking the code changes and permits to realize its plan for an updated, renovated and modernized marina.
The waterside’s 3.76 acres would include a 45-foot high service building, a 60-foot high dry storage barn and an open rack boat and trailer storage facility. Docks, the retail shop and other services already provided by the marina would remain on the property.
Craig Woodward, attorney for the petitioner, said the marina was looking for the land use changes in advance of requesting six conditional use permits from the city. Petitioners for the conditional use permits are Marco River Marina and Ridgeway Enterprises.
The petitioners hope to build an open rack boat storage facility, trailer facility and dealership with open display on the C-4 land. That would require a change to city code and two conditional use permits.
Joe Irvin, zoning administrator, said the uses would be permissible for marinas “which are located on navigable waters.”
In C-5, the marina requested a change that would increase building heights for marinas from 50 to 60 feet. That would open the way for a conditional use permit to rebuild the existing 30-foot high dry storage barn to 60 feet, accommodating larger vessels. It also would increase maximum boat storage from 122 to 144.
The addition of a 45-foot high service facility with a parts area and offices would bring small boat repair work indoors, said Dan High, assistant general manager for the marina. Restroom facilities, showers, a laundry, a small lounge and a patio area would be available for transient boating guests.
Within the new site’s design, the marina will ask for 20 parking spaces and a passive park with a walking trail and benches on its residential lots. Those lots are currently vacant.
Architectural renderings were not available at Friday’s meeting. Council requested they be provided at the second public hearing.
Owners from Angler’s Cove, located next to the marina’s C-5 property, questioned the impact a larger storage structure would have on their quality of life. If approved, the new dry storage barn, increased from 30 to 60 feet, would be place 20 feet closer to the condominium than the current building.
Residents questioned whether the new structure would reduce light and air quality, create noise and odors, negatively impact property values and placed an unsightly wall outside their doors.
Although the marina was not seeking approval for conditional uses at Friday’s meeting, some homeowners asked the board to deny conditional use for business parking in residential areas. A public hearing by the Planning Board on the six conditional use petitions was tentatively scheduled for March 7, after city council holds its two public hearings on the land use changes.