MARCO ISLAND — Marco Island’s Code Enforcement released findings Sunday on three zoning complaints at Progressive Auto’s Car Condo, 720 Bald Eagle Drive.
Joe Irvin, interim community affairs director, wrote on Jan. 13 that none of the complaints reflected code violations.
On Dec. 4, Marco police and Irvin began investigating complaints made by attorney Doug Lewis.
The complaints alleged motorcycle manufacturing took place at the car condo without a zoning certificate, and a gun shop and gun range at the site were not permitted uses in C-4 zoning.
Irvin made a site visit on Dec. 10. The report from that visit indicated owners, Mike Kelly, Sr., and Mike Kelly, Jr., voluntarily consented to the inspection.
Photos of the facility were taken to determine if motorcycle manufacturing took place on the premises. Irvin said there was no evidence indicating motorcycles were manufactured there.
Lewis alleged that a 6,000-square-foot service and fabrication area produced hot-rod style motorcycles. He said the business had not applied for a city zoning certificate to do the work.
Mike Kelly, Jr., told Irvin painting of motorcycle parts was done in Sanford, Fla., for the Summit Boss Hoss dealership, located in the building. Chrome work, he said, was done in California.
Irvin concluded no permit was necessary because no manufacturing existed; and thus, the property had not violated zoning codes.
The second complaint alleged Technical Solutions, located inside the 720 Bald Eagle Drive building and operated by Chris Sparacino, manufactured firearms as part of its firearm sales and police supplies. Sparacino works as a planner and floodplain coordinator for Marco Island’s Community Affairs Department.
Lewis told the city he based the complaint on a Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ type 7 license he believed Sparacino had obtained. The ATF extends the license to manufacturers of firearms and ammunition that may also act as dealers.
During the Dec. 10 inspection, Irvin concluded the gun shop was permitted within the C-4 zoning district.
Lewis questioned other aspects of the gun shop including fire inspections, impact fees and sufficient parking. Irvin did not address them in his report.
A final complaint questioned a gun range, operated by Kelco of Marco, Inc., on the first floor of the car condo building.
During the inspection, Irvin learned from the Kelly family that the gun range was for personal use and not open to the public.
Irvin also concluded that the “gun range/bullet stop encapsulation block” used at the location was allowed in C-4 zoning.
The Dec. 10 inspection was the second requested by Lewis. A letter written on June 27 confirms that Irvin inspected the car condo on June 24 to determine if public storage took place in the building.
During the June 24 inspection, Irvin said he and others inspected all six floors of the building. The letter said floors 1-3 were owned by Kelco of Marco, Inc, Progressive Auto Management and Progressive Auto Management, Inc. (the Kelly family) respectively. Floors 4-6 were owned by other companies and individuals.
Irvin concluded that no public storage occurred within the building. Marco Island City Councilor Amadeo Petricca and Bryan Milk, former community affairs director, accompanied Irvin on the June 24 inspection.
On July 26, Lewis requested an official opinion on storage at the car condo. Lewis represents the owners of two storage facilities in the city’s C-5 zoning district.
An official interpretation written by Bryan Milk concluded that storage was permitted in the Progressive Auto building. Lewis appealed the interpretation and asked Marco Island’s City Council to hear his position.
On Jan. 3, Milk was fired for failure to disclose a business relationship with Mike and Lisa Kelly of Progressive Auto while evaluating land use matters that could affect them. His dismissal was issued by Interim City Manager Guillermo Polanco.
City council heard Lewis’ appeal on Jan. 6. In a complete change of course, Irvin reversed Milk’s official opinion on storage at the car condo, saying it did not comply with C-4 zoning ordinances.
Richard Yovanovich, who represents Mark Small, an owner in the car condo, told council he was not happy with the reversal. He said he and his client would appeal the revised interpretation once it is written.