Comments by ProfZed

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Written on Letter to the Editor: Support the Marriott expansion:

I'm still trying to figure out how 93 additional rooms equates to a need for 300 additional parking spaces. (A regulated requirement?)

My concern is for the supposed need for a parking garage on the east side of Collier Blvd. Where do the employees presently park? In that same lot on the east side of the road along with guest parking? Couldn't those employees park off-site somewhere and be shuttled to the hotel? Could the existing parking lot be altered to accommodate more spaces? Such as the hedges on the west side of the lot moved further west to the sidewalk? The removal of some of the green islands?

I don't know how much of an impact the additional rooms would make one way or the other. That goes for the convention hall itself as well. So I'm not as concerned with the additional business for the island as I am for the intrusion of that proposed parking garage.

I understand that the Marriot prefers to call it a parking deck. A "deck" is simply the top level of a parking garage. The first floor is covered, therefore it is a garage.

The intrusion to the neighboring community, especially those with homes on the streets directly behind the proposed parking structure, needs to be taken into consideration by everyone on the island, residents and business owners alike.

Written on Public gets first look at Marco Island Marriott expansion plans:

in response to ajm3s:

Marriott: "Our goal is to fill up hotel rooms”

Now it is time for residents of Marco Island to clearly respond and express their collective goal. As a suggestion, may I recommend we simply enjoy the atmosphere afforded by maintaining a small tropical town ambiance.... not a convention center with a goal to fill vacancies during off season.

Why did we build 8-10 wide sidewalks, when the Marriott wishes to expand parking with multilevel garage. In fact, the Marriott will relocate the tennis court off site and provide a shuttle service.

Hey, Planning Department of Marco Island, why not have Marriott build a parking garage in the Midtown District and offer shuttle services for the expanded convention center. I think we may have a win-win. For some reason, I do not believe this will be accepted with glee.

Oh well, I tried.

So what can we expect:

"Many more steps will have to occur before a guest sips the first cocktail in the new facilities. Assuming the hotel gets the go-ahead from its ownership to spend the $150 million, they will have to come back to the board with a specific application, obtain variances, pass ordinances and then win approval from the Marco Island City Council for the project."

ajm3s, I had the same thought. If they're going to shuttle guests to new tennis courts as they presently do with golf, then why not build a parking garage off-site and shuttle guests there? They could still offer valet service too, guests would just have to give half an hours notice that they want their car.

I can understand living in Chicago and looking out your back door and seeing a parking garage. I cannot fathom how awful it would be to own a home on beautiful Marco Island and have to look out your back door and see a parking garage. And as I mentioned elsewhere on this site, a one-story parking garage can easily be added on to and become a two-story/three-story garage.

Marriot could even donate the land of the present parking garage to the city on the condition that it be forever used as park land. Marriot should consider how appreciated they would be by Marco Islanders if they did that!

Written on Guest commentary: Marco Golf and Garden responds to MICA:

I've been reading all these articles, letters, responses and comments regarding the mini-golf garden and MICA. I'm coming around to understanding the importance of MICA.

I'm up here in Illinois, a Marco Island resident-gonna-be. So I realize that I don't have a say right now as to who is correct and who is wrong. I certainly understand the need (and want) of a nice, attractive family orientated facility like the mini golf course. But I also understand the need for the existence of an organization like MICA and for rules to be followed. I hope a legal compromise can be made in this case.

I've now read on another site that the Marriot Corporation wants to build a one-story parking garage on it's present parking lot located on the east side of Collier Blvd. They are seeking amendments in laws from the city council to do so. To me, this is exactly the reason why MICA needs to exist. If the city council were to approve the change in law and approve the parking garage against the wishes of a majority of residents, wouldn't MICA prevent the building of such a potential "eyesore" to the neighborhood? (And yes, I am aware that parking garages can sometimes be built with an "attractive aesthetic".)

I can't help but think how awful a parking garage, even kept to one-story, would be in that location for the neighboring residents. There is also going to be a proposal (August 2nd) for a connecting walk-way bridge over Collier Blvd. I can only imagine how much of a drastic change all of this will be to that area.

The need for the new parking garage is due to an expansion of the Marriot itself, adding a new, larger convention hall, located along the west side of Collier Blvd.

Again, I'm not a Marco Island resident yet. I just have to worry that once a one-story parking garage is built, and conventions grow larger, that the garage could be expanded. It's my understanding that it is very easy to add levels to a parking garage.

Would those presently opposing MICA continue to do so if MICA prevented the building of the Marriot Parking Garage? Or would they consider that to just be a continuation of MICA's unwanted intrusion to a modern Marco Island?

(Hoping to advance a conversation. Nothing more intended.)

Written on From dogs to ultralights, Marco Island's beaches face issues:

It would certainly be wonderful if Marco Island announced an "experiment" for allowing dogs in a clearly marked area of the beach. Try it for three months, say August 1st to October 31st. See if the dog owners who say that they're responsible actually indeed are responsible.

I myself, as a responsible dog owner acknowledge that there are many dog owners who do not want to accept the responsibility. We've taken our dogs to a few different beaches where dogs are allowed and the designated areas are indeed kept clean. Sometimes it's necessary to clean up after others, yes. Marco Island would have to make certain to put out trash cans and keep bags for dog-doo stocked on the beach.

I can certainly understand the need for keeping dogs away from areas where birds and wildlife are plentiful. So would there even be a location on the beach where an experiment with allowing dogs could be attempted? Since, from the above article, it's evident that people are already bringing dogs to the beach, why not at least try it and see if the dog owners prove themselves capable of cleaning up after their pets? It's been my experience that most pet owners follow the rules - especially if they know that the privilege might be taken away if the rules are not adhered to. I would think residents would obey the rules. Tourists and visitors would have to be kept informed by their hosts.

Written on Marco Island miniature golf course closed; judge orders its removal:

Thank you to all for the interesting responses to my above comment. I have read in previous blogs about a Marco Island "Homeowners vs. Condo-owners" situation going on. I'm curious to know more about that, but I suppose this really isn't the place for that. My wife says I need to stay away from all politics! I am curious as to who has actually seen the miniature golf course. Is it nice? (My above comment was based on the photo which accompanied the original article.) Does it add to Marco Island? Or does it not really belong where it's located? I have to say that other than articles such as this, pretty much everything I've experienced about Marco Island has been positive.

Written on Marco Island miniature golf course closed; judge orders its removal:

It seems that Marco Island is a nice place to visit, but to live there or do business there is a nightmare. Last week there was an article about the town council wanting to "get tough" on residents who have code violations, big and minor. Respondents to that article wrote that the plan is to get rid of older homes in favor of brand new houses on those lots. (We would be looking to purchase one of those older houses.)

Now, what looks to be a very nice, pleasant miniature golf course might be forced to close. Anyone have good things to write about concerning living and doing business on Marco Island? We've been thinking of making the permanent move there, but now we're a little bit worried. Perhaps I just shouldn't read these articles!

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