Council set to consider controversial rental ordinance Monday

Steve Stefanides

The Marco Island City Council on Monday, March 16, will consider a controversial ordinance regulating short-term property rentals.

The second hearing on the revised rental housing ordinance is part of packed agenda for the meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The proposed rental measure has been hotly debated among various segments of the public, with local Realtors questioning its need, condo owners and their associations desiring exemptions and homeowners in neighborhoods wanting some type of relief from what they see as unruly short-term tenants.

Condo owners and some management associations undertook an extensive letter-writing blitz aimed at council members and local media, with dozens of full- and part-time condo dwellers urging the council to allow condos to opt out of the proposed ordinance since their managements already police their operations.

Prior to the regular gathering at 5:30 p.m., council will meet in a workshop session at 1 p.m. with the utility department.

The items for the regular meeting range from thanking the Marco Island American Legion Post and its commander Lee Rubenstein for helping bring the "Wall That Heals" to Marco in February to hearing department status reports and to reconsidering action on Common Core.

Councilman Amadeo Petricca wants another bite at the school apple with Common Core. A resolution to mirror a similar statement recently passed by the Collier County Commissioners is being proposed.

In addition, staff at the request of Petricca is also expected to bring forth a report on sex offenders, their locations on the island and a possible ordinance.

Other issues include:


Another frequent visitor to council members' desks is parking in alleyways. The Planning Advisory Board is proposing an ordinance that specifically requires no blockage and specific requirements for maintaining a free flow of traffic, especially for emergency vehicles.


At previous meetings, council member Joe Batte has requested that staff look at and tighten up the city's noise ordinance. At this meeting, the first reading of the amendment to the present ordinance will be held.


If approved, a resolution would be sent to the Colliers commissioners to ensure the ban on Marco Island presenting a bid for services to Goodland is lifted. Marco Island Fire-Rescue has provided services to the Goodland area for the last five decades and would still be required to do so under standing mutual-aid agreements, even if that contract is placed with another provider. However, the city would no longer be compensated for the service.


Council's desire to be informed of any changes to the contract for the Smokehouse Bay Bridge project requires the first issuance of a change order due to a clerical error during the issuance of the bid specifications originally. It will require the addition of $67,512 to the original contract price of $8,975,327.66. Council must approve the change.