Planning Board develops policy for sale of waterfront density credits

Steve Stefanides
Charlette Roman makes a point in the Planning Board meeting.

The Marco Island Planning Board moved forward on the long-debated issue of density transfers when members agreed to new wording in the Land Development Code to allow for the sale of density credits from waterfront properties either in private hands or belonging to the city.

This would allow for the potential development or redevelopment of properties within what is referred to as the "mid-town district," allowing up to 50 percent more residential impact beyond what is presently allowed by zoning today.

There are approximately 341 available credits which belong to other waterfront properties, including 130 units held by the city. Those credits are attached to properties such as the water/wastewater plant on Elkcam Circle.

One of the scenarios that has been discussed over the years dealt with a potential for a boutique style hotel somewhere in the mid-town district. The ability to add the increased density may make the proposal more palatable for a potential investor.

In earlier meetings of the board, the concept of requiring a potential developer to purchase city owned credits as part of any deal to purchase private owned credits was discussed. This plan would not have allowed the developer to use the city asset to reach his numbers, but would pay for and retire the credits which the city owned.

That plan was vehemently opposed by board member Irv Povlow who saw no sense in a developer purchasing something he couldn't use.

"This makes no sense," said Povlow.

In the plan which was eventually passed by the board, any potential developer would have to purchase up to 30% of the needed credits from the city inventory at what would be "market value." Those credits would be able to be used in establishing the developer's final number, but not to exceed 50% in addition to what would normally be allowed.

The measure passed 6-1 with board member Dr. William Trotter in opposition. Trotter cited his desire to permanently retire the city's credits without allowing their use to increase any density.

The ordinance will now go before the city council.


The Marco Island Moose Club is inching forward to having a new permanent home on the island as the board approved their revitalization plans for their building at the corner of Barfield Drive and Elkcam Circle at their meeting.

Two of the major concerns of the board have been addressed by the club as they've agreed to a phased redevelopment of the property which would involve improvements to the existing parking and landscaping around the building. This would require only 3,500 square feet of the building be used at this time, or until a parking lot at the south side can be purchased.

Another requirement agreed to was regarding a facelift to the building which would require the exterior metal portion of the building be minimized by utilizing an added stucco finish.