Marco Island City Council could vote to prohibit seawall manufacturing on the island

Marco Island City Council is expected to vote Monday on an ordinance prohibiting seawall manufacturing on the island.

Current rules allow seawall manufacturing in residential districts and prohibits it in commercial areas. 

As the island becomes developed, these construction areas are getting closer to homes, causing complaints from homeowners, according to Daniel Smith, director of community affairs with the city.

From March:Marco Island Planning Board against manufacturing seawalls within city limits

"Hopefully without the seawalls being manufactured there, it's going to be less time that they are going to be on that lot," he said Wednesday.

Smith said seawall staging will still be allowed on residential lots, but the 10-day grace period after the city identifies a violation would be eliminated.

Current rules allow companies up to 10 days to fix or cure any violations without facing penalties. With the new proposal, contractors in violation would receive a revocation of applicable permits and would not be granted any additional permits while a violation exists.

If the violation has not been fixed within the time specified in the notice of violation, starting the next day a fine of $250 per day for a first violation and $500 per day for a repeat violation would be assessed until the violation is corrected.

"Right now they can destroy the site for whatever reason and they are allowed 10 days to get off of it without getting a fine," Smith said.

Smith said the grace period allows a contractor to potentially destroy owl or tortoise burrows without facing any consequences from the city as long as they leave the premises within 10 days. 

Brian Gilmore, co-owner of Collier Seawall & Dock on Marco Island, said Wednesday most of the seawalls they use they manufacture on the island while some are ordered from an off-island vendor.

"They are going to be more costly to buy them off the island and ship them in," he said. "Or we may be forced to purchase property off the island to make them ourselves so we don't have to go through a vendor that marks them up."

Gilmore said his clients could see an increase in costs from 10% to 20%. "Either way it's going to be more money to the end user," he said.

Gilmore said he will meet with City Council Chairman Erik Brechnitz on Monday before the meeting to tell him the changes he would like to see on the proposed ordinance.

In March, Marco Island Planning Board members agreed manufacturing seawalls should be prohibited within city limits.

If the ordinance is approved Monday, it will have to come back to City Council for a second reading. The following council meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

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