Madeira: Marco Island magistrate denies contractor's request to be dismissed from dune case

Myrnabelle Roche, Marco Island code enforcement magistrate, speaks to Caleb Pringle, attorney representing the Madeira condo association, on June 30, 2020.

Marco Island code enforcement magistrate has denied a contractor's request to be dismissed from a case where dunes were destroyed last July at the Madeira condominium as part of a roof repair project.

Myrnabelle Roche, code enforcement magistrate, said she denied RR Restoration of Georgia's request because the company is responsible for destroying the dunes.

"I can't dismiss your client because they were the ones who created the problem," Roche told RR Restoration's attorney, Zachary Hyman, at a June 30 hearing.

Hyman requested that the company be dismissed because it paid all its fines to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Hyman also said RR Restoration will no longer be involved with Madeira.

"The parties have amicably decided to separate," Hyman told the Marco Eagle.

Caleb Pringle, attorney representing Madeira, confirmed the condo association parted ways with RR Restoration and hired an engineer to continue with the roof repair project.

Douglas Spong, president of the condo association, said Madeira is requesting bids for roof repair contractors.

Zachary Hyman, attorney of RR Restoration of Georgia, speaks while wearing a mask at the Marco Island code enforcement magistrate June 30, 2020.

DEP spokeswoman Alexandra Kuchta wrote in an email July 2 that the department issued a permit June 4 authorizing the construction of the staging area and access path to facilitate crane operations and roof repair work at Madeira.

An amended permit was issued June 23, according to Kuchta. It prevents Madeira or its contractor from starting work during sea turtle nesting season, which began May 1 and ends Oct. 31.

The DEP is requiring that work to replant the reconstructed dune be finished within 30 days of completion of the roof repairs, Kuchta wrote.

Dunes without vegetation were observed on the seaward side of the Madeira on Marco Island condominium on June 30, 2020.

"I'm not inclined to close the case even if there is a pending agreement until this thing is completely done," Roche told Pringle.

Roche requested Madeira to come back in 30 days with a timeline for the roof construction.

Earlier this year, Madeira restored the dunes following the the department’s consent order issued on Dec. 18.

Two dunes without vegetation were seen on the seaward side of Madeira on June 30.

As part of the consent order, Madeira and RR Restoration agreed to pay $15,500 for the destruction of dunes. Dennis Kariores, operation manager of the company, paid the full amount Dec. 19, according to receipts obtained by the Eagle.

In connection to this case, Roche issued $1,050 in fines in August against Madeira, RR Restoration and a third contractor for the use of vehicles on the beach without a permit and removing dune vegetation without landscape certification.

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