Marco Planning Board continues to address LDC glitches

John Osborn, Correspondent

The Marco Island Planning Board met Friday to continue plowing through a dense list of so-called “glitch” items related to the ongoing process of updating the city’s Land Development Code (LDC.)

Richard Cannone (left) of Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc. presents the list of 33 "glitches" within the city's Land Development Code to the Marco Island Planning Board on Friday, Dec. 2, 2016. The new planning board met Friday to continue revising the LDC.

Due to the complexity of updating the LDC – a massive document that oftentimes proves cumbersome even to subject-matter experts – city leaders have tapped Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc. out of Fort Lauderdale to help shepherd both boards through the process’s associated brambles.

Friday’s meeting was presented in a workshop style for easier accessibility to the public, and tackled a wide variety of troublesome LDC update issues, including construction site maintenance, dock setbacks and permitting.

With about a dozen members of the public in attendance for the marathon meeting that stretched more than three hours, Richard Cannone of Calvin, Giordano & Associates guided the planning board through draft language of updates to relevant sections of the LDC.

“What I’ll try to do is walk you through the changes in each section,” Cannone told the board before plunging headfirst into the tall grass of mostly legalese. “There’s no easy way to do it other than to just go through the changes.”

During his presentation, Cannone cited a lack of organization as a major problem to the LDC as it stands.

“One thing we’ve found is that throughout the code, things are sort of put here and there and everywhere, so what we’ve tried to do is put some organization to it,” he said. “So if it has to do with the length of permitting, we’ve put it in one section. That way it’s not split throughout the document.”

To further streamline things, Cannone suggested simplifying and condensing some parts of the LDC. Doing that, he said, would help ensure that construction sites remain orderly, safe and well-maintained as the island approaches build-out.

Cannone also broached the subject of why construction temporary-use permits would be used for anything other than off-site construction, as approved building plans naturally include construction.

As for dock permitting, Cannone said a lack of proper drawings and inaccurate measurements submitted with site plans marked major problems in the current code. To that end, he suggested the city require professional surveys that depict any proposed docks in relation to those on abutting properties, along with detailed and accurate drawings.

Featuring somewhat of an open-door policy for the public, the planning board allowed comments from the gallery throughout the workshop’s duration.

Marco resident Jason Bailey suggested leaving in language dealing with on-site mobile radios.

“What I’ve seen on the island is that several homeowners have HAM radio antennas, so I don’t know that I’d strike it,” he said of the pertinent language.

Lina Upham, the city’s acting planning and zoning manager, said the planning board would have its work cut out for its next meeting, as well.

“During the next planning board meeting on May 5, City Council has directed two topics for discussion,” she said. “The first is rezoning Veteran’s Park from a PUD – a Planned Unit Development – to a park. The second direction is to discuss a density transfer program.”

For more information and to view official documents relating to updates to the city’s LDC, visit www.cityofmarcoisland.com.