Noticing error will require Planning Board to rehear assisted living facility proposal on Marco Island
After it took a three-hour meeting to recommend approval of an assisted living facility on Marco Island, the city’s planning board will have a do-over after discovering a hearing was improperly noticed.
At the planning board’s Nov. 2 meeting, it approved a planned unit development rezoning application for the Watermark at Marco Island, a proposed three-story assisted living facility at the intersection of Heathwood Drive and San Marco Road.
Less than two weeks later, however, Director of Community Affairs Dan Smith was notified of a hiccup with respect to meeting notice requirements.
“It has come to my attention from our attorney that the applicant was required to notify all real property owners of records within 300 feet of the parcel in question (via) certified mail, with receipts filed with the City Clerk 15 days before the Planning Board hearing at the applicant expense,” Smith wrote in an email to city staff.
In case you missed it: Planning board approves PUD application for Marco Island assisted living facility
City code states that “The failure of the applicant to send a courtesy notice shall be deemed as a failure to furnish legally required written notice pursuant to this (land development code.”
A representative from the Villas of Waterside, who described the proposed development as a “monstrosity,” told the Marco Eagle that the complex was not properly notified of the hearing.
In a lengthy meeting that featured multiple starts and stops, the board and the representatives of the facility used the art of compromise to originally move the proposal forward.
The original design for the facility included four stories, 260 units and a maximum height of 50 feet, but alterations were made on the fly after the majority of the planning board scoffed at what was being proposed near a residential area.
Six of the board’s seven members voted in favor of rezoning after the developer proposed a 3-story building instead of four, a maximum height of 40 feet instead of 50 feet, 166 assisted living units instead of 206 units and a reduction of beds from 260 to 210.
If the board approves another recommendation for rezoning the parcel, it would create a little less than 12-acre medical campus. The assisted living facility would sit on five of those acres while NCH would construct a new 12,000-square-foot urgent care facility.
Proceeds from the sale of the five acres for the assisted living facility would be used for the construction of the urgent care facility.
“We do have a very big aging population here and my true belief is that we need to provide a center like what is proposed by The Watermark,” NCH representative and Marco Island resident Betsy Novakovich said during the Nov. 2 meeting.
With the board’s need to rehear the item, the city is looking to reschedule the hearing for its Dec. 7 meeting.
In his email to city staff, Smith said that those findings would be forwarded to the City Council for the first reading of an ordinance to approve the rezoning on Dec. 10.