Letters to the Editor, Jan. 15

Marco Eagle

Please stop! Bike traffic on Collier Boulevard and Tigertail Court

I am writing this letter in regards to the bicycle traffic at the intersection of Collier Boulevard and Tigertail Court.

There is a sidewalk stop sign for cyclists going south on the Collier Boulevard sidewalk. Or at least I am assuming it is a bicycle stop sign but can’t be sure since there is no further signage to indicate this and I have never seen anyone on a bicycle stop for the sign.

Editorial cartoon

As a motorist I am just under the assumption the stop sign is a mere decoration.

Persons on bicycles are traveling very quickly down the hill proceeding south approaching the Tigertail intersection. The city needs to post a sign on the bridge letting cyclists know about the stop sign ahead that is intended for the bicycles.  If that indeed is what the stop sign is for.

I am assuming the city went to the trouble to place this stop sign here. Please enforce this stop sign before there is an accident.

I did email the city … but got no follow up to this issue

Carolyn Miszuk, Marco Island

ALF should be rejected

I have been a resident of Marco Island since 2003. I have reviewed a number of public documents pertaining to the two assisted living facilities (ALFs) that are under review by the Marco Island Planning Board and the Marco Island City Council. Those documents are referenced in the text below. I also attended the Dec. 7 extended Planning Board Meeting to hear, first-hand, the dialogue, expectations and concerns of the San Marco Community.

The following points in the referenced documents and expressed at the Dec. 7 meeting, have helped me to form my position regarding the proposed Watermark ALF.

Planning Board draft minutes (Nov. 2)

  • Confirmed that it is the staff’s opinion that ALF’s are considered residential and not commercial property.
  • Number of units – Original: 206 units/260 beds; Revised: 166/210.
  • Excludes drug rehabilitation center.
  • Comments from audience: Six negative and four positive.

Walt Chancey letter (Nov. 27)

  • Considerable focus on migration of residents from off-island.
  • They estimate 10 percent or less from off-island (Note: This is not a commitment to constrain off-island to 10 percent).
  • Traffic impact and emergency management and hurricane evacuation plans need to have approval from our police, fire departments.
  • Much uncertainty regarding availability of sister properties.                                        

Marco Eagle (Nov. 27)

  • Dan Smith notified of deficiency in meeting notice requirements.
  • The site development picture as shown on this page appears overwhelming to neighboring residents and inconsistent with the Island’s tropical small-town and resort character.

Terri Sommerfeld documents (Dec. 5 and second undated copy)

  • Marco Island has a population of over 17,000.
  • As noted, the population density is significantly higher than both the State of Florida and the national average.
  • As noted: This proposal would rank in the top one percent of the largest ALF facilities in the state (mega-facility). The average size of an ALF is 80 beds vs the proposed 210 (250-plus percent larger).
  • 2,143 Florida facilities operate with 30 beds or less (seven times smaller than the current proposal).
  • There are no regulations that require an ALF preference to Marco Island residents.
  • Marco facility would be 12.6 miles from the nearest hospital.
  • The Fountain Lake Point Woods [sister] facility is in closest proximity to Marco – 122 miles away and has only 86 beds.
  • This is a barrier island with only two bridges for entering and exiting.
  • Evacuation of “ … 210 fragile elders and transporting them for hours on buses to undefined locations” is a major concern.
  • The proposed Marco ALF is not a continuous care retirement community.

Planning Board meeting (Dec. 7)

  • Under the current C-1 zoning, assisted living facilities are not permitted on the property. Further, it would have to be limited to 144 units.
  • The other project is for 81 units of assisted living and memory care on South Barfield at the old Sonitasole property.
  • Board member Joseph Rolas also warned of the impact to the comprehensive plan if the planning board approved amendments to the Land Development Code.

Marco Eagle (Jan. 1)

Councilman Sam Young stated, “ … I don’t believe the citizens support having a mega-sized (top one percent in size) adult living facility (ALF) at one of the busiest intersections, Bald Eagle and San Marco, with up to 200 occupants taking up most [of] the last large parcel of green space left.”

In summary, the growing concern as to the credibility of the Planning Board, together with the striking opposition that continues to be expressed by the Marco Island community, should persuade the Marco Island City Council to reject the Watermark proposal at the Jan. 22 meeting.

Gene Consolo, Marco Island