Letters to the Editor, Jan. 27

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Does Marco Island have a Parking Problem? YES! (Part II)

The City Council has revised its restaurant parking ordinance several times over the years, especially for free standing restaurants. It started out as one parking space per two seats, one parking space per three seats, to one parking space per four seats, never requiring restaurants to increase their parking spaces. In 2010 the then City Council increased the parking requirement to one parking space per 200 square feet of restaurant seating area, indoor and outdoor.

According to the “Request for Council Consideration,” meeting date: March 1, 2010, ordinance –first reading that resulted in a 42 percent decrease in required parking spaces. This would be the equivalent to one parking space per seven seats. That ultimately made the parking problem immensely problematic.

Here again no requirement for these restaurants to increase their parking space requirement. Also, the Code of Ordinances does not provide any parking space requirement for employees. So, who created the parking problem, City Council!

In 2014 the then City Council changed the ordinance to one parking space per four seats. All restaurants prior to 2014 are grandfather in and it only applies to new and/or expansion of current restaurants.

There are other stipulations in the code that contribute to the parking problem. Namely, a parking space credit for a recycle bin, bike rack and painted walkway from sidewalk to front door and if you have a contiguous parking agreement you receive a 15 percent% credit for parking space requirement.

Predominately, the free-standing restaurants got what they wanted and since then, they have been pleading with the city to provide parking spaces (assets) at taxpayer’s expense to operate their businesses.

No matter how many parking spaces are provided in swales or alleys, it will never be enough to solve the parking problem in Olde Marco or Collier Boulevard.

Respectfully submitted.

Amadeo Petricca, Marco Island

Another beach community sacrificed

High-rises OK'd for Isles of Capri. Another beach community sacrificed to fill the coffers of developers. This story has become repetitious. A developer buys five acres of beachfront to build mega high-rises that don't fit and will decimate the neighborhood. Neighbors organize and plan a course of action to no avail. Why? Because the deal is already in the works. Here is the plan. The project goes before the planning staff and Planning Commission who do not totally approve it.

The neighbors rejoice because their fears have been validated. Now comes the real plan when it goes before the county commissioners. They talk and talk and let the neighbors speak. But then, the real dog and pony show happens when the land use attorney jumps up and says wait, we have changes to the plans . The residents haven't seen the new plans but that is not a problem because the land use attorney says they are great plans. The commissioners also say "what great plans." The problem is that no one has seen the plans. The residents ask, please bring the plans back to staff for another review. No need says the land use attorney, they can look at them over lunch.

After lunch, everyone is on board with the changed plans, except the residents who still haven't seen them The threat is now made that if the residents don't agree with the new plans, they will get commercial development instead. This will quiet them down, they think. This same scenario with some of the same parties happened with the One Naples project which was shoved down our throats by changing the plans over the lunch break. The residents never see the new plans, the land use attorney was the same, three of the commissioners were the same. This is a sickening abuse of their power and takes away the rights of the residents to have a voice in their government's choices.

Elizabeth Pircio, Naples

Freedom to oppress people who differ

These are the words quoted by a family in your report on transgender people deciding to move away from the state of Florida for their safety.  This “path of hate” was initiated by recent bills passed by the Florida Legislature. The “free state” of Florida promoted by Gov. DeSantis has become “the freedom to oppress people who differ.”

Dorothy S. Kuzneski, Naples

MORELetters to the Editor, Jan. 10

ANDYour Turn: Collier County’s housing crisis affects us all

ALSOIsles of Capri high-rises get thumbs up, with last-minute changes by developer