CITY OF MARATHON, FLORIDA 9805 Overseas Highway, Marathon, Florida 33050 Phone: (305) 743-0033 Fax: (305) 743-3667 MEMORANDUM Planning Department MEE...
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CITY OF MARATHON, FLORIDA 9805 Overseas Highway, Marathon, Florida 33050 Phone: (305) 743-0033 Fax: (305) 743-3667


February 11, 2014


Mayor and City Councilmembers


George Garrett, Planning Director


Mike Puto, Acting City Manager


Planning Department Update

The Planning Department provides an update to the City Council, on alternate meeting dates at the first meeting of each month. The following is provided as an update for Planning Department activities which occurred between December 12th and this meeting. CRITICAL ISSUES NEEDING ATTENTION Boot Key The CELCP grant ($1.52 M) obtained to acquire Boot Key is in jeopardy as litigation concerning Yampol’s property (Three Corporations) languish. The CELCP grant funds, originally obtained from NOAA through the State during the summer/fall of 2011, must be expended by June 30, 2014 including full grant close-out provisions. Based on our discussions at the last City Council meeting, I have informed Jimmy Muller, our project contractor on this matter in Tallahassee, that the City will more than likely have to return the funding to NOAA. 74th Street – Hibiscus Court Condominium Association Recently homeowners who are members of the Hibiscus Court Condominium Association have spoken before Council (Public Comment). These individuals have also written letters and Emails requesting some relief that would allow them to subdivide their property into three individual lots which would then allow them to dissolve the Condominium Association. In 2004 and early 2005, the City apparently made a determination that three mobile homes that existed on the current condominium property had been placed there legally and then were allowed to be re-built. Demolition permits were approved to remove all three mobile homes in 2004. Individual permits for replacement residences were approved in early 2004 and all construction of these units was complete by the end of the year.

Property © 2000

Hibiscus Court Condominium © 2012

Presumably the re-development was allowed, although non-conforming for density, because it was determined that the units had originally been legally placed there. The developer was not allowed to subdivide the property for the reasons noted immediately above, and instead created a condominium association in order to allow appropriate management of the property. In this instance, the Condominium Association holds the property while its membership owns the individual residences. The City has no means in its Code to review or approve condominium associations. That is uniquely the purview of the state. At the time, the property was zoned Mixed Use (MU) under the City’s adoption of the County Code and subdivision of the property was prohibited as it would have allowed and created substandard sized and therefore non-conforming lots. In 2007, the City adopted its own Land Development Regulations. The property retained a zoning of Mixed Use (MU) with only slight changes in the zoning regulations. More particularly, subdivision or re-platting under the City’s current Code also currently prohibits the subdivision of a property that would create substandard sized lots. The property in question has a total area of 10,730 square feet. Mixed Use Zoning allows 8 residential units per acre. Thus, subdivided lots must be a minimum of 5,545 square feet. If the property in question were subdivided each lot would be an average of 3,577 square feet. These facts have been discussed with the three owners of property within the Association over the past two or three years, including discussions between the Planning Director, the City Attorney, and the Condominium’s Attorney. Nothing has changed about our Code which would allow a proposed subdivision of the property to occur today. Transient Unit Allocation Interest in the allocation of additional Transient Residential Units (TRUs) is beginning. Eight (8) entities have shown interest at different levels and initiated discussion with the City about the possible expansion or complete redevelopment of existing commercial areas in Marathon. If carried through, such projects would create a need for over four hundred (400) additional TRUs (See Assessment on following page). Time will tell whether any of these projects come to pass. However, Holiday Inn Express has made an application to expand their project site by up to 34


units. Banana Bay will likely request up to an additional sixteen (16) units, the Sombrero Country Club is anticipated to submit an application to develop up to one hundred seventeen (117) hotel rooms in the approximate location of the current Club House. Coconut Cay, approved for a Development Agreement in 2012, will likely complete its Conditional Use process which would expand that project site by twenty-two (22) rooms. Crystal Cove / Bay, though apparently for sale, is seeking to expand their project by eighty-three (83) units. Apparently closure on Knight’s Key is imminent and the Ramada (Peebles Corp) should fully control its project site soon. In the first round of TRU allocations, the City provided 65 TRUs to four projects. All four projects are underway. All are anticipated to go to completion. One project, the expansion of Tranquility Bay by sixteen (16) rooms, is complete and has received its Certificate of Occupancy (CO). Thus, the City retains 35 TRUs originally provided to the City by the State. In addition, the State allowed the City the option to convert one hundred (100) Market Rate BPAS allocations to Transient Residential Units. As the City moves forward in 2014, a number of things are apparent: • • •

The City will need to re-open the BPAS allocation process for TRUs as some point within the next few months. There are not nearly enough TRUs to accommodate all of the potential projects before us. The City may want to look at how it allocates the TRUs, assuming that there may be a greater number requested than the City has available to allocate o 100 % of any potential request for TRUs a given applicant until TRUs are exhausted o A percentage of any potential request for TRUs so that each project requesting TRUs is provided some The potential conversion of one hundred (100) Market Rate units to TRUs raises several concerns, not the least of which are: o 100 Market Rate BPAS allocations would be lost o How the 100 Market Rate units would be converted over time is crucial  All at once  Over a number of years  Made available all at once (borrowed forward), but converted for accountings sake over a number of years o There would be expected financial impacts to local residential contractors as there would by necessity be fewer Market Rate allocations available per semester in the future o Conversion of 100 Market Rate units would also impact the City’s ability to award units to those seeking Administrative Relief in the future.

The City Council may want to consider how it wants to proceed this year, particularly as we anticipate meeting with the State soon for our annual review as an Area of Critical State Concern.


Assessment of Existing & Proposed Transient Units in Marathon OVERALL EXISTING ROOMS IN MARATHON




Additional Units 16 5 20 83 117 34 100 20 37

NEW / EXPANDED PROJECT PROPOSALS Banana Bay Expansion Blue Waters Coconut Cay Crystal Bay / Cove Golf Course Holiday Inn Express Expansion Knight's Key Ramada (Peebles Corp) Valhalla TOTAL PORPOSED NEW ROOMS IN MARATHON




Note: Approximate Transient Units in Islamorada Hotel Rooms Vacation Rentals Total

Have Originally 70

Total 65 20 22 30 0 134 199 80 43

81 25 42 113 117 168 299 100 80




1,044 331 (116 in Service) 1,375


GENERAL PERMITTING . No significant issues to report CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS Banana Bay No current update. Coconut Cay Staff met with principals with Coconut Cay which indicated that they will be moving forward in the coming months to complete their Conditional Use permit process in order to redevelop and expand their project site. Crane Point Hammock Zip-line No current update. The appellant in the matter of the Administrative Height Variance for the proposed zip line has not appealed the Board’s decision to Circuit Court. They have thirty days to file that appeal from the date of the Board’s Resolution concerning their decision, January 14, 2014. Crystal Cove Crystal Cove (Bay) is being placed on the market for re-sale. Staff met with a potential buyer and the current owners on February 4, 2014 to discuss current progress toward ultimate approval of the project. The necessary rezoning came before and was approved by the City Council on January 28, 2014. Required revisions to the project have not been completed based on comments from the City Council at the public hearing held on November 27, 2012. Cellular Tower Proposal A new proposal for a cellular tower has been made by Keys WiFi for property located on 64th Street. Those under contract to use the tower, if approved, will include Verizon and AT&T. After working with City legal Council and the applicants, the application has been deemed complete. The City has hired an outside engineering firm, at the applicant’s expense, to review the application for technical deficiencies and other potential technical options related to the proposal. The engineer will also review the project with respect to its potential impacts on aviation interests at the Marathon Airport. The item has been scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission at its February 18, 2014 meeting. Peebles Corporation (Ramada Inn) Discussions with individuals at Peebles Corporation indicate that they have come to equitable terms with their lenders and will be moving forward to redevelop the property as a hotel/motel

Small Re-plats Three small plats are moving forward toward completion, all submitted prior to the invocation of “Zoning in Progress.” The two re-plats proposed for Coco Plum Drive have recently submitted necessary revisions and should come back for final plat review before the Planning Commission in March or April. At this juncture there do not appear to be any problems with either proposed re-plat The City Council conceptually approved the re-plat of 2000 Sombrero Beach Road into three parcels, each of which was to have ocean frontage and was to have a minimum of 75 feet of street frontage on either Sombrero Beach Road or Treasure Road. Council also requested that staff meet with neighbors to seek approval of a potential reconfiguration of the lots to meet the criteria approved by the Council. A proposed reconfiguration was provided to the neighbors before the Christmas holiday (see below).

As expressed in several Emails the neighbors did not like the proposed realignment expressing the belief that, as proposed, the lots were too narrow and that houses constructed on them would appear like “row houses.” Staff met with Councilmember Bull, the applicant, and several neighbors on January 30, 2014. All parties expressed their respective thoughts on the appropriateness of the proposed plat respective of the City Council’s conceptual approval of the re-plat. The neighbors wanted a lot configuration which left either one house in front and two on


the water or the reverse. The applicant’s position remained firmly on the configuration shown above. The applicant has applied at this point for a “Site Plan Review” of the project as allowed under Chapter 102, Article 9. As such, the applicant is allowed to propose a site plan for administrative review and development approval of up to three (3) units on a single piece of property, so long as the lot remains in single ownership and there is no future effort to subdivide or plat the property. (see Sections noted below. See also, attached legal opinion from the City Attorney – Exhibit 1). Chapter 102, Article 9, Site Plan Review Section 102.36. Applicability. This article shall apply to all development, development activity or other use requiring site plan review of within the City of Marathon. Notwithstanding the provisions herein, site plans for up to three (3) residential dwelling units shall be subject to review and approval by the Director as provided in Section 102.43 of this article. *** Section 102.43. Activities Requiring Administrative Development Approval. Certain development approvals or activities shall not require a site plan approval by the PC, TRC or Council. Applicants for these permits or activities may apply to the specific department having authority to grant an administrative development approval. Application types requiring only an administrative approval are as follows: Home occupation uses, alcohol beverage license, site plan development approval of up to three (3) residential dwelling units, vacation rental license, building permits, minor amendments to an existing conditional use permit, long dock variances, administrative variances, certificate of compliance, sign permit, temporary placement permit, temporary use permit and tree removal permit. Chapter 107, General Development Standards, Article 5, Setbacks and Height Section 107.32. Principal Building on Lot. A.

Except in commercial and industrial districts, or as provided in these regulations, only one

(1) principal building and its customary accessory buildings may be erected on any lot of record. Any dwelling shall be deemed to be the principal building on the lot upon which it is located. An addition to any building shall not be construed as a principal building. B.

Housing developments of two (2) or more single- or multiple-family dwellings constructed

on a lot under single ownership, not subdivided in the customary streets and lots, and which shall not be so subdivided, may be developed in any R-M, R-MH, or R-H district, provided that: 1.

Maximum percent of lot coverage shall not exceed that which is required for the

district in which the project is located. 2.

Setback requirements shall be met in accordance with the district in which such

housing is permitted.

Sombrero Country Club (project name unknown) No current update 7

Tarpon Harbour (f.k.a. Aloha Properties) The property formerly known as Aloha is seeking approval to re-develop the site to accommodate one hundred and four (104) residential units (42 Market Rate / 62 Workforce Housing). As proposed, the project will provide ample green space and two clubhouse / pool facilities. The project will also provide boat ramp access to the water and a fourteen (14) slip docking area. Staff reviewed the project in a TRC meeting in early January and expects a full and complete application for review by the Planning Commission at its March meeting. Valhalla No current update COMPREHENSIVE PLAN / LDR UPDATES Landscape Ordinance Revisions The Landscape Ordinance will be presented in a second workshop session at the Planning Commission in February. Proposed revisions will be presented to the City Council in March. Platting Requirements The City invoked “Zoning in Progress” at its November 26, 2013 meeting concerning issues surrounding the potential Re-Plat of properties zoned Residential Medium (RM). Principally, the concern is that properties zoned RM may be developed or Re-Platted with up to five (5) units per acre. In some instances, subdivision of property at this magnitude may not be in keeping with the actual density of residences similarly zoned in the surrounding area. Proposed revisions will be identified to the City Council and will be presented to the Planning Commission in March OTHER MATTERS Mangrove Trimming The permit for Mangrove Trimming was issued by the State on December 20, 2013. Planning staff are putting together an RFP seeking bids to complete the project. We anticipate the RFP to be out within the next two weeks. FEMA Matters The Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 makes significant changes to the costs associated with many types of flood insurance subsidy. Particularly, Pre-FIRM residences and business (built prior to January 1, 1975) that exist below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and whose owners have subsidized flood insurance may see increases as much as 25 percent until the rates reflect full risk assessment. It is anticipated that the full enforcement of the Biggert-Waters Act will be delayed. A Bill delaying implementation of the Act has recently passed the Senate and a similar Bill is under review in the House. City staff has further developed the City’s website to provide additional FEMA information, including a full set of GIS based flood maps and the Elevation Certificates (when available at the City) to those interested in obtaining them. 8

See 1st Time Homebuyers Two individuals selected by the City for the First Time Homebuyers program (FTH) have closed on their chosen residence and have received funds from the program. The remaining FTH applicants are continuing efforts to complete closing obligations. The Council opened up the FTH process again through the end of January 2014. Three individuals made an application for remaining funds. Their applications are under review to ensure that they meet the criteria for receipt of funds.


Exhibit 1