Get to Know Your Comprehensive Plan

Written By Rich Blonna

April 30, 2024

Get To Know Your Comprehensive Plan

Marco Island’s Comprehensive Plan was last updated in 2021. The City paid a consulting group from FGCU over $120,000 to update it. As a first-year City Councilor I was very involved in the update process.

The Comprehensive Plan, along with the Strategic Plan, and the City Charter, form the foundation of our City Government. I believe that these three documents should guide the work of City Councilors and any new proposals or ordinances should be measured against these foundational documents. I

Let’s take a quick tour of The Comprehensive Plan 

The Comprehensive Plan is broken down into five “elements.” They are (1) Future Land Use, (2) Transportation, (3) Housing, (4) Infrastructure, (5) Conservation and Coastal Management, (6) Parks and Open Space, (7) Intergovernmental Cooperation, and (8) Capital Improvements.

Future Land Use Element

Goal: To enhance Marco Island’s quality of life, environmental quality, and tropical small town and resort character by managing growth and assuring a stable residential community with sufficient businesses to serve the needs of residents and visitors.

If you read this section, you’ll see exactly how our island was laid out and the plans for our future. It is well worth reading and discussing with the candidates

Transportation Element

Goal: To provide and encourage a multimodal transportation system that meets the circulation needs of Marco Island in a safe and efficient manner but does not adversely impact the quality of life of the residents.

There is a lot of discussion in this part about the vital role of safe walking and bike paths on our island. The issue of sidewalk maintenance is also discussed.

Housing Element

Goal: To provide a thoughtful, multi-faceted housing program that will advance decent, safe and affordable housing options and opportunities, both on and off Marco Island.

Infrastructure Element (this element has 5 sub-elements)

Goal: Potable water sub-element: To assure a sufficient, dependable, and high-quality potable water supply to meet the needs of Marco Island on a timely basis, at a reasonable cost, and, at a minimum, complies with all federal and state requirements.

Goal: Sanitary sewer sub-element: To protect the health and safety of the public by ensuring wastewater treatment facilities and services are environmentally sound, cost effective, and meet the community’s present and future demands.

Goal: Stormwater management sub-element: To protect the health and safety of the public by ensuring stormwater management facilities are properly maintain, environmentally sound, cost effective, and meet the community’s present and future demands.

Goal: Solid waste sub-element: To promote the efficient and economical balance of public and private solid waste collection and disposal services for the city of Marco Island that will meet established requirements in a manner that will protect the public health, safety and environmental resources of the community.

Goal: Natural groundwater aquifer recharge: To continue to support and monitor state, county, and regional water management district efforts to protect, conserve, and manage the quality and quantity of natural groundwater resources.

All of these sub-elements except the one related to stormwater are being managed effectively by the Water and Sewer Utility.

Conservation and Coastal Management Element

Goal: To continue to protect, promote, and enhance the coastal and natural resources in and around the Marco Island community through prudent management, public education, appropriate regulations and enforcement, and active partnerships with all other interested parties.

This section goes into great detail regarding clean air, water, waterways and beaches.

Parks and Open Space Element

Goal: To enhance Marco Island’s open space and recreational opportunities while maintaining its tropical small, town character.

This section actually quantifies optimal parkland/open space for healthy living (2.9142 acres per 100 residents). It talks about maintaining existing parklands and open space and mechanisms for acquiring additional property to provide cushions against over-development of the island.

Intergovernmental Coordination Element

Goal: The city of Marco Island will encourage and actively participate in programs and forums designed to enhance intergovernmental coordination.

This section is designed to ensure that our planning fits with regional entities such as the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Regional Planning Council.

Capital Improvements Element Goal: The city will develop a financially sound, five-year capital improvement program that will ensure continued compliance with adopted levels of service for those services provided by the city.

This section is pretty self-explanatory. In my first term in office I attended six (teo more in the coming months) budget meetings and met with the City’s Finance Director, Guillermo Palanco countless times to go over our budgeting process. Marco has been using a five-year cycle for their Capital Budget and has Capital Improvement Plans (CIPs) for all of their Departments.

As your City Council I will continue to study the Comprehensive Plan and ensure that my voting reflects the intents and purposes of this important document.

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