Florida Keys News - Marathon Free Press
Friday, October 16, 2009
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Bike path fixes in the works for two areas

A couple of new bike paths in Marathon are inching closer to getting revamped.

The one slated to go down Coco Plum Drive has raised eyebrows of those in the neighborhood, since the current plan would have it moved to the other side of the street.

Marathon City Councilman Pete Worthington relayed those concerns during Tuesday night's general meeting, saying he heard some portions of the path would be moved as much as 15 feet off of the roadway. Mike Giardullo, with the city contracted firm Weiler Engineering, said the vast majority of the path would be connected to and use the existing portions of Coco Plum Drive, and that only a few small parts would require minor changes to what is already on the ground.

According to Giardullo, the path is expected to be moved to the other side of the street, but most of the work would simply be relining the road to reflect the change. He said that there will be another public meeting held in the coming months to get more public input on the matter.

Giardullo also unveiled some preliminary plans for the redevelopment of the bike path that runs along Aviation Boulevard. The plans call for widening and straightening the path that runs behind the Florida Keys Marathon Airport. He told the council he looked into the possibility of getting the utility poles that currently run along the path moved, but determined it would probably be too expensive.

The council directed Giardullo to continue working on the plans, which could also include additional park benches and some lighting along the darker portion of the path.

In other news

• The council unanimously voted down an ordinance that would provide an avenue for property owners in certain zoning districts to apply for a conditional use permit to have horses on properties larger than four acres. Several council members said the ordinance was not specific enough when it came to the allowed number of horses and the potential in the future for different types of animals to be kept in the city. The ordinance also included another addendum that called for rule changes on detached housing.

• The council unanimously passed an ordinance that outlaws the chaining or tethering of unattended dogs in the City of Marathon. The new rule matches a similar ordinance already in effect in unincorporated Monroe County.

• A decision on whether to institute a cleanup bond to ensure contractors get final inspections on permits was delayed until the end of November to give city staffers more time to work out issues with local contractors.

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