Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Sombrero Country Club, Tarpon Harbour on agenda

MARATHON -- The Marathon City Council was to consider redevelopment projects, workforce housing as well as the Sombrero Country Club and Tarpon Harbour during its July 8 meeting.

Councilman Mark Senmartin also added a discussion item regarding city credit card usage, after previously expressing dismay about local taxpayers paying the former city manager's Rotary Club membership fees.

Mayor Dick Ramsay also planned to discuss his meeting with Peter Rosasco about reducing costs for city finance services. The council has been considering re-negotiating its current contract with Rosasco's CPA firm.

Tuesday's meeting took place after press time.

According to city records, Sombrero Country Club developers submitted a proposal March 19 to redevelop the country club to include a hotel, restaurant, a new club house and workforce housing units. The Planning Commission on June 16 unanimously approved the project.

Because Peter Rosasco, the city's longtime finance director, is involved in the project, Marathon's finances now are being overseen by Bishop Rosasco's Jennifer Zimmer.

The Tarpon Harbour project (formerly the Aloha Hotel property) came before the City Council June 10, when conceptual approval was granted, with the possibility of allocating market-rate units to the project still pending. The council agreed to allocate 43 workforce housing units, but declined to act on the market residential units.

Additionally, the council was to discuss redevelopment of the 33rd Street area. The county wishes to relocate the library at the corner of U.S. 1 and 35th Street, which provides several roadway options to the city. Staff agreed to pursue options with FDOT, such as:

• Creating a four-way intersection at 33rd Street and U.S. 1 to include better access alignment for Fisherman's Hospital;

• Establishing a center lane from the entrance to Community Park to 33rd Street; and

• Creating a west-bound left hand turn lane at Community Park to increase the safety of those turning into the park from the east.

With increased resort development within the city and an aging housing stock, planning staff is proposing to revise the town's land development regulations to include:

• A broader responsibility for resort and other commercial developmers to provide workforce housing for employees, either directly or by alternative means;

• A more clearly defined numerical requirement for providing workforce housing units for a given level of development;

• New fees for transferring of market-rate development rights from one location to another; and

• A mechanism for multiple developers to share workforce housing responsibilities on single and common project sites.

Staff suggested a workshop to obtain community input on the issue.

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