MARCO ISLAND, Fla. – Marco Island residents are rallying together in hopes of a new boat docking ordinance. Right now, the only coverings allowed on backyard docked boats are mooring covers.

On Marco Island, it’s an ordinance that has been in place since 1998. The city bans boat canopies, boathouses, and boat garages unless grandfathered into the system or otherwise approved by Code Enforcement.

Bill Palladino erected a boat canopy six months ago.

“My wife and I, we get out, we go on the boat, we come back in, I pull it under, I rinse my boat off, do my usual thing and the boat is all put away,” he said.

Last month, Code Enforcement notified him that it was a violation. Now, he and other neighbors are fighting back. Palladino said mooring covers are a sanitation issue.

“They’re very difficult to use,” he said. “To get up there and get the cover and pull it up all the way around the boat and if it’s any kind of a windy day, it grabs ahold of you like a sail.”

To resolve that issue the city said it authorizes automatic mooring cover systems. But Palladino said some will cost upwards of $20,000. Another issue is sanitation.

“Once you cover your boat, the moisture stays on there, and it creates all kinds of mold issues in your boat,” he said.

The Marco Island City Planning Board will discuss the topic Friday, January 7 at 9 a.m.

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