One of the last actions former Allegiant Travel Co. CEO John Redmond performed on behalf of Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor was applying for a 17-acre floating dock commercial marina with a fuel dock next to the resort on the Peace River.
Redmond’s name appears on the Army Corps of Engineers public notice posted Sept. 26, two days before he resigned from his post with the Las Vegas-based company that owns the Sunseeker Resort.
Nonprofit environmental group ManaSota-88 discovered the application and urged residents to ask the Army Corps of Engineers for a public hearing. Members of the public and others have until Oct. 25 to request such a hearing on the application.
“Our main concern is there a need for this marina and is this the proper location for it?” said Glen Compton, who heads the Nokomis-based group.
He said ManaSota-88 usually deals with issues further north, such as opposing phosphate mining. But when the marina came to the group’s attention, members became involved and alerted Charlotte County residents to the proposed marina next to Sunseeker Resort.
A spokesperson for Sunseeker Resort, reading from a company statement, said the resort does not have plans for a marina when it opens the resort. The spokesperson refused further comment.
Calls to Allegiant Travel Co. were not returned.
The Tampa-based engineering firm of Moffatt & Nichol designed the marina’s plans, but Gary Smith, an engineer for the company, said his company couldn’t comment on any of its projects without permission from the client.
Meanwhile, news spread about the marina application, and it was briefly discussed at the Oct. 5 Beaches and Shores Advisory Committee meeting in Port Charlotte.
If built, the marina would change the look of the northern portion of the Peace River near the U.S. 41 southbound bridge. The marina’s address would be 4949 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte.
The plans include demolishing existing timber docks, dredging the marina basin, constructing a breakwater, constructing pile-supported grated platforms, and installing a 58,865-square-foot floating dock with room for 182 boat slips, according to the application.
Construction of the 2.2-acre fixed, rubble breakwater is proposed to be installed to the south of the marina facility, resulting in the discharge of approximately 22,923 cubic yards of sand/rock material, a public notice states.
Some 117,200 cubic yards of material is proposed to be dredged for the marina area and entrance channel. The material will be stored in the uplands to be used for the breakwater or disposed of at an upland facility.
Between the land and floating dock area is a 2.79-acre shoal grass bed, a food source for manatees.
The marina’s plans include posting manatee education and awareness signs in the vicinity.
Environmental specialist Mary McMurray will be giving a presentation in December before the Beaches and Shores Advisory Committee, and board member Don McCormick asked her to include the marina in her talk.
“It will be too late by then,” said Compton adding that the public has until Oct. 25 to make their voices heard.
The Army Corps of Engineers public notice states the proposed marina may affect “but is not likely to adversely affect” the West Indian manatee, sea turtles, and giant manta rays.
The proposal would impact 2.2 acres of sand bottom from the installation of the breakwater and 20.7 acres of sand from the dredging. The area is used by various life stages of varieties of fish, sharks, and spiny lobster, according to the public notice.
Also, water quality certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and state approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan.