Longboat Key Estates Club says ‘no’ to dog beach
Concerns of association include beach debris, difficulty enforcing dog regulations, unsanitary conditions from dog waste, influx of people from everywhere using the beach and not contributing to any businesses, taxes or well being of the island.
Editor & Publisher
Longboat Key Estates Club Association has voted, and formally stated to the town of Longboat Key, that it does not want dogs on the beach. In recent weeks, the idea of creating a dedicated dog beach or allowing dogs during restricted hours access to the entire Longboat Key waterfront has divided the community.
While some residents say a dog beach would be a perfect amenity for both visitors and homeowners to enhance enjoyment of the beach with their family pet, others have cited health and disease issues, animal behavior control dilemmas and the general unsanitary association, not to mention the safety of the sea turtles, and therefore would like to keep Longboat’s beaches pristine.
The formal vote by Longboat Key Estates Club Association represents more than two years of debate, says Association President Nancy Jenkins, and discussion on the topic of what’s appropriate uses for the beach and recreation.
Jenkins said the group of more than three-dozen mid-key homeowners has a particular interest in what eventually ends up being developed at the Bayfront Park and Albritton properties, which are located nearby. In the Nov. 22 letter to Town Commission, Jenkins wrote, “As a board and as a community, we are opposed to any rule change that would permit dogs on the beach.”
Jenkins cited the concerns of the association as possibly increasing the traffic, creating more beach debris, more crowded beaches, difficulty enforcing dog beach regulations, unsanitary conditions from the dog waste, influx of people from everywhere using the beach and not contributing to any businesses, taxes or well being of the island.
Jenkins said the group intends to attend future town meetings where the dog beach topic is on the agenda to make its position known.
The Town Commission was approached early in the fall with an earnest desire by some residents to move forward with the idea of a dog beach. The commission decided not to formally act on the idea, but instead recommended that resident Laurin Goldner, and those interested in a dog beach both pro and con, form a committee, explore options and make a recommendation.
The commission was careful not to include any staff members, fellow commissioners or town personnel, thereby taking a hands-off approach until a position of recommendation is fashioned.