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Key Club redevelopment pending: Ocean Properties seeks vote for tourism units

Ocean Properties Ltd. is planning on redeveloping the Longboat Key Club Islandside property and is requesting the town have a referendum in a special election as early as possible.

The Town Commission can allow a referendum either through petition by the applicant, who must by Town rules present signatures of 10% of the electorate, or, the Town leaders can waive that requirement and create an ordinance on behalf of the applicant. Creating an ordinance is what the Commission instructed the Town Manager and staff to accomplish working with the applicant.

Patterson said he wished to hold the vote in May. Some residents have expressed concern that such a vote should be accomplished by a mailed ballot to all electors or at such a time when most of the population is in Town.

Sarasota attorney John Patterson of Shutts & Bowen LLP represents Ocean Properties and wrote in a Nov. 9 letter to the Longboat Key Town Commission that Ocean Properties “wishes to redevelop a portion of its property in Islandside including residential and tourism (a hotel, a meeting center, and related facilities, including restaurants).”

Patterson said that a positive vote of the Longboat Key electorate is necessary to add Tourism units or density to the Islandside property. Sarasota Judge Lee Haworth made that determination when the Key Club’s previous application to redevelop Islandside and the Town Commission’s interpretation in approval of its own land use regulations was not allowed.

According to Planning, Zoning and Building Director Alaina Ray, Ocean Properties has not yet filed an application for redevelopment.

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