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Key Club tourism request to hit Town Hall

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

The Town Commission will consider at a Dec. 10 workshop, an ordinance that will ask voters whether to allow the Longboat Key Club to add tourism units to its Islandside property.

The request from the Key Club for a public referendum came from its representative, Sarasota Attorney John Patterson who wishes to hold the election on May 12, 2015.

The specific proposed question Longboat voters will consider if the commission approves it, reads as follows:

May the town allow up to 300 new tourism units, with tourism and accessory uses within certain portions of the Longboat Key Club property located at 201 and 301 Gulf of Mexico Drive and 361 Longboat Club Road, and situated within the MUC-2 land use category and zoning district provided such allowance, shall not exceed the maximum allowable overall MUC-2 density?  

If the town approves the above referendum question at the Dec. 10 workshop, it will go to a second reading for final approval later in the month.

The commission has the ability to decide whether it wants to hold a regular election on May 12, 2015, or it can require the applicant to mail a ballot to each registered voter given that the majority of residents will have left the island at the time the election will be held. The commission can also require the applicant to do both, hold an election on May 12 as well as mail the question to registered voters to maximize the response rate if it deems such action appropriate. The cost of holding the election will be borne by the Key Club.

The Key Club’s current owner, Ocean Properties, Ltd. out of Delray Beach, seeks to redevelop the Islandside portion of the Club with an additional hotel, meeting center as well as condominium units. Currently, the Club can only build residential units on the Islandside property unless voters give approval for the tourism use.

The Key Club’s previous owners, Loeb Partners Realty, fought with Islandside Property Owner’s Coalition (IPOC), and with town approval succeeded in gaining development rights that were subsequently overturned by a resident court challenge.

Since then, it has been reported that Ocean Properties has negotiated a plan that is more amenable to the Islandside residential neighbors, and to date there has been no signs of challenge.

 

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