Longboat Key Letters – Week ending October 27, 2017

Longboat Key News encourages Letters to the Editor on timely issues. Please email to: letters@lbknews.com or mail to PO Box 8001, Longboat Key, FL 34228. We also print letters sent to Town Hall that address Longboat Key issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Building leak

To: Mayor Terry Gans

Forgive me if this is errant in regards to the appropriate person to help resolve our problem. We have a home on N. Shore Road. The neighboring property was developed and periodically sends its water to our side door. We currently have it caulked shut. We asked for relief and the owner did nothing saying he followed the building code. He was made aware of our concerns prior to building. He also had a plumbing problem for his second floor pool/spa/fountain complex and now has a vent outside to cure the poorly designed system, which is a sound nuisance that we cannot ameliorate with anything reasonable. A properly installed air vent within the building would fix it. He has decided to sell the building even with the structural leakage beginning to show around the pool enclosure. We believe this is a code violation that will, if left uncured, result in a slow failure and potential ensuing water event for us.

Can you give us any direction beside Longboat Key departments which have not responded when the first water event occurred in 2015? I would be happy to call if that manner of communication would be preferred.  Thanks for your consideration of our dilemma.

Drew Jackman

Carol O’Neill


On the leak….

To: Mayor Terry Gans

We’ll look into this.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager

Longboat Key


Candidate qualifies

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

Congratulations! The Town Clerk’s office has received notification from the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections that your candidate petitions have been certified thus qualifying you for the Town Commission District 5 seat in the March 2018 election cycle.

Please review your Candidate notebook which contains important information on campaign filing dates (Tab 1) and regulations relating to the placement of campaign signs (Tab 3).

If you have any questions on the election process and candidate responsibilities, please stop by the Clerk’s office and we will be happy to assist.

Trish Granger

Town Clerk

Longboat Key


FDOT Construction – State Road 684/Cortez Road at 119th Street West

To: Town Commission

Please be advised that FDOT will commence a construction project along State Road 684/Cortez Road at 119th Street West, in Cortez, This project will improve safety and traffic flow at the intersection.

Interim improvements include extending the existing median east of 119th Street W to 119th Street West; eliminating the eastbound Cortez Road to northbound 119th Street West movement; installing improved crosswalks on Cortez Road and 119th Street West; and, modifying the traffic signal to a continual ‘green-phase’ for eastbound Cortez Road at 119th Street W unless pedestrian activates signal to cross Cortez Road.

Construction will begin October 25, 2017 and is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2017, weather permitting.  Motorists can expect lane closures from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.  FDOT urges motorists to stay alert for construction crews.

The attached flyer has additional project information.

Please contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

Brian Bollas, GISP

Community Outreach Manager, FDOT


Request to meet

To: Commissioner Irwin Pastor

My wife and I moved to Longboat Key two years ago. We both worked for Penn State University for many years. I was the Assistant Vice President for Auxiliary and Business Services and had financial responsibility for many of Penn State’s business units including residential housing and food services at eight campuses, two on campus hotels, airport, arena, parking etc., and yes we had an exclusive pouring rights contract with Pepsi!

I am very interested in becoming more active in the community and the Town of Longboat Key. I’m on the board of directors at my condo association at Sutton Place and also a board member and officer for the Federation of Condominiums of Longboat Key.

I am exploring running for town Commission in the future. I am interested in your perspective on the process and your experiences on the commission. You are a business guy that is making significant contributions to the Town.

Would you be available to meet for coffee or breakfast sometime to talk.

Thanks in advance for your consideration of my request!

Rich Pearce

Longboat Key


Request for Colony water utility account balances

To: Don Hemke

Per your request, I have attached our spreadsheets that list per month, the balances on all the Colony water utility account balances from Oct. 15, 2010 to Aug. 4, 2017.  These work papers are only drafts and have not been audited.

Sharon Johnson


Longboat Key


Subcommittee memos and Referendum 2007/8 on Colony property

To: Ken Schnier

Ken, I would like to provide additional information. Please let me know, thanks.

We wanted to redevelop the Colony property into a mixed-use (tourism and residential) back in 2008 ff and the town has blocked our related initial approach (requested by influential and important Colony owners) as it was/is not allowable, therefore, we followed the rules, convinced the owners about it and walked away from this mixed-use consideration.

I checked our files in regard to the subcommittee meetings in 2007/8 and attach two documents. Please see esp. “Policy Paper Notes” at the 5-16-2008 doc and “Groups of Eligibility” at the 11-4-2008 doc.

There is also a very important wording included, “Intent Language.”

Hope that the new Director et al have time to consider all these relevant issues, i.e. that a mixed-use proposal for the Colony-property can’t be allowed as it was not allowed in the past.

Manfred Welfonder

MW Group-USA

Lic. Real Estate Corp.


Colony redevelopment plan filed

To: Town Commission and Planning and Zoning Board An amended PUD/ODP application and site plan has been filed with the Town by Chuck Whittall/Unicorp for the property formerly known as the Colony.  The review process will be quasi-judicial.  Please refrain from substantive conversations outside the quasi-judicial hearings that will come before you.  If you have substantive conversations, please be prepared to disclose with whom the conversation occurred and the substance of that conversation.   The background of the application and the process going forward is as follows:

On July 24, 2017, an amended PUD/ODP application and site plan was submitted by Chuck Whittall/Unicorp (“Applicant”) to the Town for the redevelopment of the former Colony property located at 1620 Gulf of Mexico Drive. Since that time, the Town Staff has been reviewing and processing the Applicant’s submittal.  On October 3, 2017, a revised PUD/ODP application and site plan was submitted to the Town by the Applicant.  The revised application is currently under review by Town Staff.  Once the Town staff completes its review of the revised application and the application is deemed complete, the Applicant’s pending application will be scheduled for  quasi-judicial  hearings before both the Town’s Planning and Zoning Board (“PZB”) and then the Town Commission.    The PZB will conduct a full quasi-judicial hearing and make a recommendation on the Applicant’s submittal to the Town Commission.  The Town Commission will then conduct its own quasi-judicial hearing.  The public is afforded an opportunity to appear and participate in both publicly noticed, quasi-judicial hearings.

During quasi-judicial public hearings, local government boards are tasked with determining whether an applicant’s request demonstrates through competent substantial evidence presented at the hearing, compliance with the applicable local government’s regulations.    Consequently,  quasi-judicial decision making should be restricted to the record evidence presented at a publicly noticed hearing.  Any communications or evidence presented outside of the noticed quasi-judicial hearing is considered ex parte; and ex parte communications must be disclosed at the commencement of the proceeding.  Ex parte communication includes lobbying that may occur for or against the particular application.

As the Town Staff’s review of the Applicant’s submittal continues and to insure the Applicant is afforded due process when this PUD/ODP and site plan application comes before both the PZB and the Town Commission, I recommend that all members of the PZAB and Town Commission refrain from any substantive discussions outside of the quasi-judicial public hearing about the pending application.  This recommendation includes avoiding communications with individuals who may attempt to advocate for or against the application.  If you do engage in such substantive discussions outside of the quasi-judicial public hearing, you will be asked to disclose the communications you have had and you may be crossed examined on such communications before the public hearing.  For this reason, the best practice is to avoid such ex parte communications, thereby limiting the disclosure obligations.   

With the above recommendation in place, you still may receive unsolicited emails or letters regarding the Applicant’s PUD/ODP and site plan application.  If this occurs, please forward them to the Town Clerk (TClerk@longboatkey.org) so that they can be included in the record.  Should you wish to respond to those emails, I would suggest that you craft a standard responses along these lines:

“Thank you for your comments. They have been forwarded to the Town Clerk for inclusion in the record for the quasi-judicial hearing scheduled on [insert date], 2017. Please note that during the hearing the public will be provided with an opportunity to be heard.”

The above recommendations are being provided to you in an effort to address any questions you may have about the process before they become an issue.  Should any of you have any particular questions or concerns about the quasi-judicial process that you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to call me directly.

Maggie Mooney-Portale

Town Attorney

Longboat Key

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