Longboat Key Letters – Week ending November 10, 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.

Neighborhood Utilities Under Grounding Project – Hideaway Bay

To: Town Manager Dave Bullock

I request a meeting with the appropriate LBK Town staff to discuss the unique situation of Hideaway Bay and Mangrove Bay sub-divisions in regards to the Neighborhood Utilities Under Grounding Project.  I would like to discuss the assessment and the project plan.

Our neighborhood resides on an island connected to LBK via a causeway.  This development was designed and built with all utilities underground, however the power is apparently not looped.

I have reviewed our neighborhood’s assessments and understand the charges for the GOM poles and the looping, however I do not understand why we are being assessed such a high General Benefits figure when we are already completely underground.  I have attached a Powerpoint file comparing our neighborhood assessment to my old neighborhood, Corey’s Landing.  Please note that Corey’s Landing (which only differs in that it is already looped) is being assessed a fraction of our cost.   

I believe that an assessment consistent with other under grounded neighborhoods would be:

• GOM Poles          $519.20

• Fiber                    $423.30

• Looping              $1817.94

This would result in a total assessment of $2,760.44 per property vs. the current $4,379.17.

Secondly, I would like to discuss project timing and the technical implications on our existing underground infrastructure.

Please let me know who we can meet with and when, to discuss the above.

Robert Hanna

President Hideaway Bay Association

Longboat Key


Invitation to Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Food Drive

Greetings from the Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program:

I would like to invite you join us at our Thanksgiving Food Drive on Friday Nov. 17th, at Ed Smith Stadium.

This year we have 400 locations collecting food for us.  We expect to have 50 tons of non-perishable food items that will be sorted and given out to local food pantries throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

You are welcome to join us anytime from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  Sonny’s Bar-B-Que is providing a complimentary lunch for the 150 volunteers who will be there. The media will be there to cover the event.  I hope you will join us at this annual event!

Scott Biehler, Executive Director

Mayors Feed the Hungry

Website: www.mayorsfeedthehungry.org


Colony moving forward…

To: Town Commission

As you are aware, I have been involved with The Colony for a little more than five years now and have acquired a residence in Longboat Key where I spend quite a lot of time. This has afforded me with many opportunities to enjoy the wonderful culture of the area and the introduction to so many fabulous people. We love Longboat Key!

Throughout this time, I have heard the voices of the community and their visions regarding the redevelopment of The Colony property. Over the last several months, we have expended a significant amount of time, effort and money to refine the development plan accordingly.  We have maintained all the great features and amenities, as originally proposed, while significantly decreasing the scale of the project to ensure that the integrity of Longboat Key is preserved. We have, also, worked closely with the current unit owners of The Colony to support their ideas and price expectations.

This has all been an extremely arduous puzzle to piece together, but we have been successful to date. We have also secured a world-class five-star hotel to anchor this fine property and are so very excited about the future. Soon we will bring this plan in front of your Commission for approval and we sincerely pray that you support this development and find it as special as we do.

Attached please find a signed authorization from the Association, which provides us with the authority to represent their interests for the future redevelopment of The Colony. The Board and collective unit owners had a meeting this week and voted 8 to1 in favor of Unicorp as their developer. You will also find a resolution, which outlines our journey to get to this application.

Upon review of this information, we are hopeful that our plan will garner your support for this new development and help us usher in a whole new breath of life for the revitalization of The Colony. Lastly, please find attached a rendering of our new plan. I truly hope you like it!

Chuck Whittall

Unicorp Companies


So many thanks!

To: Fire Chief Paul Dezzi, Police Chief Pete Cumming, Town Manager Dave Bullock

Bernie, Brad and I are very thankful to live in a town where we can have a meeting with the town management about our concerns for our homes and our town.  Thanks for welcoming us and talking with us about our mutual concerns and opportunities.  We know Longboat Key is a special place and part of the “Special” is all of you!  Thanks very much and we hope to work together to solve some thorny issues we have and also to help Longboat Key thrive in the years ahead!

Bob Bunting

Longboat Key


To: Bob Bunting

Thank you for your kind words.  Looking forward in meeting with you next week to discuss your entrance gate.

Paul Dezzi

Fire Chief

Longboat Key


To: Bob Bunting

Working together has built strong relationships. We hope that this year will be better than last and that together we can reach our goals. I have no doubt solve our problems by working together. Thanks for reaching out.

Pete Cumming

Police Chief

Longboat Key


City attempts to slow traffic  on Fruitville Road

To: Town Commission

Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates made a big effort earlier this year to stop the Fruitville Road Streetscape Enhancement project, which would spend $10.2 million to slow down through traffic on Fruitville Road.  The plan called for narrowing Fruitville Road all the way from US 41 to US 301. And, the staff’s preferred option of the plan called for converting Fruitville Road into two lanes, from Cocoanut Avenue to Lemon Avenue, with 3 single lane roundabouts. In our effort, we got the support of the Lido Key Residents Association, the Bird Key Homeowners Association, The Town of Longboat Key, the Longboat Key Revitalization Task Force, the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club, the Sarasota Herald Tribune, and the Sarasota Observer. And, we succeeded in preventing it from being presented in March, as per its announced schedule.

But, it looks like City staff are trying to revive the plan.  They are now proposing a meeting to discuss relegating cyclists to side roads as part of eliminating the bike lanes on Fruitville Road, as part of their revival of the Fruitville Streetscape plan. See the notice posted below.

First, I wanted to let you know that City of Sarasota staff are trying to revive the Fruitville Road plan.   And, obviously, we hope that you will take steps to stop it over the coming months.   Through the grapevine, we hear that they want to bring this to the City Commission late this year.

Second, I would like to ask that you send representatives to this meeting and speak out against the City’s plan. If you can send representative, please let me know.

Mike Lasche

Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates

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