Longboat Key Letters – Week ending November 17, 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.

So much for traffic planners!

To: Editor

In an effort to expedite traffic going North on Tamiami Trail and relieving the traffic tie up coming off the Ringling bridge their initial effort is going to make things worse. Keeping in mind that we are not even close to peak season I had to wait through two lights and almost witnessed a rear end collision that would have me sitting in my car for at least a half hour or more.

Apparently anticipating the time when they have a round about at Fruitville Road and the old entrance to the Quay they eliminated all left turns  on Tamiami Trail for traffic going North or South of the Fruitville stop light and the light that controls traffic coming off the bridge. I would imagine this will impact the Pizza Parlors business. Since my condo on Tamiami is  North of Fruitville, I have yet to figure out how to buy a Pizza at Joey D’s and get it home while it is still warm, I know they have lost my business.

However, the real problem is the traffic going North that want to go to Joey D’s, the Vue or the Ritz Carlton can’t get there with out making a U-turn at the Fruitville Light. We all know between the left turn signal at the Fruitville light and the hundreds of cars waiting to go South through that light even in the off season traffic is heavy

What is now happening that was just a little problem before is when the traffic in the left lane going North on Tamiami doesn’t move. In season this will clog up all the cars coming off the bridge making a left turn on Tamiami.

What I have now been witnessing is multiple cars not moving all waiting to make a U-turn to go South on Tamiami. This only worsens the problem as only one car can normally make a U-turn before the lights change. I seen several time are three or more cars waiting to make a left turn before the lights changed. The 3rd car misjudged the turn and had to stop blocking traffic in every direction.

Good planning guys.

P.S. The guy that almost rear ended me did no serious damage to my car. I was lucky.

A on left turn sign might help but that might upset the Vue, Joey D’s and the Ritz.

Don Hase



Unfair Underground Cost Allocation to Longboat Harbour

To: Town Commission

As a resident of the above address located within Longboat Harbour, it has been brought to my attention that there is an additional charge of $423.30 for the Neighborhood Underground Project. It is my understanding that similar properties already having underground utilities are not being charged this additional fee. Our president, Mr. Robert Winter, outlined the unfairness of the allocation in a letter that appeared in Longboat Key News November 3, 2017.  I can provide a copy of Mr. Winter’s letter in “Longboat Letters” if needed.

It would appear that we are being over assessed simply because our Association uses street names within the complex.

I request you revaluate Longboat Harbour to determine if we should be assessed as if we had a Gulf of Mexico Drive address and not be penalized due to the use of named streets within the Association property. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Bart M. Wassmansdorf & Jean M. Wassmansdorf

Longboat Key


St. Regis Hotel plans under review

To: Planning and Zoning Board, Town Commission

During your meeting this morning, the Planning & Zoning Board requested staff provide them with a copy of the submitted materials (received at 4:30 p.m. on 11-13-2017) for the St. Regis Hotel & Residences, 1620 Gulf of Mexico Drive.  As noted by our Town Attorney, please be advised these materials are currently under review by staff and are not deemed complete at this time.  These are only being provided to the board, at their request, for informational purposes.

Due to the size of the materials, and the inability for the email system to handle the transmittal of these documents, I have uploaded the documents to the same location you access for your agenda materials.  I have created a new folder titled, “St. Regis.”  Please follow the same directions you utilize to access your agenda folder to access this folder.  This upload has also been provided in the Commission iPad Agenda folder.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or difficulty navigating to the folder.

Donna Chipman

Office Manager Planning, Zoning & Building Department

Longboat Key


Bayfront Park festivities/pickleball

To: Town Commission

Thank you for including pickleball as an amenity in your Bayfront Park ribbon-cutting festivities and for asking me (and my colleagues) to put on a demonstration.

I’d like to pass along the following feedback.  Many people stopped by, many stayed to watch a complete game. The majority fell into two categories, those who were really interested and wanted to know where they could get lessons, and those who are already players.  Without exception, those people who already play wanted to know what I could do to help their playing situation on Longboat Key. Some inquired why pickleball lines were not painted on the tennis courts, and some were frustrated with the signup system.  Most people want to play in the morning and with only one court the waiting time could be more than three hours. You spoke of possibly trying some “open time” on certain days/times.  Perhaps this would alleviate some of the frustration and could be tried on a trial basis.

The bigger issue, however, is that pickleball is growing rapidly and the supply (courts) is not meeting the demand (players).  The courts in surrounding cities and towns are also crowded and most island residents or visitors don’t want to leave the island anyway because of the long lines of traffic trying to get back on.  The USA Pickleball Association has just revamped the Places 2 Play database on their website and many players are now choosing their vacation spots based on access to pickleball. The Sundial Beach Resort on Sanibel island has embraced pickleball and now has 12 brand new, state-of-the-art courts and is hosting tournaments, bringing people from all over who are spending money in restaurants and shopping.

As the game grows, perhaps the Longboat Key and Sarasota County planners will see the potential that its popularity brings and consider including additional courts in their future plans.

Toni Teasdale

USA Pickleball Ambassador/Bradenton and The Islands


To: Toni Teasdale

Thanks for your comments. Your points are well taken; I suggest that we should continue to include potential pickleball options in our recreational long-range plans.

Jack Daly


Longboat Key


To: Commissioner Jack Daly

Thank you!

Toni Teasdale

USA Pickleball Ambassador/Bradenton and The Islands

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