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Editorial Letters – Week ending February 7, 2020

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.

 

Adjust light timing at Golden Gate Point

To: Editor

Finally, tonight I was able to get off our beautiful islands and get into Sarasota for dinner.

While struggling with bumper-to-bumper traffic for several miles I tried to come up with a partial solution to this gridlock using some common sense. Suddenly it hit me like a red traffic light.

The traffic light at Golden Point and Sunrise was stopping traffic for no good reason.

No exiting cars or pedestrians crossing the highway. Southbound on US 41 now became a breeze.

Dear City of Sarasota/FDOT…if between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. you could

adjust the timing of lights, in season, of these two red lights to accommodate the outflowing traffic from the barrier islands, it would let people with dining reservations reach their destinations on time.

Paul B. Ahern

Longboat Key

 

Bayfront Park Pickleball

To: Editor
The two new pickleball courts at Bayfront Park are completed. It has been a long journey to finally have three designated pickleball courts and two shared courts with tennis. We wish to heartedly thank the Parks Department and most especially Issac Brownman and Mark Richardson for their continued support and for seeing the construction to completion. We also appreciate Tom Harmer and the town commissioners who listened to our persistent requests for more courts.
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the world, with over 4.5 million players and 78 courts being built every month somewhere in the United States. We are especially excited that Longboat Key has joined in the enthusiasm for this welcoming and friendly sport that appeals to all ages and all ability levels. We currently have over 190 players that are on our roster of dedicated players on Longboat Key. Every day visitors to Bayfront Park stop along the courts and inquire about the sport with the funny name and almost without exception ask how they join in the fun.
Pickleball was founded on the unique principals of “Open Play”, where everyone is invited onto the courts and where friendships grow. On Longboat Key we have 80+ year old players, players who are battling Parkinson’s, players with replaced hips and knees and a whole host of “newbies” that are just discovering the happy addiction this sport brings. And why? Pickleball is easy to learn, it builds friendships and connects people who might otherwise be alone.
I know that I should be thankful for the courts that Longboat Key has provided but I also know with absolute certainty that we will be adding more players every week and the need for more courts will be back on the agenda in no time. Pickle On Longboat Key!
Sara Cullen
USAPA Ambassador for Longboat Key

 

African American voters
To: Editor

African American voters in 2020 have been abandoned by the Democrat Party. As a black middle-aged woman, I will vote for Donald Trump. Democrats for 36 years have claimed to be our friends in realty they have miserably failed policies. Sarasota Democrats, Florida and Federal, pay blacks lip service providing free program handouts that perpetuate economic and political dependence instead of economic independence that sustains genuine racial equality.

This black woman gets Trumps’ agenda: school choice, sentencing reform, opportunity zone tax incentives, and unprecedented economic growth that lowers poverty benefiting all Americans particularly blacks, increasing household net worth, higher wages coupled with an unimaginable, historically low, jobless rate.

In 21st century America, skin color does not limit citizens rights and opportunities but education and economic status will; determining where you live, play and quality of life. African Americans can continue to vote Democrat, the dismal status quo, or embrace Trumps’ reforms and genuine economic advancements. As the great disruptor states, “What do you have to lose?” Take a chance on an effective new approach. After three years, facts prove Trump has a solid record of success for all Americans of color.

Nancy Willis

Sarasota

 

Political Amnesia
To: Editor

It appears to me that the Democrats have “political amnesia.” They perpetuated an electoral disaster on themselves in 2016 by running Hillary Clinton , a candidate whose political biography looked like a rap sheet and who was so arrogant that she ignored the advice of her husband, one of the smartest political operators in history.

Then came the Kavanaugh confirmation when the Democrats implemented one of the dirtiest tricks in history by attempting to destroy the character of the nominee with the flawed testimony of a loony woman while casting aside the presumption of innocence and due process.

Next, they licked their chops in anticipation that the two-year, $30 million Mueller Report would supply them with impeachment goodies but it did not even come close.

Then comes the Impeachment sham.

In 2019 Nancy Pelosi was interviewed by the Washington Post and made the following comments on the impeachment issue:

“Unless there is something so compelling, overwhelming and bi-partisan impeachment would only serve to further divide an already politically fractured nation. I am not for impeachment.”

She then completely violates every aspect of her statement by launching an impeachment process which is based on an event which indicated poor judgment by the President but comes nowhere near the standard that she herself set in the interview.

Interestingly, the person who comes out of this looking the worst is not Donald Trump but Joe Biden along with his wayward son Hunter. The fact is that the arrangement of Hunter Biden with Burisma Holdings stunk to high heaven and had no conceivable explanation beyond Burisma wanting a connection to a powerful voice in Washington.

The President had every right to want an investigation but should have had it done by the Justice department rather than involving his nitwit lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

In closing I will say that there have been lots of people and organizations accused of intruding into our elections but none have come close to the efforts made by the Democrats to influence the November 2020 election and I believe that they are once again engaging in self-destruction.

William B. Allen

Longboat Key

 

Weather front may be severe

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

A weather front will be moving through our area tonight and into tomorrow morning. Our area is expected to see a slight risk of severe weather. See Weather Service Overview below and the attached statement. Our Public Works and a Public Safety Staff will monitor conditions and respond as appropriate.
‘A cold front will approach the region today before passing through west-central and southwest Florida tonight/early Friday morning. Gusty southerly winds will precede the front producing several hazards for the area. A line of thunderstorms is expected ahead of the front and our region is in a “Slight Risk” for severe weather, meaning a few storms are expected to contain damaging winds and/or isolated tornadoes.’
Tom Harmer
Town Manager
Longboat Key

 

Pickleball at Bayfront Park

To: Commissioner Jack Daly
Well our two new pickleball courts at Bayfront Park are due to be completed this week. We are very excited to have three designated courts. It will help tremendously with the exceptional turnout we are experiencing at Open Play. We now have over 180 players who join us on the courts throughout the year, we have people playing under the lights, families playing in the afternoon and long lines of patient players waiting for a court during organized play. The numbers just keep growing and pickleball has proven to be the fastest growing sport not just in the world but most especially on Longboat Key.
Our players have generously contributed funds towards new rolling nets, repairing of our old nets, and donating balls for Open Play. We have hosted tournament round robins, provided new paddle holders and will happily contribute towards new park benches should they be needed. We sincerely wish to thank the town commissioners for their support in listening to our requests for more courts. But don’t for a minute think you have heard the last from me, I know I will be back before you in no time asking for more courts as this wonderful sport continues to grow! Pickleball builds friendships.
Sara Cullen
USAPA Pickleball Ambassador Longboat Key

 

Pickleball at Bayfront Park

To: Sara Cullen

Good to hear from you and am really looking forward to the opening of the two additional dedicated Pickleball courts. I am delighted with our staff’s timely response to construct the new courts, and I especially want to recognize the input to the Commission and support from Fanny Younger on behalf of many residents leading to the Bayfront location.–Let the games begin!

Jack Daly

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Traffic in Sarasota

To: Sarasota Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

My name is Jill Booth and my husband and I are year-round residents of St Armands.  I’m guessing you aren’t the one that I should direct this email to but perhaps you can lead me in the right direction.

We have lived here for 7 years and we have never experienced the horrible traffic like we have the last 3 months and it’s only getting worse.  I feel like a prisoner in my own home not wanting to leave the island after 3 p.m. I’m sick and tired of all the road construction and lane closures. It’s making life on the island undesirable. I moved from Chicago for a simpler way of life and now I’m questioning that decision. Other than the weather it’s no different than living in Chicago. Why do they have to do so much road construction/lane closures smack dab in the middle of season?  All these roundabouts, one after the other means road construction for 3 years! I’m sick of it and quite frankly don’t even enjoy living here anymore but probably can’t sell my house because who the hell would want to live here and deal with this for 3 more years?

I know what I have to say isn’t going to make a bit of difference but I’d really like to know who I can talk to so I can voice my concerns. And believe me, I am not the only one feeling this way.  Our sleepy awesome town has turned into a rat race full of traffic, lane closures, construction and so forth…

Jill Booth

Sarasota

 

Traffic in Sarasota

To: Sarasota Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

Why don’t you people do all this work in the summer when most of the tourist are not here! You people are not using any brains!

Cheryl Fraser

Sarasota

 

Traffic in Sarasota

To: Sarasota Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

I am a resident of Longboat Key and I am very dissatisfied with our traffic situation.

I have been late for too, too many appointments in Sarasota.

Please hire people to control the traffic and stop adding more condominiums and housing to our beautiful area. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Susan Q. Wertman

Longboat Key

 

Traffic in Sarasota

To: Sarasota City Commission

The backup of traffic trying to leave Longboat Key to drive to Sarasota has become extremely serious. Most of our residents and visitors are senior citizens and we are unable to keep doctor and dentist appointments because of the traffic, and citizens are giving up their tickets to theater, Van Wezel programs, and opera because it is impossible to know when to leave two hours early in order to make curtain time.

I suspect tax dollars are being used by the Sarasota TDC to lure people here for our fine weather and many cultural activities. When people realize that decisions were made by Sarasota and FDOT to undertake major road construction during peak season, they will not come here. This impacts our cultural institutions, our businesses, and our real estate — to say nothing for the quality of life for those of us already stuck here.

You have choices and you must make them. Reschedule all road work for the off season, or do all roadwork at night, and consult with your neighbors — Longboat Key, Lido Key, Bird Key, and St. Armand’s Circle before scheduling road work that could impact these neighbors.

Patricia L. Zunz

Longboat Key

 

Sarasota traffic

To: Sarasota City Commission

I am a 10-year taxpayer and resident of Longboat Key. I have never contacted anyone about a quality of life issue, but I am now.

My request is for your urgent involvement in solving the unlivable and dangerous traffic problems between Longboat Key and US41 in Sarasota.

There will always be increased cars and people during “season”, however the poor choices of projects and timing made by Sarasota government in tandem with the Department of Transportation are now jeopardizing our safety and quality of life!

I encourage you to try and make your way on and off the Key during various times of day. You will be astonished at the unlivable traffic caused by your poor decisions. You seem to favor everyone but the tax paying residents who help pay for your misdirected projects!

There is no need for yet another “study” of the situation. Get out of Sarasota and spend some time where I live and try to have a normal life. I am now considering selling my home and moving out of the area due to the constant disregard of my needs as a tax paying homeowner. Believe me, I’m not alone…action to remediate this dire situation is needed now! Thank you for your serious consideration. The time to act was yesterday.

Melanie DeCarlo

Longboat Key

 

Sarasota traffic

To: Sarasota City Commission

As a frequent traveler from St Armand’s Circle into the city, I was wondering what our city is doing to alleviate the congestion. We need to add a half hour to any trip we take “just in case” there is traffic- and there often is way too much traffic. I know the city has rightfully gone out of its way for pedestrians, but it would be helpful if the city also shows concern for those people who aren’t able to walk or bike to their destination.

Diane Goldberg

Sarasota

 

Sarasota traffic

To: Sarasota City Commission

I’m writing about the traffic mess Sunday morning going from St. Armands to Sarasota as a result of the “run”. I’ve been going into church on Sunday mornings of other runs in past years at 10 a.m. with no problem. After 50 minutes of barely moving I turned around. What changed from previous years? Sarasota should be embarrassed by their traffic control. These fun runs should have minimal affect on traffic flow.

Don Atkinson

Longboat Key

 

Sarasota traffic

To: Sarasota City Commission

Further to your spot on Editorial regarding “Fix 41-Bridge Back Ups Now”:

This morning, Sunday, we tried to get to a 9 a.m. church service downtown Sarasota. At 8:40, opposite the Sarasota Yacht Club we hit a bumper-to-bumper, one lane, stop and crawl traffic jam all the way over the bridge to downtown Sarasota. The four lanes had been reduced to two lanes, one each way, for an athletic event with no activity in the two open lanes across the barrier. The event was over!

Traffic flowed well on the lane toward St. Armand’s from downtown but was virtually stopped on the bridge one lane toward downtown.

Keep in mind, no activity on the two open lanes on the North side of the bridge barrier. At 9:20 a.m., still on the bridge, seeing traffic was still stopped all the way to 41 we gave up in exasperation and turned around.

The obvious problem was not the event, it was that traffic was terribly mismanaged downtown in relation to the event and in peak season, why?

It is because traffic overall in peak season has been poorly planned and is mismanaged for years. This not to mention the high density condo buildings being built downtown and tall buildings being literally slapped up against roads and sidewalks with NO green landscape buffers. Sarasota is becoming Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and fast, mismanaged and out of control!

In addition, there is clear evidence of a total disregard for access to and from Sarasota barrier islands which is and will further destroy property values.

The only Sarasota and FDOT response to Downtown Sarasota growth impact and barrier island access seems to be the magic solution of roundabouts and to encourage people the use bikes and to walk, Really?

How about thoughtful resident and tourist customer satisfaction planning and management, for the sake of our property values, economy and quality of life.

Bob & Shannon Gault

Longboat Key

 

Sarasota traffic

To: Sarasota City Commission

I have just returned to my home on Longboat Key. I live approximately one mile north of the Publix Shopping Center, which is 5.1 miles from the City of Sarasota line at the south bridge. The traffic at 3:30 p.m. is backed up beyond Publix. This is not unusual. Since the City has terminated the third left turn lane from Ringling to northbound Tamiam​i Trail we routinely deal with this type of backup. Mr. Barwin’s statement of practicing yoga while sitting on the bridge in Monday’s Herald Tribune was not particularly humorous or helpful. The residents of Longboat Key, Lido Key, Bird Key and St. Armands are facing serious safety issues. Emergency equipment caught in this backlog are seriously hampered. Residents attempting to get to medical appointments while sitting in this traffic are stressed and for the older population (yes, we have an older population) that is not good for them physically or emotionally.

Following Matt Walsh’s excellent suggestion in today’s Observer I called the City Manager’s office in Sarasota. I spoke with a lovely woman who said she would share my phone number with the City Engineer who would provide a timeline. I do not need a timeline. We have seen it and it is unacceptable. It has made our community less safe and those who are causing it (The City of Sarasota with the help of FDOT) are doing nothing to improve the situation.

My suggestion: Reopen the lanes. Make those doing the work do so overnight and have the lanes open when traffic volume is high. Yes, it may cost more, but what is the cost to thousands of individuals trying to get to work, to other appointments and to these communities who will surely see a drop in real estate values due to the traffic backlogs? Ask the merchants of St. Armand’s what impact the traffic backlog is having on their businesses. Telling snowbirds things will improve in March is unacceptable. Do something now. I will be sharing the editorial in the Observer on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

BJ Webb Bishop

Chair

Longboat Key Planning & Zoning Board

 

Sarasota traffic

To: Sarasota Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

It was good seeing you at the Sarasota Bay Estuary Policy Board meeting and catching up. I look forward to working with you in your new role as Mayor this year. As you have read in a recent letter by BJ Bishop the frustration of Longboat Key residents and Barrier Island residents and Business leaders is at an all-time high. I would like your help in addressing the current problem.

As a long time resident of Longboat Key and current Commissioner, I appreciate the wonderful beaches, parks, sensible zoning laws and amenities we have on our Island. One of the key quality of life items we enjoy is our proximity to the vibrant city of Sarasota. While still living on an Island we are just across the bridge from our Doctors, shopping, great restaurants and the Arts and Entertainment that we enjoy and support.

That quality of life gets greatly diminished when it takes us over an hour to get the 7 miles to the amenities we need and enjoy. Lately from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. traffic going into Sarasota is so bad most of us don’t attempt to go to Sarasota. That hurts your businesses and our ability to enjoy all that Sarasota offers.

We must find a way to improve the current situation. I know both the City and the Town participated in the Florida Department of Transportation Barrier Island Traffic Study (BITS) that looked for solutions. I understand that the City is planning on using Pedestrian monitors in St. Armand’s during a portion of this season and we are very supportive of that. There are other longer-term solutions that will need to be explored as well and we look forward working with the City to support those through the MPO process and other mechanisms.

Our most recent issues have been caused by construction on the major streets off the island. We learned in the newspaper about the tree removal and speed bumps on St Armands. The timing and need to shutdown the third turn lane at Gulfstream and US41 seemed to not be planned well. We must have better communication to the Barrier Island residents and businesses when our roads leaving the Island are restricted. Also, we need your staff to view us as a key customer when planning projects that will so drastically affect our quality of life.

My ask is that your staff review in detail the upcoming construction projects at Fruitville/US41 and Gulfstream/US41 with our staff and consider every option to make sure those projects do not impact our ability to enjoy the amenities Sarasota offers. Options like nighttime construction, off peak construction, robust detours, police traffic control when needed, etc. need to be evaluated. I look forward to working with you to improve the coordination and planning of transportation projects that impact the barrier islands.

Mike Haycock

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Sarasota traffic

To: Sarasota City Commission

We are all tax payers out here on Longboat Key…we need help, relief, whatever you want to call it…from the horrendous traffic problems…please do something. Common sense to prevail please…you all know the solutions to alleviate some of the problem…please act on them. Thank you.

Jean Gramaglia

Longboat Key

 

Sarasota traffic

To: Sarasota City Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

It was good to see you briefly today at the National Beach Conference and I enjoyed your welcoming remarks. I really appreciate your thoughtful and timely email sent last night in response  to emails from residents expressing traffic concerns; especially your expressed willingness to collaborate with FDOT,  City Staff and Island representatives to re-think the Gulfsteam Roundabout and to again evaluate traffic flow after reopening the 3rd left turn lane coming off the bridge going north on US41. We all have seen many comments that confirm that the 3rd lane has been a major improvement, and obviously it’s temporary removal because of  the ongoing construction has greatly contributed to the extensive current traffic concerns conveyed to you and myself and others. Recall that we were one of the many you referenced that questioned ( and still question) , whether the perceived traffic flow  benefits support the significant roundabout costs at the Gulfstream intersection,  versus the revised configuration soon to be reinstated, which we discussed at our  Sarasota / Longboat joint Commission meeting last June.  On that issue, please also  recall that the traffic expert employed by Longboat Key to provide a peer review of FDOT’s traffic expert’s analysis for the roundabout,  did NOT  agree that traffic flow through the proposed roundabout would be superior to a no build alternative; indeed, I suggest  it continues to be a very close call. Turning to the current traffic congestion being experienced, it’s clear that last year’s peak season  traffic flow off the islands to Sarasota was much less congested than historically experienced, in contrast to current conditions, which have obviously  been compounded by the construction activity you mentioned. Accordingly, in order to conduct a continued  traffic flow evaluation for the current configuration ,  and your proposed reconsideration of the roundabout,  it follows that we should be absolutely certain that  all ongoing construction on the US41 corridor be completed this summer, while also postponing the commencement of any construction at Gulfstream planned to begin  in October, at least until the issues are reconsidered as you recommend. Jen, please be assured that Longboat Key is fully supportive of, and will join in your efforts to collaborate with FDOT to achieve the best traffic solutions at this most critical intersection for our citizens.

Jack Daly

Commissioner

Longboat Key
Sarasota traffic
To: All

Thanks so much for reaching out to me to voice your concerns about traffic.

I am the right person to have emailed, but there are many others who should be a part of this bigger conversation and I have copied the City Manager, Deputy City Manager, City staff, and FDOT staff as well (Note to staff: I’ll do my best to be accurate, but if I am not correct in any of the information below, please feel free to correct me).

Trust me, this is not the first email we have received in the last two weeks from residents expressing their frustration with the traffic. I have copied a number of others on this email as well (and their emails are pasted in below) so they may be included in my response and the staff’s responses and updates going forward.

The good news is that I spoke with the City’s engineer this afternoon and she let me know that the “third express lane” coming off the bridge and going north to Tamiami Trail and then to Fruitville Road, that has been blocked off by Quay construction, should be open earlier than expected – around the 15th of February.

This is really good news because the previous date was end of February/ beginning of March.

The feedback we have had up to this point, is this one addition (not expansion) made a major improvement to the Gulfstream and 41 intersection. In fact, when that lane was created, many people commented about what a good solution that was to that intersection and questioned the need to spend $20 million on a roundabout at Gulfstream when there might be an easier and more effective solution. I would appreciate having that conversation with FDOT and revisiting the idea of the proposed roundabout at that key intersection.

While this is a key part of the traffic puzzle, it certainly is not the only one. There is still the rest of the construction of the roundabout at Fruitville Road, which will soon shut down the west bound lane of Fruitville Road for a period of time which will exacerbate the congestion elsewhere. Our professional City staff are preparing for this (increased traffic and speeding on neighborhood and side streets) and any outreach to the community would be appreciated.

The roundabouts on North Tamiami Trail at 10th and 14th streets should be open in mid May 2020, and while that is not a point of major congestion impacting the Gulfstream intersection, it must play a role and when the construction is complete, it is essential to note that traffic flow will be vastly improved along the North Trail and add easier East flow, along with bike lanes and an incredible 10-12 foot sidewalks that are a pleasure to walk even today. Even though it may be minimal for the moment, any car traffic which can be converted to pedestrian/bike/multi-modal/micro-modal will only help.

I have copied FDOT on this email as the US41 Roundabouts are, for the most part, under their purview (current 10th, 14th) and the future Roundabout at Gulfstream is as well, which, I think, is currently being designed. The Fruitville Roundabout is under the purview of the Quay and FDOT. It is my understanding that the timing of these projects has more to do with when funding for the projects becomes available and the requirements to start and finish projects in a specific timeframe. Unfortunately, our Season is not a part of their criteria.

This is actually way more complicated than I have been able to explain, but I did want to respond even if it was just to say “I hear you, I completely understand your frustration, and I, and the City, are trying to do everything we can to work with the myriad of organizations to improve the situation.”

The bigger issue, down the immediate road, is to re-examine the proposal at Gulfstream. Once the third express lane is open again, we can measure the improvements and perhaps re-think the project there. This is not a new suggestion from my end, and  I would be more than happy to have a productive conversation with the FDOT team, City staff, City Residents, and Island Residents to really explore the possibilities and ideas of a solution that relieves the congestion – on a long term basis – at this critical intersection of our City.  I hope I have helped to answer some of your questions.

Communications facilitated an interview with the City Engineer. The 10th and 14th street roundabouts are Florida Department of Transportation projects, and the Fruitville Road-U.S. 41 roundabout is being constructed privately by the Quay. The City is working in coordination with these entities to limit the public impacts, and we always work toward efficiently condensing our project schedules. However, the timelines for these roundabouts are more than one year long, and there is no way to avoid work during the season. Also, projects and their timing are greatly dependent on the availability of funding, including state grant money that must be spent within a certain amount of time. The goal of the projects, as well as the future Gulfstream Avenue/U.S. 41 roundabout, are to improve mobility, connectivity and safety.

Traffic congestion is a reality of life in such a desirable community even without construction. If a small portion of motorists considered alternative transportation options including walking, biking, mass transit and water taxi and adjusted their travel habits to avoid heavy traffic times, noticeable differences could be achieved. Citywide efforts such as the Sarasota in Motion transportation master plan and upcoming public workshops are aimed at improving mobility for everyone.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Elevated pedestrian walkways over US 41
To: Longboat Key Commissioner Jack Daly

We’ve been incredibly busy as of late and apologize for the time taken to get back to you. Here’s what you asked us:

Does Phase 1 include an elevated pedestrian walkway over US 41?
Bill Waddell

Director

The Bay Sarasota

 

Elevated pedestrian walkways over US 41

To: Bayfront Planning Director Bill Waddell

Thank you for responding, which I had since confirmed, that the filed site plan for Phase 1 of the Bay does not include an elevated pedestrian  walkway over US 41, and, importantly that the Bay’s Master Plan includes up to 3 such walkways. However, I am very concerned with your statement that the Bay has agreed with the City of Sarasota to only consider such walkways after a year’s experience upon the completion of the roundabouts now being constructed at 10th and 14th streets and Fruitville. I respectfully request that you reconsider this with the City and that Phase 1 include an elevated walkway in order  to achieve the necessary  balance between automobile traffic mitigation (a significant  priority for Longboat Key) and enhanced pedestrian mobility and safety (a significant priority for Sarasota). I suggest that elevated pedestrian walkways over US 41 will best achieve both priorities, which has been confirmed by their inclusion in the recommendations of the FDOT Barrier Islands Traffic Study recently approved by the Sarasota-Manatee MPO. I look forward to your reconsideration, and be assured that I will continue to support the activities of the Bay.

Jack Daly

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

New development project on north side of Broadway

To: Longboat Key Commission

See below preliminary discussions with a local developer for the redevelopment of the 6 unit multifamily structure on the north side of Broadway as you enter the Village.  They have not yet submitted a formal application, but since this may the first project to make use of the new provisions for nonconforming properties approved by Commission last year I wanted to pass along.  They are considering Option 2 in the Code.  I also made a broad reference to this project in the monthly brief that was sent out earlier today.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

New development project on north side of Broadway

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Tom-FYI- Staff has had a number of preliminary discussions with the local developer of a new redevelopment project that will likely be the first to make use of the Commission’s new provisions for nonconforming density redevelopment. The proposed project, located at the northwest corner of Broadway St & Longboat Dr. N., would take an existing 6-unit multi-family structure and replace it with 3 single-family homes (the existing lot area would allow for 2 single-family homes).

The Commission approved 3 nonconforming density redevelopment options:

  1. Rebuild back essentially exactly the same property-specific conditions (with the exception of FEMA flood related requirements);
  2. Redevelop a site’s nonconforming density, but meet all applicable Zoning Code reqs.; or
  3. Redevelop a site’s nonconforming density & seek approval of adjustments to Zoning Code standard(s) that would represent improvements toward meeting Zoning Code standards, compared to existing conditions.

The developer‘s plans would seek to make use of the second option, which would entail meeting all of the applicable Zoning Code requirements, except for density.  This Option #2 path would involve Site Development Plan approval, with consideration and decision-making authority by the P&Z Board.  Our recent discussions indicate that plans could be submitted in the near future.  A preliminary rendering (viewed from the perspective of Longboat Dr. N) is provided below.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning, Zoning & Building Department

Town of Longboat Key

 

US 41-Fruitville Road roundabout
To: Lou and Sue

The second phase of construction for the US 41-Fruitville Road Roundabout Construction Project will be starting soon, and will include the closure of westbound Fruitville Road from Cocoanut Avenue to US 41.

Expect this closure and other traffic pattern changes to go in effect in late February/early March. Please see the full list of traffic pattern changes below:

Closure of westbound Fruitville Road from Cocoanut Avenue to US 41

The left turn movement from northbound US 41 to westbound Boulevard of the Arts will be restored

The traffic signal at the US 41-Fruitville Road intersection will be removed allowing traffic to flow freely

Eastbound traffic on Fruitville Road from US 41 to Cocoanut Avenue will remain open

The third left-turn lane at Gulfstream Avenue to travel northbound on US 41 will be restored.

“Do Not Block Driveway” signage will be placed for southbound traffic on Cocoanut Avenue approaching Fruitville Road. (This signage will help address concerns from residents of The Encore condominiums in accessing their properties).

Over the next few weeks you’ll have an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the best detour routes to help you navigate around construction to your destination.

See our current detour routes in effect here.

To access businesses near our project limits, see our local business access map here.

The project team will send out another notification two weeks in advance of the closure of westbound Fruitville Road with an updated timeline. This closure will be in effect through Phase 2 and Phase 3 of construction.

Yvonne McClellan

Community Outreach Specialist

US 41-Fruitville Road Roundabout Project

 

 

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