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Editorial Letters – Week ending June 5, 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 Longboat Key Town Hall that address Longboat Key issues as well as Sarasota City Hall that address Sarasota issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Village Parking committee   

To: Longboat Key Commission

Over the past year and a half the Town of LBK has been instrumental in taking steps to protect the Village neighborhood and the residents who live there.  The town took the initiative to remove parking on various streets within the village and restrict some roads to parking on only one side of the street.  This action was taken as a safety issue to assure that rescue vehicles would not be impeded by parked cars on the street.    

The Town has provided speed signs, speed paddles and speed buoys on Broadway to mitigate the speeders and reduced the overall speed on Broadway to protect bicyclist, pedestrians, car traffic and overall safety.    In addition, the town has enacted no overnight parking throughout the Village streets and has changed setbacks to improve traffic visibility.

As all of these changes have been a step in the right direction, we know that it is not enough to protect the Village from commercial entities that lie within a single family residential community.  We are past the tipping point and action must be taken today to protect and preserve what we can of this historic neighborhood with a Residential Permit Parking program.

Residential Permit Parking is a practice that has been used in cities across the country to establish parking space exclusively for the neighborhood residents.  Residential zone parking was challenged in 1977 as violating the constitutional right of equal protection.  However, the Supreme Court ruled that it does not violate equal protection and has been used in areas like our own neighborhood. It is a tool that many municipalities use to address over spill parking from commercial entities.  Based on the authority of the US Supreme Court’s decision alone, a municipal ordinance properly adopted that establishes an Residential Permit parking program where on-street parking spaces are restricted to residents is a proper exercise of municipal power.

It is the right solution for our neighborhood.   Residential Permit parking has been used across Fl to reduce environmental pollution and hazardous traffic conditions which is also found in our neighborhood.  Given the US Supreme Court ruling, it is clear that the Town of LBK has the authority to enact a Residential Permit parking program in the Village neighborhood.  The Town’s own attorney has also reviewed Residential permit parking and concurs  the legality of our local government establishing Residential Permit parking in neighborhoods like our own that are suffering.  We are asking that you protect our way of life before it gets worse.  Today I am asking the commissioners to issue a directive to write up a Residential permit parking draft that could be implemented in this historic Village neighborhood that I have cherished for the last 36 years.

Becky Parrish

Longboat Key

 

Tennis Center doubles

To: Longboat Key Commission

As part of our effort to carefully restore services at the Town’s Tennis Center, doubles play will be permitted on designated courts as of June 8th.  The Tennis Center will send out the updated information to the members tomorrow.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Phase 2 Executive Order

To: Longboat Key Commission

A follow-up to the Governor’s Executive Order yesterday regarding Phase 2 of the State’s Recovery Plan (EO-139). The provisions of the Order go into effect tomorrow (Friday, June 5th). Phase 2 applies to all counties in Florida except Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Those counties may seek approval to enter Phase 2 with a written request.

The Order’s highlights are below:

Individuals over 65 or with underlying medical conditions are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and take measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

All individuals that work in long-term care facilities should be tested for COVID-19 on a routine basis.

All persons in Florida are encouraged to avoid congregating in groups larger than 50.

Restaurants may allow bar-top seating with appropriate social distancing.

Bars and Pubs may operate at 50% capacity inside and full capacity outside with appropriate social distancing. Patrons may only receive service if seated.

Retail establishments may operate at full capacity with responsible social distancing and sanitization protocols.

Gyms may operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitization.

Entertainment businesses, including but not limited to movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades, may operate at 50% capacity with appropriate social distancing and sanitization protocols.

Pari-Mutuel facilities may submit a request to open to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The request must include an endorsement from their county mayor or county administrator if there is no mayor.

Personal services businesses, including but not limited to tattoo parlors, acupuncture establishments, tanning salons and massage establishments may operate while adhering to guidance from the Florida Department of Health.

Florida’s state universities developed a task force to create a framework to re-open Florida’s campuses in the fall and universities will present their plans on June 23, 2020.

The Executive Orders regarding certain individuals traveling to Florida are extended with exceptions for persons involved in commercial activity, students traveling for the purpose of academic work, internships, sports training, and any other activity or program approved by the educational institution.

The Phase 2 recovery is based on guidelines from the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which include  following appropriate social distancing and safety protocols

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Phase 2 Executive Order

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Mayor, thanks for copying me. You are correct. In the last few minutes we just received the latest Governor’s Order transitioning to a Phase 2 of the State Recovery. We are currently reviewing that Order.

Based my quick read of the new Order the self-quarantine requirement still exists for the first 14 days in the State for visitors from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.  County Emergency Management and Public Health Officer has defined self quarantining as allowing essential services and activities.

As you stated, the Vacation Rentals is a separate issue- and is based on approved plans between Counties and the State.  The current Sarasota County Vacation Rental Plan does restrict new reservations from international travelers, the 11 states that have an infection rate higher than 700/100,000 population (which includes the 4 States you mention).

It can be confusing – I hope this helps. Tony- be happy to discuss any follow-up questions.  You can reach me at 316-1999.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

Visitors

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Hi Ken. Question for you. Does LBK, the State or County have COVID requirements related to having visitors from certain states needing to quarantine for a certain number days?

Tony Crincoli

Longboat Key

 

Visitors

To: Tony Crincoli

The State imposed a 14 day self-quarantine on people arriving from NY, NJ, CT and LA under Executive Order 20-86, which I believe is still in effect. More recently, vacation rental restrictions were lifted, but rentals were still prohibited to people arriving from those 4 states and 4 others with high infection rates.  By copy of this, I’m asking Tom Harmer to confirm these restrictions are still in place.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Traffic interruptions

To: Longboat Key Commission

Yesterday afternoon/evening in the area of the intersection of US41 and Gulfstream there were some traffic interruptions and delays associated with the demonstrations occurring in downtown Sarasota. We have been advised that later this afternoon/early afternoon there may be further demonstrations in the area.

Tom Harmer

Town Manager

Longboat Key, Florida

 

Parking permits in the Village

To: Longboat Key Commission

I’ve been a full-time resident of The Village since 1987. When I moved to The Village there were two restaurants, both located at the far end of Broadway.

Our historic Village is zoned single-family residential, except for the two restaurants, which are zoned Limited Commercial.

In 1987, the two restaurants had a total of 202 Town-approved seats. Today they have seating for 354, an increase of about 75 percent. During that same period, Town-approved off-street parking at the restaurants has decreased.

Over the past 33 years, the restaurants now attract a greater number of diners, bar goers, retail shoppers, employees, and more traffic than we have ever experienced.

During that same time, the number of homes and residents in our Village has increased.

The increased traffic is not due to the pandemic. We’ve have been addressing parking issues with The Town for many years.

The problems we are experiencing are directly related to the increased year-round restaurant traffic and insufficient off-street parking.

When restaurant parking lots are full, the increased demand overloads parking on Broadway and the surrounding residential streets. It’s not uncommon to see restaurant patrons parking three and four streets away. Some park legally. Some park on lawns, block fire hydrants and block private driveways.

This has a negative impact our Village’s property values, our security and our safety.

Adding to the problem is the increased numbers of restaurant employees who need a place to park. Mar Vista said in 2014 that between 10-15 employees are on-site at any given time. At The Shore, it appears there are twice that number of employees.

Add to those figures the patrons who park somewhere and then wait, many for over an hour or more, for a table. All of these commercial patrons must park somewhere and they’re parking on our residential streets.

A third restaurant, Whitney’s, was recently added to our neighborhood, with 70 plus seats also generating traffic.

With the increase in popularity of island beaches and sandbars the Village streets have also been discovered as overflow parking for beachgoers.   This is really going to become more apparent with the Holmes Beach issue that they are going to be taking away parking and this is going to cause these beachgoers to drive farther south in order to find parking.

Now is the time to address the problem head on and stop the adverse effects on the health, safety and well-being of your neighbors in The Village.

Let’s draft the RPP resolution now. Thank you.

Kimberly Ross

Longboat Key

 

House not in line with Building Code

To: Longboat Key Commission

The issue is that the model installed at 640 Halyard is not in line with the town building code for this residential zone. It is unnecessarily tall according to the industry standards and has led to the property owner’s failure to receive a CO. It is no more effective than the industry’s standard 10 inch air terminals. The sales company is attempting to rewrite our ordinance solely to aid their sales and further the erroneous impression that greater height adds greater protection.

We expected more from PZB before the issue was dropped in your lap, especially since the residental neighborhoods painstakingly worked only two years ago to ensure a 30-foot maximum height for our neighborhood was written into this very ordinance.  We are counting on the commission to review this privately-proposed amendment along with the reason for it and their request to immediately implement it…to obtain a CO for 640 Halyard, a property that doesn’t adhere to code. Thank you for your hard work.

Lynn Cook

Longboat Key

 

Lighting on Longboat Key

To: Longboat Key Commission

Please find several documents document an US Court injunction against the Heary Bros Lightning Protection Company, the manufacturer of Lightning Protector Model LPA-2005 that is being sold and installed by Windemuller Technical Services, the entity that has written and applied for a code modification on LBK.

The Court determined that Heary’s advertising claims regarding the range of protection provided by their air terminal products and the claims of protection from lightning in outdoor settings are literally false.  Therefore, in October 2005,  the Court issued an injunction that says Heary and any agents, dealers, distributors, and partners may not advertise that they sell a lightning protection air terminal or similar product that has been proven to significantly extend the maximum range of protection against lightning damage beyond that afforded by a standard lightning rod system.

The Court also says the Heary et.al. may not advertise that any enhanced air terminal system product (such as Early Streamer Emission, Electronically Activated Streamer Emission, Radioactive, or Ionizing) —

To find the information, first go to Windemuller Technical Services website, and chose “lightning protection” from their menu.  On that page, there is also a fraudulent reference  (“File 30676-Heary Bros Lightning Protection (manufacturer) the choice of which always leads to “Not Found, Error 404).  The other two reference links both lead to login pages for UL. This makes it difficult for anyone to actually see the product is an ESE product.

However, you can get to Heary Bros by “googling”.  First look at the menu on the left and you will actually find “Judgement and Court Order” listed as one of the ten choices.  Most likely they were mandated to put it on their website.  I have attached it.  To see that Model LPA-2005 is the model on the homes at 640 Halyard, 640 Halyard and 572 Gunwale, to go their product catalog on that main page.

I think LBK may incur some liability by actually changing our town ordinance to accommodate this exact product.  In addition to these fraudulent practices there have been a couple of instances when it appears this model has actually led to injury.

Finally, all the technical research by UL Code Protection (as well as from citations on the website of Windemuller) indicate that a height of ten inches for air terminals on houses of 50 feet or less in height are adequate and effective. Please have the town’s lawyer review these documents.

Lynn Cook

Longboat Key

 

Thank You

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

I know yesterday’s meeting was a technological challenge. You all did an amazing job. We definitely had the right leadership in place to lead us through this historic crisis.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Thank You

To: Longboat Commissioner BJ Bishop

Thank you for your nice comments Commissioner Bishop. Zoom had an issue with dialing in from a land line that was out of our hands. We had to scramble to modify the solution to make sure the meeting could continue within a reasonable time frame and make it fully accessible on the live stream. There were many moving parts going on and I think we were able to accomplish it. We truly appreciate everyone being patient while we moved everyone around to continue the meeting.

Jason Keen

IT Director

Town of Longboat Key

 

Swimming Pool ordinance

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

We received a question over the weekend regarding the swimming pool ordinance. The staff will be prepared to discuss, but I also asked that they provide a response that I wanted to share with the Commission in advance of the meeting. Question and response listed below.

Has anyone reviewed the new ‘proposed simplified pool requirements’ table,  in conjunction with Article IV and Section 158.094(C) referred to in the revised sub-section (b) to make sure it integrates properly and makes sense, given that so much language is being eliminated?  If not, can we get a copy of Article IV and the referenced section?

 

Swimming Pools and Parking

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Thanks for forwarding.  Please see attached Zoning Code Sec. 158.094, which contains the various waterfront (bay, Gulf, pass, & canals) setbacks that are also applicable to Swimming Pools. The cross-reference to this section is intended to be an aid to the reader providing both additional requirements (e.g. for pool fences) and standards generally applicable to pools with pool cages and pools that are elevated >6” above finished grade.

The cross-reference to Article IV (which are the various standards, such as setbacks, for each of the Town’s zoning districts), refers the reader to also view applicable standards for whichever zoning district a property is located in.

Of note, no changes are proposed to the Swimming Pool standards. The existing standards are proposed to be reorganized into a table format to make their requirements easier to understand.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning, Zoning & Building Department

Town of Longboat Key

 

Parking ordinance for Village

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

I have counted many seemingly extra seats, including architectural seating and stools, where people have both food and drink. I do not know that they were served at the various spots in the open areas, but there they are happy eating and drinking.

It is difficult to imagine the horrendous traffic and parking congestion is caused by customers seating at only the legal seating allowed under the current codes.

It is likewise difficult to imagine that all those extra people are waiting around, standing and without food and drinks for up to an hour.

What are legal and illegal services within the restaurants that are constrained by parking space? I do not see this clearly defined in the proposed parking ordinance. What is the point of unenforceable codes that affect none of the existing eateries?

Further, I wonder if the town can ever claw-back the number of required parking spaces if there should be future sales.

Lastly, reading the following, how can a code contain possible undefined future legislative actions by perhaps new elected officials? I am in favor of this clause, I just wonder about the wording. Has this wants to evaluate already occurred? If so where can I find the proceedings?

Public statements by various commissioners have ranged from admitting there is a real problem in the village, to statements that people may have a legal right to park in the village. It there an actual official commission position, an evaluation, on village commercial parking? After a year of meeting and evaluation, and a huge effort on the part of villagers, do you feel you have any mandate from the commission to move forward and create any sort of corrective legislation?

Also isn’t this all moot as far as the existing restaurants are concerned? Can the commission actually change current required parking? What about Bert Harris considerations, similar to what is happening on Anna Maria Island?

WHEREAS, the Town wants to evaluate the parking space schedule set forth in Section 158.100 of the Town Zoning Code to ensure that the residential neighborhoods are adequately protected from the negative impacts caused by commercial parking

Gene Jaleski

 

Village Parking

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

Longboat Key North is a network of property owners on the north end of Longboat Key comprised of representatives from 20 homeowner associations, condominium associations and neighborhood associations, representing approximately 800 residents from District 4 and 5. Over the past year Village Parking has been a topic of discussion at our several of our LBK North meetings. Each Restaurant (Mar Vista, The Shore, Whitney’s) came to our January 9th meeting to discuss their operations and plans to address overflow neighborhood parking for their employee’s and patrons. The Longbeach Village Association presented their desire to move to residential permit parking at our March 19th meeting. After discussion and updates to our larger membership group, we decided as a large community organization that the issue was important enough to add to our LBK North Goals and Objectives which were submitted to you, our commissioners, for consideration in the Town Commission Goals and Objectives on April 15th. LBK North supports the Village Association’s desire to implement a “permit parking” solution. While we understand this topic is slated for an upcoming workshop we would encourage the commission to take steps to expedite a resolution to this north end issue, including having town staff draft a proposal to solve the street traffic and overflow restaurant parking issue (or adopt the current Village recommendation as the first draft) in advance of the workshop so that all parties can weigh in and the steps needed to address parking do not linger well into the summer months.

Longboat Key North

 

Resident Permit Parking

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

I would like to address objections that we have heard in regard to implementing RPP  in Longbeach Village.

RPP Qualification Criteria

While we have heard the criteria for implementing RPP has not been met we think all the criteria has been met – From the March 17 Longboat Key staff report

1. Reduce potentially hazardous traffic conditions and congestion

2. Protect the area from polluted air, excessive noise and refuse

3. Protect the residents of the area from unreasonable burdens in obtaining parking near their residences  4. Preserve the safety of children, pedestrians and in general promote traffic safety, good order and alleviate hardships caused by parking congestion. .

We think the Longbeach Village meets all four of this criteria included in the staff report.  Are there other criteria being considered?

Use of Boat Ramp

We have heard form 1 Sleepy Lagoon resident who wanted to park his vehicle and trailer on the Village streets.  How many boat trailers should be allowed to park in front of our homes?   How about making 3 of the 5 Dock/Boat Ramp parking places for ‘vehicle with boat trailer only’?  This would prevent the Mar Vista employees from capturing these spots.  In addition, just one mile north at Coquina Beach there are boat ramps with plenty of parking that doesn’t impact any neighborhood streets.

Public Streets

It has been stated that these are public streets that should be open to all.  It has been verified that towns can limit parking to selected residents to prevent beach goers or commercial patrons from capturing and dominating all the parking. Why is it that we allow two commercially zoned properties to commercially use the parking in our residential zone?  Shouldn’t we prohibit the commercial use of our residential zoned neighborhoods?  The restaurants developed their business plan around approved number of seats and parking spaces to support that plan. Those plans had no dependence or requests to use public street parking to insure their success.

Off-Site Restaurant Parking

It has been noted that the off-site lots will fix the problem.  We believe that the restaurants might have about 50 employee cars at peak times.  There are factors that mitigate the effectiveness of this as the final solution.

1.The Shore lease on the 25 parking spots at the Whitney Plazas is a temporary solution that could end at any time. We seek a permanent solution.

2. The development of the Mar Vista lot is stalled and no activity has been seen there.  Implementing RPP would motivate them to complete the parking lot development.   

3. The village streets, even now in off season and with restaurants at limited seating, is still experiencing a surprising number of parked cars. We are still observing 100% full parking on 5-6 blocks.

Thank you for listening and could you please consider these points in the upcoming workshop.  We offer our services to work on the detail, scope, phase-in, and implementation.  We can work this out. Thank you Trish for reading.

Pete Rowan

Longboat Key

 

Swimming Pools

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

Ms. Larson has submitted a request to speak on Item 8, Ordinance 2020-04, Swimming Pool Regulations.  Item 8 is a public hearing and Ms. Larson will be called upon at that time to speak.  Below, highlighted, are her initial comments for your review.

Trish Shinkle

Town Clerk

Longboat Key

 

Swimming Pools

To: Longboat Key Commission

I watched the March 2020 Town Commission First Reading of Ordinance 2020-04. There was confusion among the Commissioners and it was sent back for rewording and clarification of the tables but passed on first reading. I cannot see the tables online. My comment is that I am against any change in the current ordinances which would alter the current setbacks. There is reference to Country Club Shores and I ask for reassurance there is NO change to the current setbacks for side yards or canal setbacks in Country Club Shores. If there are changes in the setbacks for Country Club Shores side yard or canal frontage, I ask that you vote against the Ordinance 2020-04 or postpone consideration so that more input may be received.

Lynn Larson

Longboat Key

 

Executive Order

To: Longboat Key Commission

This is the Town’s updated COVID 19 Executive Order effective today through June 15th.

The primary updates include:

1. Opening of the Public Beach Access Points on June 1st.

2. Clarifying the State’s tolling of building permits as the result of the Pandemic Emergency

3. Allowing Public Forum Permit Applications for groups of 10 or less

3. Expanding lessons and allowing new members and visitors (with restrictions) at the Tennis Center.

4. All other restrictions remain.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Regarding Lightning Rod Structures

To: Longboat Key Commission

For the Longbeach Village we recommend keeping existing codes. While we understand and support lightning rods they should be installed within existing height limitations. We see no reason to change the height limits. If there is an unusual case that requires special treatment we should be able to accomplish that via the exception variance process. We voted for undergrounding and against cell towers because we desired a clear sky; lets not mar the sky and defeat that goal with lightning rod towers.

For the Longbeach Village we recommend keeping the existing Daylight Plane angles as we have many homes built at grade, often on narrow lots that are only 50’ wide. Many existing low homes are adjacent to vacant property and could easily be dominated by a much larger home, as are built today. Lets not make the situation even worse.

Robert Lopez

Longboat Key

 

Hurricane Preparedness: Medically Dependent

To: Longboat Commissioner BJ Bishop

Commissioner Bishop, as requested, here is the information that the Fire Chief sent out for medically dependent citizens- see email below and attachment.  Please let me know if you have any further questions or if there is an individual that we should follow-up with.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Hurricane Preparedness: Medically Dependent

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

As we approach the Hurricane Season, I want to ensure information is being disseminated on all aspects of hurricane preparedness.

It is very important for the Longboat Key Emergency Management Team to have the phone numbers of those residents that are dependent on a care giver, oxygen therapy, confined to a bed, etc.  If you know someone within your neighborhood or complex that fall within the medically dependent category, please make sure they contact 316-1944 and ask for Nick who will assist them.

I will be sending out a few more reminders as we move forward with preparation of a severe storm. If you have any questions or concerns with preparedness, please contact the Fire Department at 316-1944. Thank you!

Paul Dezzi

Fire Chief

Longboat Key

 

Building permits

To: Longboat Key Commission

There was a recent question from a Commissioner regarding when Building Permits expire. Florida Building Code Sections 105.4.1 and 105.4.1.3 govern the process of extending building permits after an inspection is approved. Every permit issued shall become invalid unless the work on the site authorized by such permit is commenced within 180 days after its issuance, or if the work authorized on the site by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days after the time the work is commenced. Failure to obtain an approved inspection within 180 days of the previous approved inspection constitutes suspension or abandonment. The building official is authorized to grant, in writing, one or more extensions of time, for periods not more than 180 days each. It isn’t unusual to extend permits as work proceeds through various activities starting with framing, through the interior completions and final inspections.

I wanted to also mention that during a Declared State of Emergency by the Governor there are additional extensions that occur and are available to developers and contractors.  We highlighted that information in the latest Town Order as it relates to the COVID 19 Emergency and building permits.

During the time period the declared State of Emergency by the Governor (initially declared in Executive Order 20-52, issued on March 9, 2020) is in effect, building permit expirations are tolled. Within 90 days after the termination of the emergency declaration, holders of building permits are eligible to request further expiration extensions, up to a period of an additional 6 months.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Parking Ratio Ordinance

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

We received some additional questions regarding the Parking Ratio Ordinance scheduled for Monday’s Commission Meeting. I asked the staff to respond so they could correct and/or clarify their report before the meeting. They will also be prepared to present and discuss the updated information at the meeting.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Thank You

To: Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming

A north end resident had high praise for your department in tracking and capturing the thieves who stole thousands of dollars worth of navigational equipment from his fishing boat.  This was a long-term, multi-jurisdictional effort led by your force. Please pass the word that we are very lucky to have you on our side.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Thank You

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Thanks for taking the time to pass this along.  I’m really proud of our team’s level of skill and commitment. I’ll be sure to pass your kind words along to them.

Pete Cumming

Police Chief

Longboat Key

 

Regarding Lightning Rod Structure

To: Longboat Key Commission

For the Longbeach Village we recommend keeping existing codes. While we understand and support lightning rods they should be installed within existing height limitations. We see no reason to change the height limits. If there is an unusual case that requires special treatment we should be able to accomplish that via the exception variance process. We voted for undergrounding and against cell towers because we desired a clear sky; lets not mar the sky and defeat that goal with lightning rod towers.

Regarding Sight Line Angles

For the Longbeach Village we recommend keeping the existing Daylight Plane angles as we have many homes built at grade, often on narrow lots that are only 50’ wide. Many existing low homes are adjacent to vacant property and could easily be dominated by a much larger home, as are built today. Lets not make the situation even worse.

Pete & Carla Rowan

Longboat Key

 

Preliminary Taxable Values for FY21

To: Longboat Key Commission

The Property Appraisers from both Counties are required to provide the Town the preliminary values of our Tax Base for F21 by June 1st.  Final values are due by July 1st.

We have received the preliminary values from both counties.

Sarasota County -3.28 %

Manatee County +3.31 %

Combined -1.30%

The Sarasota County portion of the Town’s tax base is approximately 70 percent of the total so the percentages combined reflect that weighting.

We discussed the decrease in the Sarasota County numbers with the Property Appraiser and he indicated the decrease was specifically related to condominium values and cited that single family home values did increase overall.  We will need to further analyze the data.

For early budget development we made an assumption of a combined increase of 1.5%. Based on the actual preliminary numbers there is a reduction of $351,160 over the ad valorem revenues projected as of the May workshop. An additional reduction of $110,000 was made to investment income after speaking with our financial consultants. We are reviewing our FY21 capital and operating expenses and will be prepared to update the Commission on our approach to addressing this impact at the June budget workshop.

As we mentioned during the May workshop, the budget development process occurs until August when in accordance with our Charter the recommended budget is submitted to the Commission.

Between now and then we will be receiving updated information on the taxable values, state revenue forecasting, actual costs associated with health care, property insurance, etc.

The Town continues to be in a good position to address some of the economic and pandemic related impacts that we may experience this year and into FY21. We are monitoring on a monthly basis and are prepared to adjust our approach as necessary.

Tom Harmer

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

Restaurant Parking ZTA Item Follow-up Questions

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

Some follow-up information regarding the Parking Ratio Ordinance and some questions that Commissioner Zunz discussed with me yesterday.  The staff followed up with their response below and I wanted to share with the Commission before the meeting on Monday.  The staff will be prepared to discuss at the meeting.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Restaurant Parking ZTA Item Follow-up Questions

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Following-up on Commissioner Zunz’s questions this afternoon regarding two items in the Agenda Cover memo:

Regarding the Table comparing other jurisdictions’ Code Requirements for restaurant parking, specifically the City of Sarasota– The noted “1 space/150 sq. ft. requirement” is applicable in all of their non-downtown zoning districts. The city’s Downtown Core zoning district has a different generic “nonresidential use” parking requirement of 1 space per each 500 sq. ft., which would include restaurants. Staff will be prepared to speak about these differences, if questions arise.

Regarding the Table comparing existing Town required restaurant parking to a requirement initially recommended to the P&Z Board, and then to the requirement that the P&Z Board has recommended—the Table figures in the last two columns were inadvertently transposed for the Mar Vista Restaurant. The column depicting the requirement initially recommended to the P&Z Board should be “55” and the column depicting the requirement that the P&Z Board recommended should be “39.” We will note this correction in the presentation on Monday.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning, Zoning & Building Department

Town of Longboat Key

 

Restaurant Parking ZTA Item Follow-up Questions

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

In addition to the two comments I sent separately, I think the table referred to below also misstates the current parking requirement for Mar Vista, since 169 seats/4 equals 42.25 parking spaces, not 28. This would mean the new proposal of 39 is even less than what exists at present.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Barrier Island Traffic meeting

To: Longboat Commissioner Jack Daly

The new Barrier Island Technical Committee (BITC) will have their first meeting on Monday, June 22 at 10 am.  Notice will go out next week.  Thought it was important to time this meeting with the Long Range Transportation Plan so the group can discuss which projects they would like to see included on the needs list and in the 2045 cost feasible plan.  Also, the FDOT program manager for Longboat Pass and Little Ringling bridges will provide a project update.  Finally, we are going to ask this group to take the lead on our upcoming resiliency planning effort scheduled to begin in early 2021.  As promised, we will reconvene the BITS Steering Committee on Monday, August 24 to provide you and all the original members with an annual report.

Leigh Holt

Strategic Planning Manager

Sarasota/Manatee MPO

 

Village character

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

I am concerned that the village’s character and functionality for its residents are being ignored.  I thought that restaurants must adhere to the town’s rules for providing adequate parking for their patrons.  I would like the Town Commission to prioritize the needs of its residents over those of commercial interests.

Permit parking for Longboat Key residents only may help but the real problem is that the restaurants haven’t keep their end of the bargain for expanding their businesses.  They were required to request adequate parking for their patrons.  Something is terribly wrong.  I am counting on you all as our advocates to address this “quality of life” issue.

Lynn Cook

Longboat Key

 

Village Parking

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Mayor, thank you for partaking in an ongoing dialog with the village community. Someone once wrote my wife and I argue long enough to find out what we are actually arguing about. Prior to your joining the discussion, on behalf of the town, there has been virtually no meaningful discussion between residents and commissioners on this matter for decades. Having various residents talk for three minutes at occasional town commission meetings has accomplished little.

All the “many steps” taken by previous commissions have not decreased traffic numbers by a single car, nor decreased the number of cars parking all over the village during the business hours of the restaurants. Just the opposite. As a direct result of recent town actions, most recently the Shore expansion, conditions have become steadily worse for village residents. One step forward, five steps backward so to speak, as far as village residents see town actions.

I want to reply to one or two specific arguments you put forth about various parties with supposed vested interests. I am not arguing that there are a number of parties who might want to see the status quo remain unchanged. I am saying that these concerns may not be a daunting or as legitimate as some might think.

1) “That the Commission takes the Village’s complaints seriously is demonstrated by the many steps short of an RPP taken so far to try to fix the problem, including off-site parking requirements that have not yet been fully implemented.  Other such steps, such as restricted parking hours, may be considered as well.”

1) “off-site parking requirements” –  as far as I remember, the town did not initiate the MV off-site parking lot. It was the MV who found a way of building a parking lot on commercial property specifically zoned to not allow a parking lot. It was the MV’s lawyers who unearthed yet another flaw in codes intended to protect property owners. The end result may well be a five thousand dollar empty shed, called an office, in the middle of a parking lot that should never have been allowed, even with our weak codes. Why wasn’t an independent traffic study required if the commission is concerned with the safety of villagers?

What became of the lofty village vision of Commissioner Spoll’s revitalization committee. All we get now is an ugly pile of dirt at the edge of our neighborhood that was once a beautiful natural vista, just when Whitney’s has invested so much money to beautify the north entrance to the island. Do you wonder why people are unable to comprehend the workings of the town government? What became of comprehensive planning?

2) “restricted parking hours” –  If the hours coincided with the business hours of the three restaurants, little will change. The problem is the restaurant’s impact on the village, and it is their business generated traffic that is the sole problem.

3) There is seldom, and perhaps only on holidays, a time when people want or need beach parking in the village, because ample parking exists west of GMD. I do not believe permit parking will inhibit people from enjoying the north end beach. I believe very few island resident beach-goers would be inconvenienced by restricting parking in the village weighed against the constant restaurant generated traffic and parking congestion in the village.

If the town instituted resident permit parking for all the town beach access locations, imagine how such protected access might enhance property values on the island. Taxpayers spend tens of millions of dollars to maintain island beaches, yet have to compete with off-island beach-goers for limited access. Permitted island resident beach parking may greatly improve the beach experience for all island taxpayers. We need to increase property owner access to our beaches.

Unfortunately for beach-going islanders and boat trailer parkers, the restaurant employees and customers gobble up most of the parking spaces in the village from eleven in the morning to nine at night. All the more reason to expand boat ramps to other parks on the island, and RPP to all beach access locations. The town might lose some funding in the process, but the cost/benefits should be studied carefully as we fund canal and beach projects costing tens of millions, and how we can best serve the taxpayers.

4) Most villagers believe that the eight hundred pound critters in the corner are the restaurant owners. It is a fact that if the restaurants were still functioning as they were when I started coming to LBK in the late seventies, we would not be having this conversation.

I believe that there is little common ground between village residents and those who take the position that the restaurants have been allowed to exploit the village residents way of life, for greater profit, by past commissions and now we just have to live with things as they are. I am unable to see the logic of such a position. People on the south end do not have the right to dictate conditions in another part of the island, just because they dislike valet parking, which is available at the two restaurants. If this thinking were valid, no RPPs would ever have been allowed to be created and the USSC would not have ruled in favor of RPPs. No one has the right to negatively impact the wellbeing of another citizen for trivial reasons.

Taxpayer Rights – I may be one of the more vocal residents when it comes to taxpayer rights. You have proffered that taxpayers from other parts of the island have a right to park on village streets. In a perfect world this might be entertained as a viable argument for allowing the restaurants to destroy the property values and lifestyle of an entire neighborhood. However, there are a few other taxpayer imbalances that need to be considered. All taxpayers pay for a mile of beach at the Key Club without any legal access to that beach. The same is true for a majority of the beaches on the island where there is no parking, no practical legal access, and no valet parking. Taxpayers foot the bill for dredging canals all over the island, yet cannot share in the increased property value to those homes along the canals or tie up their boats within the canals. Taxpayers even maintain the water and sewer mains behind the private gates of Harborside and Islandside. Life is not perfect. But the greater good is best served by creating an RPP in the village.

All Longboat residents will still have full access to both restaurants with the creation of an RPP in the village. Someone told me that both restaurants have managed to accommodate everyone who wanted valet parking, and it is free. Perhaps a good reservation system will help the restaurants better serve their customers in a timely way.

Since the restaurants are constrained by law to have ample parking for the allowed number of seats, there is a legal remedy that resolves the the current impasse between the restaurant owners and village residents. That legal remedy would be to simply reduce their seating to realistically accommodate the parking demands with their on-site parking. The owners happily agreed with past, and not so past, commissioners that they have adequate on-site parking. It would be interesting to see how a magistrate or jury would view the reasonings of the town in fashioning the codes that allowed the restaurants to go too far and then keep going even further with the assistance of essentially non-enforcement of existing codes and ordinances.

The Commission takes the Village’s complaints seriously. The town makes no attempt to control illegal seating or capacity at the restaurants, No fines. No closings. No code enforcement of any kind that has been visible to village residents. No fire marshal warrants for unsafe and unlawful capacity violations.

Boat Ramp Access – As I wrote previously, and others have pointed out, the original village was a commercial fishing community much like Cortez Village, with narrow streets, small building lots and easy access to the water surrounding the village. Times have changed, but the narrow streets have not. Where the original inhabitants of the village most likely launched their boats for lengthy periods of time, and stored their fishing boats in their yards, just like Cortez village. Back then there were not many people living on the island.

Times have changed everything. Now there are dozens of year round and seasonal residents who enjoy launching and using their boats from all over the island. Unfortunately the narrow streets in the village remain narrow, less than twenty feet narrow. Modern boat trailers are often eight feet wide. Unless a boat owner is experienced, and observations at the village boat ramp show many more inexperienced boaters than pros, parking boat trailers is often problematic. Trailers are seldom parked just at the edge of the narrow pavement, resulting in the parked trailers taking up half the road width. The result is a narrow single lane street barely wide enough for a car to pass on the wrong side of the street. Things get really tight when one eight foot wide boat trailer attempts to pass another poorly parked eight foot boat trailer on a nineteen foot wide street, with fewer than two feet of clearance on each side.

Problems with safety and impassable streets for emergency and fire vehicles should also be considered.

Simply put, the village is not an ideal place to park boat trailers. If everyone launched their boats and then returned their trailer to their yard, as villagers are able to do, things work swimmingly. Having our discussion made me realize there is a win-win scenario, if the town uses parks & rec funds to expand boat ramps to Quick Point and to a lesser degree, Bayfront park where the under-utilized kayak area could be easily modified.

I hope this adds some points of view to a welcomed dialog. Thanks for your time and efforts on behalf of the town and the village residents. Your efforts are noticed and appreciated.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

 

Village parking

To: Gene Jaleski

This is useful discourse.  As it would take more than 3 minutes to present at a meeting, please ask Trish to include it in the record for the meeting at which the RPP is discussed.  Thanks.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Restaurant parking

To: Longboat Key Commission

I have given more thought to the restaurant parking ordinance in light of Commissioner Zunz’s comments.  The objectives I see are to acknowledge that our current rules require fewer spaces for some restaurants than are needed and to adjust those rules to meet that need but not so as to discourage future restaurant development.  The key moving parts to craft this ordinance are parking spaces per useable square feet of space and parking spaces per seat.  Our current ordinance requires one parking space per four seats; our proposed ordinance would require one parking space per 150 square feet of useable space.  This would increase parking requirements for 5 of the 7 LBK restaurants tested, but reduce requirements for 2, including Mar Vista–one of the more problematic  cases.

One possible solution acknowledges that many of our problems are caused by restaurants that have disproportionately large useable space to the number of seats they are allowed.  The result is crowds of “drivers” standing in wait for a table or around the bar.  We could combine our moveable pieces to address that issue. For example, require one parking space for every 3.5 seats plus, require additional “bonus” parking spaces in the case of any size-to-seats discrepancy, say, one additional parking space for every 150 square feet by which total useable area exceeds 30 square feet times the number of allowed seats.  This would result in the following required parking spaces for our LBK restaurants (numbers to be audited):

Mar Vista :  48 plus 5 bonus  = 53   (+14 to current proposal)

Shore:  53 plus plus 39 bonus  = 92   (+17 to current proposal)

Whitney’s:  20 plus 10 bonus  = 30   (+6 to current proposal)

Solo:  6 plus 5 bonus  = 11   (+2 to current proposal)

Dry Dock:  43 plus 11 = 54  (+13 to current proposal)

Chart House:  81 plus 9 bonus = 90   (+24 to current proposal, which reduces the current requirement)

Euphemia Haye:  24 plus 12 bonus = 36   (+7 to current proposal)

This would most impact currently underparked models Mar Vista, Shore and Dry Dock (the restaurants themselves would be grandfathered).  Only Chart House is an outlier, but as our largest restaurant by far by seats, may not be likely to be duplicated.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Parrot Cove Marina and Neighbors in a Conundrum

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Mayor, the village is not alone in confronting over use of neighborhood amenities and attendant street parking problems.

I would like to have the town explore expanding boat launch facilities both at Quick Point and to a lesser degree at Bayfront Park. I believe there is some sort of parks and recreation fund that might be used to expand boat launching opportunities to offer residents more convenient sites to launch boats and park boat trailers. Places where narrow crowded streets force residents to hunt for available parking are not a problem.

The problem of off-island boaters using local tax supported facilities might be an issue to be addressed. Perhaps a resident permit program would insure taxpayers maximum benefits from improvements in boater access to the bay.

Just as the cost of canal dredging is viewed by the town as a mutually beneficial assessment on property, improved boat launching facilities would actually be accessible by everyone, not just the canal front property owners.

The narrow crowded village streets are perhaps one of the worst sites for launching boats and then trying to find a parking space along with restaurant employees and customers.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

Parrot Cove Marina and Neighbors in a Conundrum

To: Gene Jaleski

I think it’s a good idea to look at other possible boat launch sites on the island.  This would help the Village and also provide more options for boaters who live further south.  As an aside, it’s interesting that the Planning Board in the case you attached decided to allow the new marina and kick the problem upstairs to the Manatee County Commission.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Zoning question for agenda item

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

I have two questions regarding this agenda item for Monday: 1. The WHEREAS clauses say we considered this on March 2 and May 4 (second hearing), while the adoption language says we had first reading on March 2, with second reading and passage to occur June 1.  I think the latter is correct as the May 4 Minutes we are approving Monday don’t mention this ordinance.  2.  I think we discussed this in March, but your table comparing spaces required in different locales for a 10,000 square foot restaurant with 150 seats shows the Sarasota City and the new proposed Longboat Key ordinance being the same, but Sarasota would require 67 spaces while we would require 50. This should be clarified and the submission amended.  I think both of these comments are in addition to the comments of Commissioner Zunz which you have already addressed. Thanks.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

A matter of law

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

In response to your letter (below) of yesterday Wednesday, May 27,  replying to opinions and questions regarding the parking chaos existing in the Village neighborhood on Longboat Key, I notice the lingering idea that the issue is open to worldwide, islandwide vote. If that were the case, there would not be hundreds of RPP districts in this country and thousands worldwide.  It is not up for public vote.  It is up to Commission vote based on evidence and law.

Our (the Residents of the 100+ year old Longbeach Village) request to our government for protection, via Resident Permit Parking, is exactly the same as that made by every community or segment of community worldwide that has found itself overrun by public intrusion: traffic, speeding, parking, trash, noise day and into the night, confrontation from too many people wanting to use this community for whatever reason. Without a doubt, the greater public doing the intruding will cry out “No; we have rights!  We pay taxes! We need! We want!” Of course they will! Absolutely!

In these United States, this exact scenario was taken all the way to the US Supreme Court. The ruling was and is:   permit parking is legal under certain conditions.  This village is suffering nearly every one of those conditions:  the ‘whereases’ found in ordinances such as the one we seek. Neighborhoods can be and should be protected from the abuses of the great big world by way of local governments creating ordinances to restore peace.  I have submitted documents and half a dozen sample ordinances to the Commission for your review to make the task easier.

This issue is not, and should not be, up for public vote. One of the neighborhoods you are pledged to protect is in trouble and cannot regain its stollen quality of ordinary daily life without your help. We’ve provided proof of our atrocious circumstances. The law to fix the problem exists. Nearly 100 percent of the residents in this residential neighborhood are willing to live with Permit Parking. It’s all you need! The rest of the world, State, county, Longboat Key will adjust. Please just start the process.

Carla Rowan

Longboat Key

 

A matter of law

To: Carla Rowan

I’m not sure where the idea arose that any Village parking proposals would involve an islandwide vote. To my knowledge there is no such requirement, and the only related suggestion I have seen was Mr. Jaleski’s recent proposal of a neighborhood-sponsored, islandwide referendum on the subject.  Even were a referendum held, I believe these decisions should ultimately rest with the island’s elected representatives.  We are not passing the buck.

As for legality, it seems clear that RPP’s are legal in some locations under some circumstances.  It also is clear that no one is suggesting that Village roads be restricted to resident traffic. The narrow question is whether non-residents of the Village, including other Longboat Key taxpayers, Village restaurant customers, Linley boat ramp patrons and beachgoers, should be forbidden from parking anywhere on Village public streets at any time.

This is a big step and involves the balancing of legitimate rights on both sides of the question.  It also requires that we deal with facts as they now exist and not as they existed in the past. What should have been done or not done by prior Commissions provides context but cannot dictate the right answer now. That the Commission takes the Village’s complaints seriously is demonstrated by the many steps short of an RPP taken so far to try to fix the problem, including off-site parking requirements that have not yet been fully implemented.  Other such steps, such as restricted parking hours, may be considered as well. As has been said, we are committed to a public meeting before Summer recess to discuss all these issues in open forum.  I look forward to “seeing” you and Pete there.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

A matter of law

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Thank you for your insightful response. All thoughts on this matter are best put forth at this time so that all interested parties can begin discussion on what we can do together, now, to repair damages to Village life.

•In my opinion, we have established the existing  traffic/parking problem that has been growing in the Village neighborhood over the past several years.  I hope this is true.   

•I think all parties can agree it is time to move on toward a solution;  one that is long lasting so that we can all get back to our lives.

•The situation we all find ourselves in at present is not unique to this neighborhood by a long shot.  The arguments pro/con for giving use of public streets to one group while removing it from another goes straight to the 1977 Supreme Court ruling, which supports doing just that if conditions are such that there is no other solution.  We can save a lot of time if all parties are well versed in the legality of establishing residential permit parking.

•Paragraph three of your letter below is a bit worrisome. Balancing ‘rights‘ of non residents, waiting for MV parking lot while its development has stopped, not wanting to discuss the Town’s part in creating this issue, suggesting added bandaids… seem more ‘wait and see’ tactics while the Village gets no real relief or restoration of common neighborhood peace and quiet.

•My thoughts for solution:

– all parties come to understand the Supreme Court finding (I can easily send legal ‘opinions’ to help. Maggie has commented, as well)

– give the directive to begin a rudimentary outline formation of a parking amendment for just the Longbeach Village community. I have provided several models.            

– compile a list of elements from all the concerned parties to be included in the ordinance, thus making that ordinance a joint effort.

•We need that directive in order to address all the circulating questions:  what about the dock? Residents gatherings? Restaurant parking? Residents services? Enforcement? Application rules? delivery trucks? All these can be ordinance details just as they are in models we have studied. Without some format to work from and tweak, this issue will just remain a never-ending complaints blog!  The village knows what it’s priorities are.  I’m sure the other parties you are hearing from have theirs, as well.  Let’s just begin.

Carla Rowan

Longboat Key

 

Village Parking

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

I received emails from each of you today regarding Village parking and the proposed RPP; many preceded yours and I know there will be more.  I apologize that we have been unable to schedule a public hearing on the proposal.  It’s easy to blame everything on the pandemic, but we have thought it important to try to discuss this controversial matter in a physical meeting where residents and Commissioners can get all views on the table in person and in an open forum.

It is still my hope that we can do this soon, but if a physical meeting can’t be held safely, we do plan to schedule a discussion of Village parking by Zoom or otherwise before Summer recess.  I hope that everyone involved understands that it is never easy to resolve issues concerning competing rights to the use of public property and that we will continue to do our best to reach a fair solution.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Open Bayfront Park

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Can you help me understand why you believe you have information that is better for the community than the Governor of Florida, Sarasota and Manatee County Governments, and specifically Sarasota Parks and Recs who today confirmed that the courts at Bayfront Park should be open?

Vitamin D and exercise are crucial combatants to COVID19 and your overzealous continued closures are unnecessarily restricting resident’s access to this park and the courts.  As a permanent resident of our community, I find it unacceptable that you are continuing to try and keep residents hostages in their homes.

Jason Morgan

Longboat Key

 

Time to Open Bayfront Park

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

It is past time to open the tennis and pickle ball courts at Bayfront park. It is permitted in the Governor’s orders for such a park to now be open. Please open it this weekend.

Jason Morgan

Longboat Key

 

Time to Open Bayfront Park

To: Jason Morgan

Mr. Morgan,  thank you for your email.  The Town evaluates the conditions and the closed amenities on the Island on a daily basis and we issue an updated Emergency Executive Order at least every two weeks.  Our most recent order being issued today continues to keep the courts closed at Bayfront Park. We take in consideration the nature of the population on the island, consult with our public safety team, public health officials, and consider guidance from professional organizations such as the United States Tennis Association and the USA Pickleball Association before finalizing our actions.

We will continue to monitor and update our actions and restrictions on a regular basis.  Our latest actions are available on our website at www.longboatkey.org on the COVID 19 page.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Village parking

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

I understand that the parking overflow in the Village due to the new restaurants has created a problem for the residents of the area.

While I do not live there, we are full time residents of Longboat Key, which we love and is a special place. I agree with those residents who are asking the Town Commission to develop and implement a solution to the problem. One idea that has been advanced is to require permits to park on the streets (other than designated approved areas) with permits issued to residents who live in the affected area. This seems like a viable solution.

I trust that you and the other commissioners will approve a solution that solves the present dilemma that the residents of the Village face by restaurant patrons parking in front of their homes.

John Forch

Longboat Key

 

Resident Permit Parking in the Village

To: Longboat Commissioner BJ Bishop

The Village parking topic was on the February workshop agenda where many folks spoke in support of addressing the parking issues. Since then many have sent emails. Is another meeting really necessary to move forward with some remedy? As I recall, there was only one objection to resident permit parking, that was someone wanted to be able to park his vehicle and boat trailer on the village streets. There is an easy fix for this.  There are five boat ramp parking spots (if people park correctly) for vehicles with trailers. Instead of allowing the Mar Vista employees to park there just make three of the five spots for only vehicles with boat trailers. After the five boat ramp spots become filled then the individual will need to go to Coquina Beach just a mile or so north to launch.  Coquina Beach has a modern boat ramp and plenty of parking that wouldn’t impact neighborhood streets. If Longboat residents need more ramps and trailer parking, then address this and build them.

We would certainly welcome another workshop and repeat explaining the problems and our recommended fix. Please see the Commission and workshop videos of the past two years  and recent emails for what people are likely to say.

Pete Rowan

Longboat Key

 

Resident Permit Parking in the Village

To: Pete Rowan

Pete, as I told Becky I have not had an opportunity to speak to this issue as a Commissioner and have not seen legislation to consider.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Village is a parking lot

To: Longboat Key Commissioner BJ Bishop

The Village on Longboat Key continues to be a parking lot for all the restaurants, beach goers and boat trailers and I am dismayed on why?

The three restaurants have their own parking lots, there is public parking for the beach and boat trailers have parking by the boat ramp.  The parking lots are more than ample for each of the above if used properly. However, the streets of the Village will continue to be inundated with parked cars and boat trailers until street parking is no longer an option for them.

The Village, like many other places here and around the country are experiencing conditions similar to ours.  However, their governing body has implemented residential parking to help these neighborhoods regain some sort of normality. The Village residents are asking for the same consideration.   

So I ask you, what do we (residents, town and commissioners) need to do to implement residential permit parking?

Becky Parrish

Longboat Key

 

Village is a parking lot

To: Becky Parrish

I have not had an opportunity to address this issue as a commissioner. I have asked that this item be brought to the Commission. I have been advised that the issue is difficult to bring forward while we meet remotely since there are many who wish to speak. I will ask again at Monday’s meeting.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Do not allow visually intrusive lightening contraptions

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

My first activist effort on Longboat was to try to stop the Conrad Beach developer from building forty-five foot houses in an area zoned for thirty-five feet. The developer had persuaded the town that 1,200 sq/ft of A/C space was a “cupola”. But of course it was a third floor.

Residents were incensed and created a mini-petition drive that produced more then four hundred signatures in four days. We stopped the height code busting development.

Over and over again, Longboat voters reject increased density and building bulk/height intensification.

Hopefully the town will uphold the will of the people and not allow visually intrusive flying saucer lightening contraptions on top of already too tall houses on the island.

If the town allows a generalized exception to the height code for flying saucer lightening rods, then the code becomes moot and unenforceable.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

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