Town moves forward with resident-only permit parking

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The Longboat Key Town Commission agreed to pursue a resident-only parking plan for the Longbeach Village last week.

The Town Manager and staff were instructed to return with an ordinance prohibiting parking by the public throughout the village with the exception of the south side of Broadway adjacent to the Mar Vista Restaurant and The Shore restaurant. The only other road slated to remain open for public parking is Lois Avenue, which runs north-south from Broadway to the public boat ramp.

The decision is the salvo that frustrated residents in the village have sought for years. For more than a decade, residents have asked for relief from what they say is an onslaught of restaurant parking at the two popular restaurants.

In fact, numerous residents fought expansions over the past decade that were made to the Mar Vista, and implored the town to fix the problem saying that the infusion of hoards of restaurant patrons not only undermined the otherwise residential character of the Village, but in many instances posed a safety threat alleging that fire trucks and ambulances may be impeded.

Over the past two years, villagers coalesced and drafted a permit-only parking proposal. Town staff recommended the adoption of the proposal but with modifications that would allow parking on Broadway.

At the meeting, the commission went with the resident parking plan, with the limited allowance of restaurant and general public parking on Broadway near the restaurants.

Town Manager Tom Harmer says he isn’t sure if The Shore or Mar Vista will raise any issues or make any claims when the ordinance is drafted and considered at a workshop in September. The Chiles Restaurant Group, which owns the Mar Vista, expressed frustration with the neighborhood and the proposal at the meeting.

The Chiles Group recently purchased a tract of land between Palm Avenue and Gulf of Mexico Drive just north of Whitney Beach Plaza. That property has and will be used for employee parking and possibly to shuttle diners to the restaurant.

If the commission continues to favor the resident-only parking plan, it will take two readings of the ordinance to become town law. It could be adopted as soon as next fall, prior to the busy season.

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1 Response for “Town moves forward with resident-only permit parking”

  1. Robert kenny says:

    Just curious if it’s longboat residents or just longboat village residents. Hope it includes all longboat key residents as this could start a move for all areas to do the same thing. I understand there frustrations as I live across from the village between several parking areas for the beach and I can walk to the village so are they going to walk to the beach when we do permit parking only. I could do without the traffic and the trash left behind. Wonder if there going to shift the parking problems across the street. Thought driveways provided parking. Just curious

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