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Longboat Key
Friday, August 19, 2022

Letters to the Editor week of February 18, 2022

Commission Workshop

To: Dave Bishop

I do not have the list of Board members or officers for the Buttonwood HOA so I will share this information with you.  You have been the only member of the Buttonwood HOA who has been involved with the Commission in addressing this issue so I hope someone on the new Board will step forward on this important issue.

In our ongoing work to deal with storm water and flooding issues the Commission will have a comprehensive discussion on all of the environmental issues we have placed on our priorities list.  As you know, last October we placed Sleepy Lagoon and Buttonwood on a high priority list to address the flooding issues I have worked on for the last three years.  One of the major issues is funding for this project.

Municipal government works on projects via a capital projects funding mechanism.  It is usually a five to ten-year plan. We do not have five to ten years to wait on the storm water issues in these two neighborhoods so we will be discussing possible funding mechanisms to address this.

This is the last issue on the agenda for Tuesday’s workshop and it includes all phases of environmental policies.  The first issue is FDOT’s updated discussion on pedestrian crossings and I anticipate that will be a lengthy discussion. As always, the Commission agenda is available on the Town’s website.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner, Longboat Key


FDOT and City of Sarasota:  Bay Runner Trolley Service

To: Longboat Key Commission

See information below from Isaac regarding an update the Town received on a new free open air trolley service that will be rolling out over the next 3-4 weeks.  The service area is generally from downtown Sarasota out to St. Armand’s and Lido.  It will not service Longboat Key directly, but wanted to make you aware of the new program.  It is a partnership between the City and FDOT and they anticipate that their current level of funding will maintain the operation for the next 3 years.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager, Town of Longboat Key

FDOT and City of Sarasota: Bay Runner Trolley Service

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

On Monday, Feb. 16 I was invited to join a MS teams meeting with FDOT to discuss the new Bay Runner Open-Air Trolley service that FDOT and the City of Sarasota are jointly rolling out under a contractual arrangement with one another.  Here are some facts I received from the meeting:

Bay Runner Trolley Service will be an open-air trolley running from Main Street/Downtown area down to Lido Key.

Hours of Operation 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Roll out set to begin in 3 – 4 weeks

There will be two (2) trolleys running with about 20 – 30 minute headways between expected arrivals/departures.

Effort is being funded jointly by FDOT and City of Sarasota

There are enough funds to cover 3-years of operation, or until $$ run out.

Free to users.  No charge to get on and ride.

The Trolley will have traffic signal priority at the Bird Key and Sunset traffic signals.

Interim Strategy:  Trolley will have ability and authority to run on the bike lane shoulder of John Ringling Causeway.  Drivers are to be trained to use the shoulder only when no bikes are in the lane (when clear) and when congestion has caused average travel speed to drop below 15-mph.  Drivers are also instructed that they cannot pass a bike.

FDOT will monitor ridership, overall service, and effects.

If Trolley continues to be funded beyond 3-years, long-term plan includes using Coon Key Bridge Shoulders once bridge is replaced.

Ultimate long-term plan for John Ringling Causeway is shoulder becomes a transit-only lane and 5-foot bike lanes are created from the inside median in both directions.

City is working on a implementing a communications plan to bike clubs and others.

As far as we understand, this is not part of the Sarasota County Area Transit system and not an element of their new Mobility-on-Demand.  This is a separate initiative.

Isaac Brownman

Director Public Works, Town of Longboat Key


St. Regis- Foundation Permit Issued

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

Important milestone for the St. Regis Project.  They have had limited approvals for some site work, but this morning they received sign off from FDEP and the then Town issued their Foundation Permit this morning.  The contractor was mobilized ready to proceed as soon as it was issued.

See note below from Allen, the contractor and the Town have also coordinated on a Construction Management Plan for the project- attached.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager, Town of Longboat Key

St. Regis- Foundation Permit Issued

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

This morning the Foundation Permit for the St. Regis project was issued. This milestone will initiate construction activity on the site in earnest. Staff has coordinated with the contractor on their development of a Construction Management Plan (attached), which was created, in part, to minimize off-site impacts during this 30+ month period of significant construction activity. Some of the key elements, with regard to impacts to nearby properties, include:

Weekly Notification emails will be sent to Aquarius, Tencon and the Town with updates on the following week’s activities, milestones, etc.

Primary construction and developer contacts to immediately respond to any issues.

Information on the methods used to limit vibrations (e.g. auger casting over 2,600 piles instead of using a pile-driven method) impacting neighboring properties (This includes vibration monitoring).

Construction crane location.

The order in which buildings will be constructed to reduce sound impacts and funnel sound to the interior of the project. Information on the off-site parking and busing of workers onto the site.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning, Zoning & Building Department, Town of Longboat Key


Delays in school bus transportation issue

To: Manatee County Schools Superintendent Cynthia Sanders

This letter is to draw your attention as well as others, to the unethical and unsafe conditions with the delayed School Bus Transportation issues that have been occurring throughout the 2021-2022 school year. It is blatant that you, Cynthia Sanders, as the Superintendent of Manatee County Schools and the Manatee County School Board are condoning the delayed transportation issue our children and families of Manatee County have been dealing with.

This letter is highlighting our family’s situation however, as a parent and community member I am well aware that all the children relying on the school bus system are being let down, stressed out, negatively affected, each of their safety is at stake. The parents and caregivers of the other children that rely on the Manatee County school bus system are stressed with extra driving, being misinformed and misled on school bus arrival and departure times, and are worried for their children’s safety.

As of late you, the Superintendent of Manatee County Schools has not responded personally to my multiple phone calls to your office, leaving detailed messages with your assistant.  You have in turn delegated your responsibilities to communicate with a concerned parent of 3 Children in the Manatee County School system.  All I have received for response on your part was the one delegated a staff member, and empty conversation with a pre-concluded message, leaving me and the other parents with empty answers and options. As I have been tirelessly reaching out to School Bus Transportation members since the beginning of the school year, although they are understanding and gracious, they all have their hands tied from your actions or shall I say lack thereof.

In June of 2021, the Superintendent of Manatee County Schools, you Cynthia Sanders, received a 9 percent increase to the existing $240,000 annual salary.

It took until February, 2022, the second semester, third quarter of the 2021-2022 manatee county school year to approve Support Staff at Manatee County Schools ratified agreement for compensation and pay increases for the 2021-2022 school year.  Supposedly, according to the agreement a portion of these funds will eventually go towards increasing the manatee county school bus driver’s salaries.

The existing Manatee County School bus driver shortage was well known before the 2021-2022 school year. It had started and increasingly became worse as the school year has progressed. Who is paying for this blatant favoritism of fund distribution, the children!

Fact from the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, the Manatee County School bus driver pay is significantly below the national average for school bus drivers.  It is a known fact that Private Schools in the area are paying at the National Average pay rate for school bus drivers. The Manatee County School district has been loosing Bus drivers all school year to other higher paying lateral businesses, aka: Private School Bus Transportation, due to this fact that Manatee School District does not provide a competitive pay scale for the very people that are delivering our ‘Precious Cargo’ bi-daily. Not to mention what UPS, FED-EX, Prime pay their drivers to just drop off boxes of goods, compared to what we ask of our school bus drivers delivering the United States of America’s future.

As Florida statutes state, it requires that school districts provide transportation to students in Kindergarten through grade 12.  Our three Children live in Manatee County and they attend their zoned public schools.  My husband and I are and have been Property owners in Manatee County, thus taxpayers to Manatee County and the School District for over 22 years.

In the recent months and weeks our children have been negatively paying the price.

Case in point our children attend Martha B. King Middle School and have now been held after school waiting for the bus to arrive over one hour daily.  School is dismissed at 4:15 p.m. Our children do not load onto the late arriving school bus until well after 5:15 – 5:45 p.m. At that school there is a sign posted at the main entrance: ‘Adult Supervision provided 30 minutes before and after the school day and scheduled school events’.  This is a serious safety issue!  The children are released at 4:15 p.m. with the school bus not arriving until one hour later, according to the school districts sign our children and the other children are not safely supervised for at least 30 minutes of that time!  This is unethical!

Additionally, and by far more serious, one of our children has an I.E.P. with a diagnosed disability.  This has his routine upside down, stress levels are high therefore his school performance is negatively affected.

Both my children have communicated the fact that the other school peers/children are also stressed and fearful of the delays. All the children are tired, dehydrated and hungry.

It is a well-known fact that our route to our home address lies within a seasonal tourist destination location. During the onset, peak and offset of the tourism season of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key drive time becomes extremely lengthy due to the traffic congestion. This is severely add additional transport time to their already lengthy time.

Adding insult to injury, a major issue that our family and other families are having is the lack of communication from the Manatee County School.  We are either not receiving any type of notification that the bus is running late or we receive a call close to an hour after they have been released from school.  This lack of respect and safety is unacceptable on the Manatee County School Boards part.  We and other families live in the outlined seasonal tourist location and have to schedule our days accordingly.  By receiving a call or text late does not afford us the opportunity to go to pick our children up.  If you are not educated on travel time from Longboat Key in season to the mainland, please do your research, you will find it to be upwards of one hour.  Safety is our main concern!

It is despicable that our two Middle School Children have not been arriving home until 6:15-6:30 p.m. and later, each evening.  This is severely affecting them.  This is affecting their time for homework, they are exhausted, needing to use the restroom, dehydrated and hungry!

Additionally, I have noticed that there are several Manatee County School Buses picking up children at Martha B. King Middle School at the 4:15 p.m. release. It is apparent that Transportation is ignoring the children that live the furthest away with the parents and caregivers being unable to expediently drive and pick up their children. It was suggested to me with each conversation with the Transportation officials that we, the parents or caregivers should drive in and pick up our children rather than use the Manatee County School Bus Transportation during this time.  This is outrageous! First of all, we are all taxpayers funding the Manatee County School Bus Transportation. More importantly with the Tourism season now in full swing, it takes a person 1-2 hours to drive off of Longboat Key to the mainland.  You are asking us to double pay, pay Taxes for Transportation and now pay for Fuel in our vehicles, depart our work hours early, rearrange our schedules, some caregivers, maybe grandparents that do not drive, etc. This is exactly why we on Longboat Key and the Beaches, which are within  the zoned Manatee County School District, rely on our paid for Manatee County School Bus Transportation.

The issue was not only in the evening; it was also in the morning.  The morning routing, since communicating not with Cynthia Sanders rather than other Transportation liaisons, was able to be altered and is as of now running on a timely fashion.  It is ludicrous to think that the Manatee County School Board is in acceptance that the children would not arrive at school until one hour past the beginning of school starting.  Again, due to Manatee County School Bus delays, our middle school children had been arriving late to school daily, as much as one hour! They were missing important instructional time as well as mandatory school minutes!  Do not patronize me by stating that they are not marked tardy, the key fact is they were missing instructional time!  They were falling behind in their first period classes, which is not acceptable and hindering their GPA.  Additionally, this late arrival had not allowed them to have the school breakfast, now they were late, missing instructional time and hungry.  I still harbor the resentment for this practice and the nonchalant attitude of the Superintendent on this matter.

It is intriguing that Manatee County Transportation was able to modify the morning Transportation to now be relatively timely however, Transportation is not able to modify the afternoon routing in the same manner.  This does not seem plausible, are there significantly more children being Transported in the afternoon versus the morning? I would be led to believe that it is probable that the same amount of children ride in the morning and in the afternoon.

Currently, I have only spoken of my own two middle school children.  This situation is not isolated only to middle school more seriously it is happening at the Elementary School level affecting younger children.

I also have a child attending first grade, 6-years-old, at Anna Maria Elementary.  My child, is daily delayed at the elementary school for well over one hour after school.  Waiting for a school bus to pick him up for his lengthy ride home.  Again, he is tired, he did his job at school, he is exhausted, dehydrated and hungry.  He  and the other children that live on the beaches and Longboat Key on that bus are not arriving home until well past Two hours after the school has been dismissed.  The travel time on the bus is going to become increasingly longer with the historic delays due to the tourism traffic.

I firmly believe that The School District of Manatee County and the School District of Manatee County School Bus Transportation department are not within compliance and are in strict violation of Florida law that defines a student being transported on the school bus should not exceed 50 minutes and shall not be on school bus transportation longer then one-hour and 30 minutes, per route.

I firmly believe the School District of Manatee County is being deceitful, leaving the children at the school in order to skirt this Florida Statute, that the children were not on the bus.  This is disgraceful, deceitful and illegal.

Once again there is a huge lack of communication from the Manatee County School Bus Transportation department being directed by the Superintendent.  When and if we receive notification that the bus is running late, the notification is not received until close to an hour after they have been released from school.  By the time we receive a notification at 4 p.m. and our children have been released at 3:15 p.m. we are in panic of where our Anna Maria Elementary children are as well as the fact we are unable to quickly go to the school to pick them up.  We would then have to proceed in stopped traffic, for over one to two hours to reach our children.  It is unjust to ask the school staff, teachers, principals to stay after school hours to supervise and protect our children well over one hour daily. Isolated incidents of tardy buses would be acceptable however, daily for months, school quarters and a semester is not acceptable.

As per the Manatee County School guidelines it is not acceptable for my children to arrive at school tardy daily, why is it acceptable and excusable for the Manatee County Bus Transportation to be tardy daily?

I sincerely hope that the School resource officers are still on premise to protect our children as well as school staff.  The Superintendent is an exploiter, taking advantage of the School Bus Drivers, School Bus Transportation department, the School Staff, the School Teachers, the Principals.  This lack of respect and safety is unacceptable on the Manatee County School Boards part.

Recently brought to my attention is an additional elongated time for our children to be seated waiting on the Anna Maria Elementary afternoon Manatee County School Bus.  After waiting the hour for the bus to arrive, the children are then put on the bus and made to wait on the bus an undisclosed amount of time waiting for a transfer student from another school.  It does not seem appropriate and this occurred while we were communicating with Manatee County School bus transportation with concerns on the lengthy wait time, therefore, we are pedaling backwards and stacking more time on the bus for our children.

Myself, my husband, my neighbors, the caregivers of all the Anna Maria Elementary and King Middle School Children have become exasperated on this subject matter.  My Children have been exasperated! They are exhausted, they are missing instructional time, it is not a safety guaranteed situation, they are hungry, dehydrated, anxious, due to the consumption of time they are not properly getting their schoolwork done and missing out on important family time.  The Superintendent has been robbing us of family time with our children since the beginning of the school year.

It is torture to ask a 6-year-old and two middle school children to do their jobs at school all day and then waste their time waiting at school for the bus then travel time on the bus to bring them home so they may start their homework, late, thus effecting their entire evening, dinner, sleep, health and moods.

I want to stress that we and our children are no more important than ALL of the other Parents/ Caregivers and Children in the Manatee County School system that are affected by the Superintendents choices.  However, due to our heightened traffic situation with only one road North, no side streets, no other routes to expeditiously reach our children, we are in a unique situation and rely on the Manatee County School bus system.  I want to stress our appreciation and applaud all of the school bus drivers, school bus assistants and the transportation staff for their valiant effort and commitment in safely transporting children.

I as well as the other parents, caregivers and community members request a prompt resolve of the School District of Manatee County and the School District of Manatee County School Bus Transportation Department.  It is time to hear from the Superintendent and stop being ignored and from the Manatee School Board what action will be immediately taken to resolve this serious issue.  This has been going on way too long.

I myself have called the Superintendent office, leaving a message with the assistant, as of late have not received a response. I expect to hear from the Superintendent in an expositional manner as to how this issue will change immediately.

Mother of 3 Children in the Manatee County School System Zoned Schools

Mother of 3 Children relying on the Manatee County School Transportation

Mother of 3 Children Property Taxpayer

Mother of 3 Children that demands a safe environment for her children

Mother of 3 Children that pays the Superintendents Salary

Google Maps will show the proof as to the length of time it takes us to depart our home on Longboat Key to reach either Anna Maria Elementary or King Middle School.  View it at the 3:15 pm and 4:15 pm release times.  If requested I will supply screenshots of past days, showing the duration of departing Longboat Key to each of the school.  Most days we would have to depart Longboat Key by 1:30 p.m. in order to make it to the schools by 3:15 pm, this is unethical to ask all of us to leave our jobs, our businesses when we have already paid for transportation for our children.

Jessica Nock

Longboat Key


Verizon Poles on the North End

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

I repeat that no expert analysis appears to have been done regarding impacts to property values in the surrounding placement areas. The Town Code requires this be considered.

In the absence of expert analysis, I am very concerned my property could lose value because of the placement of the Verizon cell pole next to my condo.  If that’s true, I question whether the Town’s action constitutes a “taking” and whether I am entitled to just compensation.

The Town has the right to approve placement of the poles as it deems best in furtherance of the public good. But as a matter of fairness, it doesn’t have the right to burden specific property owners without just compensation; assuming, of course, a burden exists. Have the expert analysis done before you vote please.

Matthew Schroeder

Longboat Key


Verizon Personal Wireless Facilities Applications

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

This morning the P&Z Board voted to recommend approval of the Verizon Special Exception and Site Development Plan applications.  Their application will now be forwarded to your special meeting on February 28th for final hearing.

Tom Harmer

Town Manager

Longboat Key

Verizon Personal Wireless Facilities Applications

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

The P&Z Board recommended approval (4-1) this morning of the Verizon Special Exception & Site Development Plan applications for the installation of nine (9) Freestanding Personal Wireless Facilities in right-of-way locations on the north end of Town. These applications will be heard by the Town Commission at their Feb. 28th (@1p) Special Meeting.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning, Zoning & Building Department

Town of Longboat Key


Water Taxi

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Elliott Falcione would like to have one representative per city to act as advisors while Manatee County facilitates a procurement process for a future water taxi operation. Once we have a representative from each city, we will let them know when the committee meetings start.  It may not be until a few months from now. Let us know your thoughts when you have time.

Monica Luff

Senior Admin. Specialist / Film Permit Coordinator

Bradenton Area CVB / Film Office


Water Taxi

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Let’s discuss. We should probably give some thought about how we can participate in the taxi project before the BIEMO meeting on March 15, possibly after some consultation with Sarasota about its plans.

Ken Schneier


Longboat Key

Cell pole locations

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

It is my understanding that Verizon has not changed the proposed location of its nine cell poles.  They made no effort to investigate placement in Whitney Beach Plaza across the street because it is not on a public right of way.  You have to love their logic–define the placement location narrowly (public rights of way) and then say placement in the Plaza is not feasible because it is not on a row.

I understand you cannot consider my number one concern–potential health effects regarding exposure to radio frequency waves.

But the market does and your own code requires you to consider “the potential impacts on property values of nearby or surrounding single-family properties (and condominium units).”   By their own admission, the staff has not done this.  Moreover, they cite potential community wide effects that are extraneous because they do not address impacts to the nearby or surrounding properties.  In other words, this requirement has not been met.

Lastly, it is sadly ironic that after spending millions of dollars to underground utility poles, we are going to put up nine new ones and who knows how many more.  How that happened is a mystery to me.  We are owed a full explanation and accountability.

Matt Schroeder

Longboat Key

Construction Noise Solution

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

It cost the 660 Cedar Street owners $1,800 to have an FPL temporary power pole installed at their construction site.

They would have had a temp pole installed months earlier had they not encountered strong resistance from the builder. No one can figure out why, since the owner was footing the bill, and a third party did the work.

Home construction costs $500+ a sq/ft these days on Longboat.

For the equivalent of four square feet of house, the temporary pole is keeping tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere, while greatly improving neighborhood noise pollution.

Since the power pole was installed, all the subcontractors use electric equipment, including compressors. They do so as it costs them less money and greatly improves their working conditions.

Since the commission chose to leave construction noise unregulated, perhaps simply adding a temporary on-site FPL power pole to the basic building permit would accomplish the same ends of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving noise conditions at construction sites.

How about at least asking new building permit applicants if they would be willing to add an additional $1,800 expense, for a temporary power pole, onto the $1,400,000 – 2,500,000 construction cost of a home, to help global warming and neighborhood noise pollution?

One definition of hope is waiting around for someone else to fix things.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key


Construction Noise Solution

To: Gene Jaleski

The review of the Noise Ordinance began as a means to address complaints about loud music on the water off the North end and became a much larger project to re-organize and modernize the law and improve its enforceability.  Every issue for which improvement was suggested and a detailed, plausible solution provided was discussed and, in most cases, included.

If staff believes that we can require electric-only construction equipment, including generators, in a reasonable and cost-effective manner that is available and fair to developers and contractors operating on the island, it can be considered and incorporated in the ordinance at any time.  To be fair, any such requirement should be consistent with standards imposed by other communities in the area; and if the requirement would result in material increased costs for developers and contractors or require cooperation from other third parties, such as FPL, discussions with those parties should be a pre-requisite.

Ken Schneier


Longboat Key


Construction Noise Solution

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Mayor, thanks for the response to my email about the very positive outcome to both noise, and more importantly air, pollution, at the home construction site at 660 Cedar Street.

I want to thank you for coming to the aid of the surrounding neighbors and facilitating the relocation for loud gas generators and compressors to the rear of the property, thus substantially reducing noise in the neighborhood, prior to the power pole being installed.

Due to a persistent owner, prevailing over a resistant builder, an FPL temporary construction pole was finally installed at the building site, at a cost of eighteen hundred dollars to the owner.

Prevailing building costs are five to seven hundred dollars a square foot. So the temporary power pole costs about the same as three square feet of the house itself. Compare this to the ten thousand dollar fee for the town’s parks and recreation fund, required to build a new home on the island, and the power pole expense is relatively small.

Please note”

1) the power pole, and its use, costs the builder and subcontractors nothing. In fact it saves them hundreds of dollars in saved gasoline costs.

2) Using FPL power keeps tons of CO2 greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

3) Since the power pole was installed, all subcontractors have opted to use FPL power rather than their own gas generators and compressors.

4) The subcontractors have told me that they much prefer to use clean FPL power rather than suffer the constant loud noise and noxious fumes put out by gas powered equipment.

5) I have had multiple conversations with our local, and delightfully accessible, FPL representative, pertaining to the temporary power pole installation and hookup at the building site. I do not believe there are any special issues around FPL and temporary power poles. FPL was accommodating and responsive.

Given the win-win at the construction site at 660 Cedar Street, I am requesting that a discussion be opened up at the next commission workshop, to weigh the pros and cons of adding a requirement to the initial building permit to include a temporary power pole to be available at a construction site.

Please note that such an addition will cost the builder, and subcontractors, nothing. The subcontractors can choose to use either their own gas-powered equipment or the available FPL power.

The upside of such a change in the permitting process is threefold.

1) Using FPL power will prevent many tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere from inefficient small gas engines, at each building site.

2) Greatly reduce neighborhood noise levels to only necessary noise.

3) Working conditions will be greatly improved for the construction workers.

Hope is waiting around for someone else to fix things.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key


Noise ordinance

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

Allen, I inadvertently deleted the email you sent  with the recent noise ordinance revision reference number.

Please send the ordinance number again.

I tried searching for the on-line document and could not find the correct code/ordinance. What you sent specifically listed noise levels, and that construction noise was intentionally left unregulated.

I am wondering if lawn maintenance equipment is also specifically exempted from any noise controls.

FYI – since the FPL temp pole was installed by the owner at 660 Cedar Street, the noise levels are quite low, as all the subs op to use small electric compressors and electric saws, etc. What is heard is “necessary” noise. The use of highly polluting, loud gas equipment is “unnecessary” noise, and should be eliminated.

People who are aware of the position recently adopted by the town and the commission, regarding construction noise, shake their heads in bewilderment. Why would you not choose the best solution, rather than the worst?

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key


St. Regis contruction

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

Has the city of Longboat Key established a plan for traffic when the building  construction starts at the Saint Regis Hotel. From newspaper articles it states that they may be up to 800 workers on site at one time in addition to an endless supply of dump trucks and other material supply trucks which will constantly be entering and leaving the site.

Also wondering if the city is planning to repair the erosion groin which was built at that location in 2014 and was damaged by the hurricane about 2 years ago?

Harry Hilburg

Longboat Key


St Regis questions

To: Harry Hilburg

Thank you for your note. Good questions. During the testimony before the Town Commission, it was stipulated that the developer would make arrangements to bring workers to the site from off the Island by bus.

I had inquired earlier about the groin at the St Regis property. It is my understanding from the Alan Parsons, the Director of Planning and Zoning, that the groin was built and owned by the Colony and the ownership was transferred to the St Regis in sale. The building plans submitted to the Town for approval showed a repaired/renovated groin with a dock stretching into the water. I assume that is still the plan as the Commission has not had any requests for modifications since the last vote.

I have heard nothing about dump trucks, but thankfully the cranes and heavy equipment currently on site have not so far proved problematic. I will check with the Town Manager on Monday to see if there is a separate traffic plan in the works for when things progress on the site and will get back to you when I know more.

Penny Gold


Longboat Key


St. Regis questions

To: Longboat Key Commissioner Penny Gold

Thank you for your response. According to the 2014 engineering report when the groin was built it was built by the city of Longboat Key the same as the groin at The Islander. It again was financed through a special tax assessment. I had previously given a copy of the engineering report to Wendy. If the groin is owned by The Colony or St Regis they could deny use of it the General Public.

Harry Hilburg

Longboat Key


Golf Carts

To: Longboat Key Commission

At the Commission meeting on Monday there was a comment about the message sign that has been placed on Anna Maria Island regarding Golf Carts. See note below from the Chief.   We have been advised that Holmes Beach is trying to address a targeted problem in the area in front of the commercial strip (E. Bay Drive) just south of Manatee Avenue and with Golf Carts leaving the island on Manatee Avenue toward the mainland to go to a restaurant/bar on the causeway.

Tom Harmer

Town Manager

Longboat Key


Golf Carts

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Chief Bill Tokinger, Holmes Beach P.D. has confirmed that the billboard is theirs, and it has been up for 30 days, and will remain for another 30 days to educate the renters/public that golf carts are not allowed on Manatee Av, across the Manatee Bridge, or East Bay Drive, in front of the Publix/CVS Shopping Plaza.

After the next 30 day “ educational period “, they will have the same policy we have had in place the last four months,  “ Zero Tolerance, Uniformed Traffic Tickets, and towing of the Golf Cart.”

LKPD policy has been shared with all Golf Cart Rental Companies on Anna Maria Island by me personally. The vendors have printed that no golf carts are allowed on Longboat Key, anywhere that speed limits are above 35mph, across any bridge, etc.

George B. Turner

Chief of Police

Town of Longboat Key


Golf Carts

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

This is still a little confusing. Are golf carts allowed on LBK in 35 mph zones? If so, do they need to be LSV certified (Tag, title, Insurance, mirrors, turn signals, etc.).

Mike Haycock

Vice Mayor

Town of Longboat Key


Golf Carts

To: Longboat Key Vice Mayor Mike Haycock

Vice Mayor, thanks for the email.  The earlier email was just attempting to explain the temporary signage that Holmes Beach put up to target two specific areas for education and enforcement.

I will confirm with the Police Department, but as I understand it, generally golf carts may only be operated on roadways that are designated for golf carts with a posted speed limit of 30 mph or less.  I am not aware of any public roads on Longboat Key that are designated for golf carts.   

Low Speed Vehicles (LSV)- which can be similar to a golf cart but have additional safety equipment, tag and insurance requirements, and operate at a higher speed- may only be operated on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less.

I attached a flyer from the Florida Division of Motor Vehicles on Golf Carts and LSV.

The Statute (316.2122) on LSV’s does provide language that the FDOT may prohibit the operation of LSV’s on any roads under its jurisdiction.  Not sure if that has come up before for the FDOT roadway on Longboat Key and not aware of any FDOT regulation specifically prohibiting them on our 35mph portion of GMD.    There is a similar statutory provision for roads that are under the jurisdiction of the counties or municipalities. See below.

316.2122 (3)  county or municipality may prohibit the operation of low-speed vehicles or mini trucks on any road under its jurisdiction if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that such prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.

316.2122 (4) he Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of low-speed vehicles or mini trucks on any road under its jurisdiction if it determines that such prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.

So for Longboat Key, on GMD, Golf Carts would not be allowed, but a LSV would be in the 35 mph zone if there is no specific restriction by the FDOT.

Tom Harmer

Town Manager

Longboat Key

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