The old phrase “a picture is worth 1,000 words” hit home at Tuesday’s April 16 Planning and Zoning Board meeting,
Bayview Drive residents submitted a picture of a more than 35-foot, twin-engine boat, sitting on a trailer, wrapped in blue tarps.
“The big blue monster,” as Bayview Drive resident Joe Iannello referred to it, is legal under town code, and its owner leaves it in the driveway for 10 months out of the year until he returns.
Currently, under the town code, boats can legally sit in driveways, yards or side yards.
The image of the boat shocked board members.
“If that was in my neighborhood, I would be pounding on the door every day to complain, but I know no one is there to hear your complaints,” said Planning Board Chairwoman B.J. Webb.
Residents of Country Club Shores and Longbeach Village also debated the issue of boat trailer parking enforcement.
Country Club Shores residents, who let their deeds and covenant restrictions lapse, want the town to ban trailers and boats from being parked in their driveways, while Longbeach Village residents say a ban on boat and trailer parking in a historic fishing village would be downright ludicrous.
Longbeach Village Association President Michael Drake said, if the town bans boat parking in side and back yards, 90% of the Village lots that don’t have water access would be prohibited from parking their boats on their properties.
“You can maybe spot-zone certain areas, but don’t institute a Key-wide ban,” Drake said. “One of the reasons many of us bought where we did is because we had the ability to store a boat.”
Recognizing the widespread debate, board member George Symanski Jr. made a motion to ask the Longboat Key Town Commission if the board can appoint a task force of residents in different neighborhoods to come up with a recommendation for the boat-and-trailer parking code-enforcement issue.