The Longboat Key Town Commission passed a resolution at 8 p.m. Wednesday night that gives the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association a four-month extension of the grandfathered tourism units at the shuttered resort.
The commission also mandated the association increase a bond the town can use to make improvements to the property in case of an emergency or a lack of prompt action by the association from $50,000 to $250,000.
Town Manager Dave Bullock noted the increase, which was objected by association attorney Jeff Warren, was needed because of the association’s “track record.”
“If history is any indication, we will live on the edge of drawing the bond,” said Bullock, explaining the association still hasn’t corrected a fire alarm issue in the mid-rise building at the town’s request. “I have no confidence things will get done unless we have resources to draw upon.”
But before that April 30 tourism extension deadline arrives, the commission will hold a 9 a.m. public hearing March 4 to determine whether the majority of the Colony buildings are a public nuisance and town action, through its code process, needs to be taken to have the buildings demolished.
The commission reviewed a 67-page report from Building Official Wayne Thorne and a recommendation from Bullock that requests existing units at the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort site be torn down.
Bullock noted the buildings are a nuisance and a threat to the health and safety of the general public during a storm. Bullock is suggesting Colony structures be torn down as a condition to the property keeping the grandfathered tourism units on the site.
Thorne said there are 782 items that “meet the conditions of being dangerous structures and 177 “serious issues” that need to be addressed. He said the buildings are “falling down on themselves,” and “the code won’t allow units (including units closest to the beach) to be rebuilt.”
In March, unit owners and every interested Colony party will be invited to the public hearing as the commission reviews a building by building summary to determine if the buildings meet the definition for nuisance and dangerous buildings. Then a decision can be made on the buildings and if a process needs to instituted to get the buildings torn down.
Bullock noted that Warren brought up at a recent bankruptcy hearing that the buildings will be torn down eventually.
“I’m trying to find a logical way to deal with a multitude of issues this collapsing development gives us,” Bullock said. “ It’s a way to accomplish an improvement in the community."
Warren announced that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May will make a decision on the Colony settlement agreement on Jan. 27.
Longtime Colony owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber told the commission he “finally sees a light at the end of this horrible nightmare.”
“Please don’t take immediate action to remove current the current density,” said Klauber, who explained he is working with a developer that will create “a fabulous new Colony.”
For more information on the meeting, pick up a copy of next week’s Longboat Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].