Visitors are coming to Longboat Key soon, and a group of Key residents are preparing for their visit.
A subcommittee of town officials and Key residents has been working all summer to formulate a list of questions that the Washington, D.C.,-based The Urban Land Institute (ULI) will use to find out what the town wants and where it’s headed in the next 20 years.
The Longboat Key Town Commission approved a $125,000 contract with ULI to help figure out what it wants to be and where it’s headed.
The subcommittee, meanwhile, has also been crafting a document of approximately 100 pages, dubbed the “ULI Briefing Book,” which explains the town’s history and acts as a guide map and a history book of the past and present for the consultant to use.
It includes information about how the Key got to where it is today and contains economic patterns over time, demographic changes and tourism patterns, among other carefully crafted indexed chapters.
“It’s about as neutral a guide that someone could read about the Key’s issues,” said Key resident and ULI subcommittee member Tom Freiwald. “The document we have come up with so far is interesting and might be able to be used for other purposes in the future. It’s an interesting read.”
The commission already approved a list of 10 questions the subcommittee crafted that will be used when the ULI meets with 100 residents and business owners Oct. 20 to Oct. 25 to discuss Key issues and obtain answers to a list of questions during a series of panel discussions.
Per ULI recommendations, interviewees should include residents, members of the business community, representatives of public agencies and community groups, political leaders and others who can provide information and insight to the consultant panel.
The ULI subcommittee will next discuss the interview process at a meeting scheduled for 2 p.m. Sept. 19, at Town Hall.
The meetings and interviews in October will be held at the Longboat Key Hilton Beachfront Resort.
Suggestions for those to be interviewed, especially suggestions of younger residents to create a good balance of interviewees, can be emailed to town planner Alaina Ray at [email protected].
A ULI briefing book states: “The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Panel has been invited to Longboat Key to provide the town with analysis and recommendations from experienced industry professionals as to the town’s current strategies and how the town might best plan for the next 20 years. The town is seeking a long-term, ‘big picture’ perspective, but also desires specific ideas and an implementation plan that can be acted upon in the near future.”