+ Longboat Key Club could open its Islandside golf course
The proposed development at the Longboat Key Club and Resort could improve the financial health of Longboat Key. However, it would be helpful if there were some tangible incentive for the residents of Longboat to support the project.
I suggest that the club offer the use of the golf course to the residents one day per week. The charge should be equal to the charge at Bobby Jones, the Sarasota municipal course, and be seasonally adjusted.
Anyone who drives by the courses must notice that the use of these golf facilities is very light. There should be plenty of tee times for all.
+ The Key Club’s project contains several downsides
I have read, listened and thought long and hard about the future of the Longboat Key Club and how it impacts me and my wife. I have come to the conclusion that, for us, there is no upside and there is a large downside to this project. We were tennis members at the club for about 11 years.
The plans that I have seen will increase the water consumption on the island to exceed the 3-million-gallon-a-day limit, thus pushing us into the higher rates foolishly negotiated by town management. In addition, the huge expenditure for improving the sewer system paid for by the taxpayers of Longboat Key will not cost the Key Club anything because it will be finished before the new construction starts. Again, fine planning by town management. If the town had bonded for the project in the first place, then developers like these would have been paying their fair share. Impact fee will be levied, but they will not be able to cover these costs.
Next, this project will supposedly increase the value of my property. Well, that is just great: My value goes up, my taxes increase, my wind, flood and house insurance increase accordingly. What is not to like?
Another side note, who will finance this project? Money from places such as Dubai? Look at what has happened there. Look around Florida and other resort areas. Golf-course developments are in serious financial trouble, and to allow this to move forward will likely result in a similar situation to the tennis courts at Islandside or other vacant properties around the area.
All of the positive reports from the Sarasota business groups and the glowing reports of no traffic increase and more restaurants and shops opening to accommodate the influx of tourists is just nonsense. When attending a conference, people rarely venture outside the confines of a resort. The club could improve the facilities a great deal and have a five-star rating without any construction. Finally, the situation at The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort has nothing whatsoever to do with the Key Club. They are two totally separate issues.
+ The candidates’ vote totals speak for themselves
Your paper printed a letter from Joan Webster. To Joan: I would like to say, Lynn Larson got 54.4% of the votes — (Mayor Lee) Rothenberg (received) 36.6%.
Rothenberg’s record speaks for itself.
That’s why I voted for Lynn Larson.
+ Commission should do its duty and approve the plan
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to town commissioners and The Longboat Observer
Dear Town Commissioners:
Please act fiscally responsibly by approving the Longboat Key Club and Resort’s plans for redevelopment.
As permanent residents on Longboat Key, sadly we have watched the erosion of the vitality that brought us to this area six years ago. Shops closing, restaurants disappearing, property values plummeting — all are testimony to the need for change.
You have the power to make this area the must-go-to place for luxurious recreation, relaxation and living that it once was. You also have the power to vote for its continued slow and agonizing demise.
Which shall it be? Please don’t be swayed by the self-serving misinformation disseminated by the few who identify themselves as the “behind the gates” group. They do not represent the vast majority of Longboat residents.
Which shall it be — a return to prosperity or the end of a dream? The fate of Longboat Key rests firmly in your hands.
Robert and Carole Madden
+ Florida has some great examples of roundabouts
One great roundabout is in Live Oak, highways 136 and 51. When traffic is heavy (i.e. school traffic or when offices close) it could use a person to direct traffic, because some drivers will not move into the flow and vehicles will back up two or more miles, wasting fuel. Around the corner you can often find one or two officers sitting in their patrol car. They could provide assistance for an hour once or twice a day. Longboat could check it out and save their money.
+ Why not write a story about businesses still on the Key?
I can’t help but notice yet one more piece about the businesses that no longer exist on Longboat Key. (Walter Hackett) has obviously pulled the information from the Occupational Tax Receipt records from the town.
I again ask ... why not focus/highlight those of us that are still in business on Longboat? You could do a reverse check of Occupational Tax Receipt records to find out who is still in business. I’m sure we’d all appreciate a positive spin, because we want to remain on Longboat Key to be of service to its residents.
Alicia Aeziman, owner of Alicia’s Grooming