+ Boats should stay off front yards
Regarding your editorial, “Boat-trailer trash; or is it?” allow me to answer your question. The answer is yes, when it is clearly an affront to your neighbors and you have ignored their desire to “move your boat for the good of the neighborhood” as you so naively proposed we affronted neighbors do. The boat in question that offends me is none other than the blue-tarped one you displayed in your editorial.
The presumably proud owner of this visual blight is away for more than six months of the year, and he obviously feels this unsightly barge standing nearly as tall as his garage is not an eyesore because it does not confront him every day. Furthermore, he has a newly built dock and lift, which myself and other offended neighbors assumed was for this floating palace, but, alas, we were wrong.
I almost always agree with your conservative and libertarian views and am a strong believer in property rights. But, as often is the case, encroaching on the property rights of others is not acceptable, nor should it be tolerated. There needs to be limits as to what one may utilize their property for, and dry dock storage should not be one of them — especially if the offender has waterfront property!
You state: “It’s quite remarkable ... there is not a law on Longboat Key’s books banning the parking of boats in residential yards … it’s even more surprising they haven’t banned the parking of boats and trailers in front yards ... that is so not like Longboat Key.”
You seemingly disclaim your conclusion to not create an ordinance to ban such storage. Interestingly enough, it is my understanding that Manatee County and Bradenton do not allow such front-yard storage, whereas formerly prestigious Longboat Key, which seemingly in the past was able to rely on the good sense and common courtesy of its residents to be considerate of their town and fellow residents, can no longer be so confident in today’s citizens to have the good sense of those of past years. That observation encompasses more than boats and trailers on display and includes everything from single-family home owners consistently violating the 30-day rule on renting out their homes, to total lack of upkeep on homes, which were formerly considered valuable investments, to front yards and backyards cluttered with junk.
What will be allowed per the subcommittee’s recommendation is an amiable allowance for residents to store their boats and trailers in their side yards behind a fence. A generous six-month period is also allowed for residents to comply.
The paramount question is whether it is within the province of government to create ordinances, laws, rules and codes that affect what an individual may do with their property. It is common knowledge that many such qualifications already exist and were born from the majority agreeing and understanding that such enforcement is “for the good of the neighborhood.”
+ Watch Long Bar Pointe process closely
One can only hope that the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners will protect the environment, the fragile manatee population and the quietude of Longboat Key bayside living with respect to the massive Long Bar Pointe development proposal. Should the developers prevail, the town should seek to engage the legal expertise of experienced environmental groups such as Earthjustice and the Environmental Defense Fund in an effort to protect the town’s long-term quality of life for its current and future residents.