Positive Change for LBK founders Rick and Marsha Crawford say their group is part of a silent majority that supports the Longboat Key Club and Resort’s $400 million Islandside redevelopment plan. But, the group says it won’t be silent any longer.
More than 75 people attended the second Positive Change for LBK meeting Tuesday, April 14, at the Key Club’s new tennis facility, The Tennis Gardens. The group discussed plans for spreading its message, including writing letters to the Longboat Key Town Commission and local newspapers and developing its Web site, www.positivechangeforlbk.com.
“Now is the time for enhancement,” Marsha Crawford said. “The baby boomers are coming.”
The Crawfords formed Positive Change for LBK last month to counter the Islandside Property Owners Coalition (IPOC), which does not support the club’s redevelopment plan. At the April 14 meeting, several speakers refuted claims made by members of IPOC, including references to the club’s planned 17,000-square-foot meeting space as a “convention center.”
“The Longboat Key Club never said ‘convention center,’” Marsha Crawford said. “That was totally invented by the opponents.”
Rick Crawford addressed traffic concerns that IPOC has raised, pointing to a study by the Tampa-based engineering firm of Grimail Crawford Inc., which projected that by 2014, if the Key Club completed its current plan, the redeveloped resort would see an average of 2.4 additional cars per minute pass through both the north and south gates when it is at 100% occupancy. Rick Crawford said that many visitors wouldn’t rent cars when they visit the resort and that those who do wouldn’t necessarily drive during high traffic times.
Tom Aposporos, interim president of the Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce, spoke out in favor of the project, citing the additional sales-tax revenue it would generate.
“This is a taxpayer issue if ever I’ve seen one,” he said.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].