Town Manager Dave Bullock isn’t happy with the level of service the Longboat Key Planning, Zoning and Building Department is providing, so he’s seeking outside help to alleviate the problem.
“I haven’t met my goal of achieving excellence in planning,” said Bullock, at the commission’s Oct. 21 regular workshop. “I think I can do that by availing ourselves of a deeper level of expertise on an as-needed basis to help us with work, supplement staff and to help us through things that take us through a higher level of expertise and planning.”
To achieve that goal, the commission signed off on Bullock’s proposal to sign an interlocal agreement with the University of Florida (UF) for planning services.
“The agreement will allow the town to use the resources of UF to assist the town with planning initiatives such as implementation of the Urban Land Institute recommendations, immediate help with general planning tasks, assistance in understanding potential impacts of sea-level rise on Longboat Key’s future and other projects to be determined,” Bullock wrote in an Oct. 16 memo to the commission.
The town will use a planning department professional services budget of $25,000 to pay for services.
Bullock can also bring forward budget amendments, as required, from the Town Commission Contingency fund.
The town will also use the services of Bill Spikowski, of Spikowski Planning Associates. The town hired Spikowski in January to provide consulting services for short-term changes to the town code to get the Longboat Key Hilton Beachfront Resort project back on track.
Because ULI has recommended the town draft brand-new codes and a brand-new comp plan, UF and Spikowski could help with that future process.
“Spikowski could be a consultant for us,” Bullock said. “He brought a level of expertise and gained a lot of knowledge about our codes that I don’t want to lose. I see this as a nice meshing together.”
Specific tasks for the University of Florida
• Review site-plan applications, zoning applications and other land-use applications.
• Coordinate with the town’s various departments to provide comments to applicants regarding pending applications.
• Track projects through the town’s development process.
• Compose and review staff reports and other documents required for the town’s public hearings.
• Attend project review meetings with town staff and applicants.
• Provide support for and attend town public meetings for projects.
• Provide information to property owners and other interested parties regarding the town’s land-development code, Comprehensive Plan and other codes.
• Participate in the Urban Land Institute study and implementation on behalf of the town.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at firstname.lastname@example.org