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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jun. 23, 2010 4 years ago

Town will enforce chair removal at beach access

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by: Kurt Schultheis Managing Editor

It’s a vicious cycle.

Longboat Key’s code enforcement department tags chairs that are chained to trees at the Gulfside Road beach access.

The police department eventually removes the chairs.

Then, residents pick up their chairs at the public works department and put them back on the beach.

Town Manager Bruce St. Denis is so frustrated with the ongoing cycle, which he says eats into staff time and resources, that he urged the Town Commission to tell him what to do.

“As soon as we take the chairs, another chair replaces it,” St. Denis said.

Currently, residents are not leaving chairs at the other 12 town-owned beach accesses island-wide.

Sleepy Lagoon residents, St. Denis says, feel they should be allowed to leave the chairs there because the beach access does not provide parking.

But Sleepy Lagoon Homeowners Association President Reina Berman told the Town Commission her association has never taken a stance on the issue.

“Some of our members feel leaving patio furniture on the beach is an eyesore,” she said. “Others desire to leave their furniture on the beach because they don’t want to carry it back and forth.”

North-end resident Mindy Rollins urged the commission to continue to remove the chairs.

“Please keep the common courtesy of the neighbors in mind and the island’s aesthetics,” said Rollins, who also said she worries about the chairs inhibiting the ability of sea turtles to nest.

When St. Denis said that if the commission allowed chairs at the Gulfside Road beach access, chairs would most likely have to be allowed at the other beach accesses, the commission unanimously decided to continue the chair-removal process.

“It’s not attractive and it’s against town rules,” Brown said. “That’s the bottom line.”
 

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