Longboat Key residents share their reactions to Wednesday’s decision.
Bob Blumberg, L’Ambiance resident
“I’m shocked that they would disregard part of the Comprehensive Plan and vote (not) for the people of Longboat Key and the Key itself, but for one individual project … The open space was present when we bought and when we joined the Key Club. We were told that it would stay as recreational area, and that has been taken away.”
Randall Clair, former Longboat Key commissioner
“I think like anything, all hearings must come to an end. I’m glad to see that the commission finally acted, and there’s no way to please all the people, but maybe we’re going to have a test as to what the commission did…Ultimately, if the courts uphold it, it was a great decision. If the court doesn’t rule in favor, it was a bad decision.”
Andrew Vac, St. Armands Circle Association president and broker/owner of Re/Max Excellence
“It’s fantastic. This is going to set a precedent for Publix, the Hilton, the Colony and all those other places that we are moving into the future. I’m sorry that it wasn’t 7-0. It should have been.”
Tom Cornell, Bay Isles resident
“It was a long time coming, and I was glad to see the commissioners finally fulfill their responsibilities.”
Jim Greer, Bay Isles resident
“I feel very happy and very satisfied with the outcome. The club means a lot to me and to my family and has always meant a lot. It was a wonderful opportunity to be right in the middle of the biggest thing that has ever happened on this island.”
Patrick Mellett, Bay Isles resident
“I’m thrilled. It was like David Brenner read my mind…This is $400 million, none of which is tax dollars. That’s going to show the world that Longboat is moving forward.”
Milan Adrian, Grand Bay resident
“I’ve been in favor of it since day one, when it was a $500 million project. It’s good for our businesses, for St. Armands businesses, for downtown businesses and good for our property values.”
Barbara Refran, Bay Isles resident
“I think it will absolutely be the best thing that ever happened to Longboat Key. From the rooftops all the way down to the landscaping, it will be magnificent.”
David Miller, Longboat Key resident and owner of Cannons Marina
“It’s a great day for Longboat Key. It’s been a long, long battle, as everyone knows. I would have loved for it to be 7-0, but 6-1 is pretty good.”
Ann Roth, Longboat Key Public Interest Committee co-president
“PIC is pleased with the outcome of the votes of the commissioners for the application. We came out for it in the beginning, and we’re very satisfied that, hopefully, progress has won out. We’ll just await to see what the next step is and hope it goes well.”
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