+ Public invited to speak about town’s sign code
The Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Board held its first of two public hearings Tuesday, May 5 regarding a review of the town’s sign code, which was first implemented in 1995.
Residents, real-estate-agents and business owners were invited to the podium to express their views on the code, which was scrutinized this spring when town officials took down campaign signs from the rights of way and forced real-estate signs to be pushed back on certain properties, per town code requirements.
Former Mayor Ron Johnson told the planning board his for sale sign is now barely visible on his property, and Michael Saunders & Company real-estate agent Georgina Clamage also clamored for better sign visibility.
Don Roberts, owner of The Centre Shops, also asked for leniency in portable signs that sit outside some of his tenants’ doors. Currently, the portable signs are not allowed.
The planning board is urging more people to attend and make comments at its second sign code meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 12, at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.
+ No action taken on cell tower ordinance, again
At the Longboat Key Town Commission’s Monday, May 4 regular meeting, the commission sent back to workshop, again, the town’s telecommunications ordinance.
Approximately 35 residents came to Town Hall to voice displeasure with the ordinance and urged the commission not to make any changes, for fear that a revised ordinance would spur applications for 150-foot cell-phone towers.
After an hour-and-a-half of discussion, the commission agreed to workshop the ordinance at a later date, most likely this fall, once its seasonal residents return. In the meantime, the commission hopes the delay will allow companies with viable cell-phone-reception alternatives that don’t include towers to come forward.
For more on this issue, visit www.yourobserver.com.
+ Town’s engineer suggests solution
The town’s beach engineer, Coastal Planning & Engineering, suggests that the town look for limited amounts of nearby beach-compatible sand as a short-term solution for the sand loss at the North Shore Road beach access.
Meanwhile, Town Manager Bruce St. Denis and Public Works Director Juan Florensa will review possible beach-quality sand dredged in the West Coast Inland Navigation District east of Jewfish Key. They will also schedule a meeting with state officials to discuss the possibility of obtaining permits for short-term and long-term solutions to the north-end erosion problem. Town staff will also submit a permit for offshore breakwaters for the area later this month.
C,P&E reports that the north-end beach erosion should not result in any flooding of the nearby condominiums.
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Mote-tagged shark swims toward Sarasota
A 14-foot, 2,300-pound great white shark is currently heading eastbound toward Sarasota.
Police get a wheel deal from anonymous citizen
An anonymous citizen recently contacted the town with an offer to buy the Longboat Key Police Department a new bicycle.
Surprise daytime turtle encounter
On his evening beach walk, Longboat Key resident Mike Haycock was in for a big surprise when he spotted a sea turtle coming out of the water Sunday.