+ P&Z member sees too many signs
Planning and Zoning Board member Walter Hackett, upset with the number of road signs that the Florida Department of Transportation has placed in the Gulf of Mexico Drive right of way over the years, counted 405 state road signs along 9.7 miles of Gulf of Mexico Drive the last week in April.
Florida Department of Transportation officials told the planning board at its Tuesday, May 12 sign-code meeting that they may be able to work with town staff to reduce some road signs during paving projects for the road this year and in 2010.
+ Road paving almost complete
The Florida Department of Transportation’s Gulf of Mexico Drive paving contractor, Ajax Paving Industries Inc., will be done paving the majority of the Manatee County side of the road by Wednesday, May 13.
Darren Alfonso, the project’s public information officer, said the news means the contractor has only minor paving improvements left to be done in the next 10 days, which will result in minimal lane closures.
Once complete, Alfonso said the contractor would be back in mid-June for one more coat of permanent striping.
+ Town Commission approves settlement
The Longboat Key Town Commission approved a settlement agreement at its Monday, May 4 regular meeting that allows Key property owner Peter Swain to build a home closer to the Gulf of Mexico.
Swain appealed a decision by the Zoning Board of Adjustment to deny him an amended variance last year at 2913 Gulf of Mexico Drive. Town code states that homes should not be built closer than 150 feet from the Erosion Control Line, unless an undue hardship exists on the property.
The commission, in a 4-3 vote, begrudgingly granted Swain a variance that’s 73 feet, 6 inches from the control line at the north lot line and 70 feet, 2 inches from the control line’s southern lot line. The majority of the commission believed it was better to grant an amended variance than pursue the case and accrue more than $25,000 in legal fees.
In the Thursday, May 7 edition, The Longboat Observer incorrectly stated that Commissioner Peter O’Connor was a former Planning and Zoning Board member and that Shannon Gault was appointed to the General Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees. Patrick Mellett was appointed to the retirement board.
+ Meetings & Agendas
• Planning and Zoning Board Regular Meeting — 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 19.
All meetings take place at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.
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Hat's off to Dee Pelton, volunteers
Dee Pelton held a luncheon that will be tough to top.
Youth sailors descend on City Island
Approximately 250 people hit the water Saturday, April 20 through Sunday, April 21, for Sailfest. The regatta, Sarasota Youth Sailing's biggest fundraiser of the year, included four classes of competition — Optimus, 420, Laser and Multi-hull — and a barbecue feast.
Book club sunsets for the season
The Sunset Beach Book Club, in its 10th year, ended this season with a luncheon and discussion of the book “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, April 18, at Lazy Lobster. Discussion moderator was Ricki Carroll. Together, the group read five books this season.