+ Longboat Key Club could open its Islandside golf course
The proposed development at the Longboat Key Club and Resort could improve the financial health of Longboat Key. However, it would be helpful if there were some tangible incentive for the residents of Longboat to support the project.
I suggest that the club offer the use of the golf course to the residents one day per week. The charge should be equal to the charge at Bobby Jones, the Sarasota municipal course, and be seasonally adjusted.
Anyone who drives by the courses must notice that the use of these golf facilities is very light. There should be plenty of tee times for all.
+ The Key Club’s project contains several downsides
I have read, listened and thought long and hard about the future of the Longboat Key Club and how it impacts me and my wife. I have come to the conclusion that, for us, there is no upside and there is a large downside to this project. We were tennis members at the club for about 11 years.
The plans that I have seen will increase the water consumption on the island to exceed the 3-million-gallon-a-day limit, thus pushing us into the higher rates foolishly negotiated by town management. In addition, the huge expenditure for improving the sewer system paid for by the taxpayers of Longboat Key will not cost the Key Club anything because it will be finished before the new construction starts. Again, fine planning by town management. If the town had bonded for the project in the first place, then developers like these would have been paying their fair share. Impact fee will be levied, but they will not be able to cover these costs.
Next, this project will supposedly increase the value of my property. Well, that is just great: My value goes up, my taxes increase, my wind, flood and house insurance increase accordingly. What is not to like?
Another side note, who will finance this project? Money from places such as Dubai? Look at what has happened there. Look around Florida and other resort areas. Golf-course developments are in serious financial trouble, and to allow this to move forward will likely result in a similar situation to the tennis courts at Islandside or other vacant properties around the area.
All of the positive reports from the Sarasota business groups and the glowing reports of no traffic increase and more restaurants and shops opening to accommodate the influx of tourists is just nonsense. When attending a conference, people rarely venture outside the confines of a resort. The club could improve the facilities a great deal and have a five-star rating without any construction. Finally, the situation at The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort has nothing whatsoever to do with the Key Club. They are two totally separate issues.
+ The candidates’ vote totals speak for themselves
Your paper printed a letter from Joan Webster. To Joan: I would like to say, Lynn Larson got 54.4% of the votes — (Mayor Lee) Rothenberg (received) 36.6%.
Rothenberg’s record speaks for itself.
That’s why I voted for Lynn Larson.
+ Commission should do its duty and approve the plan
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to town commissioners and The Longboat Observer
Dear Town Commissioners:
Please act fiscally responsibly by approving the Longboat Key Club and Resort’s plans for redevelopment.
As permanent residents on Longboat Key, sadly we have watched the erosion of the vitality that brought us to this area six years ago. Shops closing, restaurants disappearing, property values plummeting — all are testimony to the need for change.
You have the power to make this area the must-go-to place for luxurious recreation, relaxation and living that it once was. You also have the power to vote for its continued slow and agonizing demise.
Which shall it be? Please don’t be swayed by the self-serving misinformation disseminated by the few who identify themselves as the “behind the gates” group. They do not represent the vast majority of Longboat residents.
Which shall it be — a return to prosperity or the end of a dream? The fate of Longboat Key rests firmly in your hands.
Robert and Carole Madden
+ Florida has some great examples of roundabouts
One great roundabout is in Live Oak, highways 136 and 51. When traffic is heavy (i.e. school traffic or when offices close) it could use a person to direct traffic, because some drivers will not move into the flow and vehicles will back up two or more miles, wasting fuel. Around the corner you can often find one or two officers sitting in their patrol car. They could provide assistance for an hour once or twice a day. Longboat could check it out and save their money.
+ Why not write a story about businesses still on the Key?
I can’t help but notice yet one more piece about the businesses that no longer exist on Longboat Key. (Walter Hackett) has obviously pulled the information from the Occupational Tax Receipt records from the town.
I again ask ... why not focus/highlight those of us that are still in business on Longboat? You could do a reverse check of Occupational Tax Receipt records to find out who is still in business. I’m sure we’d all appreciate a positive spin, because we want to remain on Longboat Key to be of service to its residents.
Alicia Aeziman, owner of Alicia’s Grooming
Currently 2 Responses
- To Mr. Thomas Jendrysik,
Wow, Mr. Jendrysik, I do not really know where to start but will attempt. First, let me address the conclusion both your wife and you made concerning your family. It is not about you. Sorry, the redevelopment is for the island of Longboat Key which includes many more people than you. I am sorry to respond in that way to you but it seems that so many letters start out with that pretense? The Longboat Key Club is the main business and asset that Longboat Key has. They need to redevelop for the future whether it includes you or myself. It isn't about you or me but the island collectively. You even mention that you don't play tennis anymore? Wow, how revealing. Many still play tennis and The Club hopes that the new meeting attendees and tourists will still play both tennis and golf. They also are counting on the members and tourists using the 28000 square foot wellness center. They would also like to attract some of their lost meeting groups to give them another visit with their new facilities!! That is what it is about. It is truly about the future 5, 10 or even 15 years out. Heck, their meeting rooms were built before personal computers. Do you think they may be out of date? A-List groups require new stuff or they do not come! Peter Yesawich, PH.D, the only travel expert to testify at the hearings, said this, "Tourists and meeting planners require new stuff and the market is very competitive. If The Club does not redevelop, they will die and they are already on the downside. The Club needs to attract 40 year old groups to stay healthy in the future." Please re-read that, as again, it is not about you or me. It is about the largest asset the island of Longboat Key has. You say there is no connection to The Colony? Wow, Peter Yesawich, strongly disagrees. Again, he said, with no redevelopment, The Club will join The Colony. People want new resorts not 30 year old resorts built in another era.
I close by responding to your two other points. If you are aware of the 5-Star requirements you would understand that there is no way the current facility can achieve that status. Too many major pieces are missing. Your last point is that it is a tax negative. Wow, again you are totally misinformed? Just the permit fees are around $6 million with so much more to follow in increasing taxes through sales and property tax receipts. The island of Longboat Key is a business with bills to be paid. It's number one client is Longboat Key Club. Don't you think it wise for the town to assist its largest asset? It is truly a no brainer when you have the facts. I encourage you to vote for the future of Longboat Key collectively. The future will happen, the question is whether it will be a prosperous and bright future for future Longboaters.
Rick Crawford, President of Positive Change for LBK
- The Live Oak, FL, Roundabout: can be viewed via Google earth to Newbern rd and Irvin Av sw, live oak, fl (Co Rd 36 & Co Rd 51.) it is a five-legged roundabout, rather out of the ordinary, and well received by its users "The City improved traffic immensively when creating the roundabout at SR51, CR136, Walker, etc. It was done very tastefully for visual appeal." Suwanne Democrat , Jan 29. http://www.suwanneedemocrat.com/archivesearch/local_story_028144454.html.. see other USA experiences with modern roundabouts at www.SarasotaConnecitivity.com
12 Nia with Gail on Longboat Key
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
12 'An Evening at Casino Royale'
18 Nia with Gail on Anna Maria Island
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
19 Nia with Gail on Longboat Key
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
25 Nia with Gail on Anna Maria Island
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
26 Nia with Gail on Longboat Key
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
1 Nia with Gail on Anna Maria Island
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
2 Nia with Gail on Longboat Key
March 10: The great debate
The Observer will hold a debate for Longboat Key Town Commission candidates at 7 p.m. March 10, at Bayfront Park Recreation Center, 4052 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Greg Hoffman SCOREs award
Longboat Key resident Greg Hoffman received Manasota SCORE’s Platinum Leadership Award at the organization’s 50th anniversary awards luncheon Feb. 24.
Spring forward for Daylight Saving
Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, so turn your clocks forward by an hour before bedtime Saturday night.