Currently 2 Responses
- Reminder To Commissioners
At the February 12 Commission meeting regarding the Key Club project it was suggested that the Commission needs to know the prospective appreciated land value "the Commission is creating and gifting to Loeb Partners" if the Club project is approved.
First, why is this just coming up now? Second, this is not asked of any other project applicant and most important, the Commission DOES NOT "create" or "gift" increased value by approving business investment improvement projects.
The investor creates the value as it is their idea/concept, property and equity capital that they are investing and putting at risk!
It could be asked, what value is CREATED BY THE PROJECT to the benefit of the public good? Fair enough but not just to leverage some other benefit for the Town and penalize the applicant that may put at risk losing the entire project.
Fortunately the Commission voted down this time and money consuming proposal.
The Commission needs to stick to their responsibility of protecting the citizens that they work for in governing within the rule of law, their charter and allow variances to zoning codes and the Comp Plan where it benefits the public common good.
Please top trying to micro manage beyond your purview and facilitate a successful outcome for the public good not just the relatively few NIMBY protestors and get on with it! Also, please don't manage this process with a focus on avoiding a law suit. Do the right thing.
Bob Gault, Longboat Key
You are in denial of the facts. First you say that living behind the gates does not mean anything? The facts are that almost all the opposition to The Club lives in two condo projects “behind the gates”. The majority of Longboaters overwhelmingly approve of the redevelopment. I have spent over a year contacting and discussing the facts and opinions concerning the project with all Longboaters. Lynn Larson, who is running for Commissioner, is for the project. Did you see her recent vote count? I have seen your pieces many times over the past year. It is apparent that you have bought the IPOC position hook, line and sinker and keep putting out misguided information. I do not know whether you are an active member of IPOC, however, I have never seen a piece from you concerning the miss-information they have put out over the past year and a half. How many times do you hear somebody calling it a convention center? Who put that info out? Not Longboat Key Club. Who has claimed that it would create a traffic nightmare while the current club, with 218 units, puts out only a small amount of traffic? I know as I live at Sands Point and drive by the entrance everyday! There is no traffic! Never has been! How many huge special events do they have? I have only witnessed the Sarasota Film Festival and it caused zero traffic problems? You claim that you relied on the GPD when you purchased. I encourage you to pull up your documents or prove that your attorney reviewed the GPD before your purchase. I think not and nobody believes that line either. Just more miss-information trying to change opinion. Even if you did spend $10K or more to properly review the GPD, didn’t your attorney explain to you that all things can be changed and in fact do change. Wasn’t Longboat Key used as a bombing range during WWII? I wonder if the same scrutiny was endured by Arvida when originally developing Longboat Key Club? The naysayers keep referring to a 30 year old document. Geese, I wonder if the bombing range people were attacking Arvida back in the 70’s for changing the island? I think not because IPOC was not present. I am sure your contract was solid the day you bought. But things change and change a lot over 30 years. Did you not realize that you bought next to Longboat Key’s main business, The Club? Surely you realized that? The Club is by far the largest and most important asset Longboat Key has. Did you not think they would have to redevelop at some future point? Forcing our largest business, that brings in new business meeting attendees and tourists to use outdated facilities, is not wise. I attended a seminar just this week. The great coach, Lou Holtz, spoke and this comment really resonated to me with regard to Longboat Key. He said, “If you are maintaining you are going backward.” The rest of the island gets it. Your group does not. I would bet you do not drive to the hearings in a 30 year old vehicle? I have seen the IPOC folks and I can assure you that they do not drive 30 year old vehicles. The same people have no problem forcing The Club to use worn out 30 year old facilities. You even mention a worn out golf course. Wow, so The Club is supposed to build a brand new golf course for an aging membership with no future upside? Where are the new members, in their 40’s? Heck, being in my 50’s, I am in the minority. Peter Yesawich, PH.D, the only travel expert brought in to testify under oath, laid it out. He said, “If The Club is not able to redevelop, they will suffer and die and that they are already on the downside.” Where was IPOC’s expert? Where was IPOC’s cross-examination? Mr. Yesawich also stated, “The Club needs to redevelop to attract people in their 40’s.” Quite frankly, that even surprised me being in my 50’s. There is no argument for need. Longboat Key’s largest and most successful business needs to redevelop. Only the blind are in denial. Please take off your “behind the gates” blinders and look at the current facilities and the message will come into focus. The redevelopment is not just for you or me or the current “self interested” members, but for the good of and future prosperity of Longboat Key. How you want to reconcile that is up to you. Longboat Key needs a new mousetrap and anybody against it is obviously only thinking of the now (NIMBY) and not the future. Longboat Key will be here long after you and I leave this earth. The real question is whether Longboat Key will continue to be a first class, economically healthy, 5 Star island attracting more A-List people ten or more years from now? You are correct when you say there is a divide on Longboat Key. The division is clear. There are those looking in the rear view mirror and there are those looking to the future. I encourage all to join the forward looking Longboaters who will only settle for a prosperous future for Longboat Key!
Sent with only good intentions!
Rick Crawford, President of Positive Change for LBK
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