+ Key taxpayers will not benefit from Islandside project
Your recent headline, “It’s a go!” enthusiastically endorses the Longboat Key Club’s “victory” (no surprise there!), but it should read “Going, going, gone!” because that is precisely what the commission’s verdict means to the precious ambience that has been our life on Longboat Key for so many years. The traffic will become so untenable that those on the mainland who have been willing to brave the traffic around St. Armands just to enjoy dining at the finer restaurants of Longboat Key will no doubt reconsider; and the tony new tourists at the Longboat Key Club will in large numbers push south to enjoy the shopping there, as well as in downtown Sarasota. To say that business on Longboat Key will benefit from this massive departure from our town codes is to dwell in a state of total unreality.
In the end, big money carried the win ... not for the residents of Longboat Key (who pay the freight in far greater taxes than those who have been working the system — longstanding building codes be damned!), but for those who will sell off paradise to the highest bidder. Commissioner Lynn Larson, representing the money interests who don’t even live on Longboat Key, can now relax — lest she cast her vote in ignorance of what those special interests expect of her. Only (Commissioner) Bob Siekmann and (Planning, Zoning and Building Director) Monica Simpson have demonstrated responsibility and intelligence in this whole process. Shame on the elected officials who rammed the final vote through, not even allowing enough time for careful review of the changes. They have placed the special interests of real-estate panderers ahead of Longboat Key residents, who have been paying property taxes for so many years in the belief that we have a uniquely protected way of life. Those same taxpayers, many fixed-income seniors, are now faced with putting even more money into an appeal — lest Longboat’s quiet way of life be finally gone.
+ Concerned Longboat citizens should right this wrong
What a sad day for the residents of Longboat Key. These six commissioners might just as well (have) hung a sign that says, “Welcome developers, come exploit our beautiful island.” Welcome commerce! Sorry residents!
I hope IPOC (Islandside Property Owners Coalition) realizes that this opinion should and will be reversed in a “real” court of law.
I would suggest that every concerned citizen contribute to IPOC’s efforts to right this wrong and vote in a commission with the best interest of the residents.
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