+ Key Club project has importance
I am a professional ASID and AIA affiliate, a retail business person and a long-time resident of Longboat Key.
I see the value and importance of the expansion proposed by the Longboat Key Club, not only for this island but for St. Armands Circle and the city of Sarasota, as well. If the club is not allowed to expand and build and to bring more people to visit and live, businesses in the areas mentioned, such as restaurants, retail stores and services, will go under, as many have already. All of this legalese that is going on now is what happened on Palm Avenue, in Sarasota.
After 21 years in downtown Sarasota, my business had to close. Palm Avenue became not a destination anymore but a street less traveled, mainly because the blight of a parking lot was never allowed to become a beautiful structure with parking and shopping and condos.
The extra traffic from the new tennis courts, marina and restaurant never caused any problem for us in Bay Isles.
Why live in 1975 or 1986? We must move forward and live in 2009 and beyond, so new young people will want to come here and enjoy what we have enjoyed for so many years.
+ Do not let the Loeb Group ruin our island
I am more and more dismayed and puzzled by the Planning and Zoning Board and the decisions it has taken about the Longboat Key Club expansion project. It was never the intention of anyone related to this island to permit such a huge reversal of decades of careful study and decision-making. Please protect and conserve this wonderful low-key island that we love, that we chose above all others when we chose to buy our condo.
Why would the P&Z Board be so difficult with everyone else and so willing to roll over for the Loeb Group.
I live behind the gates and, so, can speak with confidence about the impact this expansion would have on all the people who live here. The number of new condos, the addition of another hotel and the massive convention center planned would create traffic-jam nightmares — day and night. The size and scope of a project of this type belongs on the mainland or in a much different kind of area. Although there are tall buildings along the Gulf, they are just that — and were built long ago. They don’t intrude on the open feeling that exists now on the island. Those planned by the club would stand like sentinels on both sides of Longboat Club Road and totally change the look of the approach to the island.
I have heard that this expansion would raise the value of our condos. I beg to differ. I am sure it would negatively impact our values for years to come, if not forever.
There are people who see the demise of this island because there are empty stores in the Avenue of the Flowers shopping mall. No, there are simply rents that are too high to sustain seven months of poor to no business. Before this recession, we were thriving and will again. Courage!
For all these reasons and lots more, please, please do not jettison our zoning laws and let the Loeb Group ruin our island.
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