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Longboat Key Friday, May. 8, 2009 8 years ago

Dry Dock owner asks for special meeting

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Dry Dock Waterfront Grill owner Eric Hammersand wrote a letter to Mayor Lee Rothenberg this week, which asked the Town Commission to consider holding special meetings this summer that will allow him to build a permanent roof above his outdoor dining area this summer.

Hammersand has been working on and off with town planning staff for more than four years to build a patio roof at the Dry Dock, 412 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

Issues surrounding the structure in the past, however, have caused roadblocks for the project.

Hammersand has filed a site-plan amendment and special exception for the roof, which is needed because his marina-zoned property currently does not allow for such a structure.

The Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Board will consider the application at its Tuesday, June 16 regular meeting.

But because the town prohibits action on site plans during the months of July and August, even if the planning board approves the application next month, the Town Commission can take no action until September, during one of its regular meetings.

“Under this scenario, we wouldn’t be in a position to begin construction until December 2009 or January 2010,” Hammersand said in his letter. “This would not be an ideal time to begin construction as we’ll have to close our outdoor dining area for several weeks to allow for construction.”

Hammersand hopes to begin construction in September and is asking the Town Commission to consider the application at a special meeting Tuesday, June 30, contingent upon the application’s approval from the planning board.

Said Hammersand: “Lee, I wouldn’t be making this request if I believed we didn’t face a significant cost impact to our business by delaying our appearance before the Town Commission until September.”

Hammersand has stated in the past that adverse weather meant the loss of the patio more than 50% of the time during the busy season, which results in loss of revenue and longer wait times.

A similar outdoor roof structure meant to counter adverse weather was officially opened this week at Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub, 760 Broadway.

The next commission meeting is a regular workshop, which takes place at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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