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Opinion
Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019 3 weeks ago

Eliminate the pavilion and pool; keep it simple

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So what's next for the Lido Beach project?
by: Matt Walsh Editor & CEO

OK, we’ll admit: It wasn’t nice or respectful to refer to those who opposed the Lido Beach redevelopment project as “the mob.” We heard (see “The Lido mob wins," Jan. 17).

In hindsight, what occurred with this project — opposition rising after the City Commission signed a lease with the applicants — often occurs.

As we pointed out, part of the irony in this was that the applicants presented to the city and public in their initial plans features that the Lido Key Residents Association requested.

But as often occurs, once the decision and details start to sink in, those concerned can have a change of heart and mind. Buyer’s remorse and opposition gel.

What happened with the Lido Beach pavilion project is typical of what happens with public property. When everyone — e.g. taxpayers — owns it, no one owns it. What to do with the property becomes a government morass. The Lido Pavilion is an explicit case in point.

Be that as it may, the next issue: What’s next?

Put the project out for bid again? Start over? And get the same result?

How about modeling it after the Siesta Key Beach redevelopment? That one was $20 million — far more than needs to be spent on Lido Key. Nevertheless, what is needed? Restrooms and parking. 

Eliminate the concessions and pool. All the food and drink anyone needs is a block away on St. Armands Circle or a short walk to the Holiday Inn and Lido Beach Resort.

Keep it simple and clean.

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