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Longboat Key Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 7 years ago

Golf agreement in the works

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Commissioner Hal Lenobel and town attorney David Persson will present a revised Longboat Key Club golf agreement Thursday, Feb 18, during the commission’s regular workshop. The agreement allows guests of a new hotel to make tee time reservations one day in advance.

The amendment would change a 31-year golf agreement with the town and the way that agreement offers tee times to club members and hotel guests.

Lenobel opposed an amendment proposed by the Key Club at the Feb. 12 Islandside renovation-and-expansion hearing.

At that hearing, the commission reviewed a revised agreement. (The original agreement was brokered in 1979.) The revision requests that guests of the proposed hotel be allowed to play golf on the renovated Islandside course.

At the special workshop held in the middle of the hearing last week, Lenobel said he is worried that an amendment proposed by club attorney Jim Syprett does not sufficiently address the rights of playing time for club members and about how the addition of guests from a new hotel at Islandside would affect playing time.

Currently, the agreement allows for tee times and golf-course play only by members of the club and guests of the Inn on the Beach.

Club members will continue to make tee times on the course at least three days in advance.

However, the change proposed by the club involved Inn on the Beach guests to ask for tee times two-and-a-half days in advance and guests at the proposed hotel making tee times two days in advance.

The club showed statistics that it believes prove that the addition of play by guests of the new hotel will not create too much play on the Islandside golf course.

But Lenobel seemed frustrated because he said that he thought he had come to an agreement with Key Club General Manager Michael Welly a day earlier.

“We said guests of the new hotel could make tee times one day in advance,” Lenobel said.

Welly, however, said although he agreed with Lenobel on some things the commissioner suggested during their conversation, he did not agree to give guests of the hotel just one day to make a golf reservation.

The comment irked Lenobel.

“I am strongly opposed to the amendment proposed and won’t support it,” Lenobel said.

But Lenobel presented The Longboat Observer with a revised agreement that allows guests of a new hotel to make tee times at either the Islandside or Harbourside golf courses one day in advance.

According to the agreement, tee times and play will be permitted at both courses, providing all 45 holes are available for members from Nov. 1 to May 1. From May 2 to Oct. 31, at least 27 holes must be available for members.

A commissioner, the agreement states, will also be appointed by the commission and approved by the club to have the right and requirement to examine and measure the extent of play by guests of the new hotel and Inn on the Beach.

Permission may also be granted,  under special circumstances on any given day,  by the liaison commissioner to temporarily eliminate the 45-hole requirement.

Failure to comply with these provisions, the agreement states, will automatically suspend all play by guests of the new hotel.

“I have reached this agreement with the club, which still must be approved by the commission,” Lenobel said.

Welly said he is now in agreement with the one-day tee time schedule Lenobel proposed.

“But everything is conditional upon overall approval of our project,” Welly said.

Islandside Property Owners Coalition
attorney Michael Furen has suggested the commission can’t amend the golf agreement or an open space agreement. Both need changes in order to approve the club’s Islandside project.

Persson, however, said the commission has the power to make the changes.

The commission will review the revised golf agreement and open space agreement prepared by Persson during its regular meeting at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, at Town Hall.


Next hearing

The Town Commission canceled an Islandside renovation-and-expansion hearing planned for Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road. The commission will reconvene the hearing at 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19. A presentation on the Longboat Key Club and Resort’s revised $400 million project is expected by Planning, Zoning and Building Director Monica Simpson Friday.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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