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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2013 4 years ago

Groin notice makes wave for Beer Can users

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has issued a notice of intent to permit the construction of three north-end groins, one of which would be located on Beer Can Island.

But former Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash sent a notice that he has petitioned the state’s Office of General Counsel of the Department of Environmental Protection for an administrative hearing for review of the permit.

The petition describes McClash as “a person whose substantial interests are affected by the department’s action” and states that he has lived in Manatee County for more than 40 years and is a frequent user of the area.

“The installation of man-made structures was done without proper notice and will harm the recreation lands used not only by Joe McClash, but thousands who have not had the benefit of knowing about this permit action,” the petition states.

Other Manatee County residents have emailed county commissioners to voice their objections to the proposed project.

“I strongly object to this proposal that will destroy the public’s use of Beer Can Island. It appears that the intent is to quietly get this approved during the summer months when many residents are out of town,” wrote Bradenton resident Mike Eiffert in a July 8 email to the County Commission. “This project needs to be slowed down to allow the public plenty of time to review and understand what is being proposed. At a minimum, an environmental impact statement should be completed.”

“Two condos were built too close to the Gulf waters in the ’70s, and the beach encroached on the structures.
So the state allowed construction of a concrete seawall, which changed the forces of the wave action, and the sandy beach can no longer be maintained. Every time a storm washes it away, Longboat Key combats this by dumping more sand. As you can guess, it washes away. Essentially, we are talking about spending $10 million of taxpayer money to save two condos that were built before the new codes ... and the unintended consequences will now be at the expense of our recreational quality,” wrote Manatee County resident Sylvia Ford in a July 7 email to the County Commission.

Town Manager Dave Bullock said it will be up to the state to determine whether to grant the hearing.

Contact Robin Hartill [email protected].

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