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Longboat Key Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009 8 years ago

IPOC upset with planning board

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Islandside Property Owners Coalition Chairman Bob White released a statement expressing displeasure with the Planning and Zoning Board’s decision to consider a draft ordinance for The Longboat Key Club and Resort’s Islandside renovation and expansion project.

At its Tuesday, Nov. 17, Islandside hearing, the planning board directed staff to bring back a draft ordinance with a list of conditions of approval for its review 9 a.m., Friday, Dec. 4, at Temple Beth Israel.

Town Attorney David Persson said he anticipates the board will then review, modify and vote on an ordinance that will come before the Town Commission, most likely in January.

White called the board’s discussion of the project “remarkable.”

“The deliberations of the Planning and Zoning Board can only be described as remarkable by their lack of sustentative debate or discussion on the major issue facing the town,” said White, in a press release.

White said the board ignored the town’s longstanding zoning code and ignored the impact of the proposed expansion on Islandside residents.

“The board turned the code on its ear by approving departure after departure, providing the club with everything they asked for and then some,” White wrote.

The IPOC chairman said he was disgusted with the planning board’s decision to approve a departure that would allow the club to raise the building height of the condominium towers higher than what the club requested.

Wrote White: “While the Club requested a departure of five stories over code for their condominium towers, the board, in the ostensible quest to reduce the bulk of the towers and thus reduce the impact on views for Islandside residents, voted to allow them to increase the height of the towers to the height of the highest building behind the gates despite the fact that in 1984 these heights were reduced to four stories, or 50 feet, Key-wide.”

White called the planning board’s actions “absurd” and said its decisions are altering the essential character of the Islandside planned unit development from primarily residential to commercial.

“Let there be no doubt, the club's proposal is nothing more than a blatant attempt to usurp the town code and the property rights of our residents and to establish a precedent for further abrogation of our codes for the benefit of commercialization of the Key, under the guise of progress and the saving of the Key from decline, using the current economic downturn as their shadow ally,” White wrote.

White said the coalition would continue to resist the Islandside plan as proposed because it “destroys the integrity of (town) governing codes.”

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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