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Longboat Key Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2010 7 years ago

Letters to the editor


+ Lighten up and embrace change; support the project
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to the Town Commission and The Longboat Observer.

Dear Editor:
As both a social member of the Longboat Key Club and Resort and an 11-year resident of Longboat Key at The Water Club, my wife and I fully support the Key Club’s expansion plans.

Stop being an old fuddy dud, lighten up and embrace change and progress. Life will pass you by quicker than you wish!

Thanks for your understanding.

P.S. I’m not 35 years old … I just got my Medicare card yesterday!

Rich Ackley
Longboat Key

+ Support your P&Z director; do not approve the project
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to the Town Commission and The Longboat Observer.

Dear Editor:
I urge you to support your Planning and Zoning director and not approve the Longboat Key Club’s Islandside development as currently proposed. From the very beginning of this long process, the applicant has characterized this as an update to its property rather than what it is: a massive, dense and intense new commercial development requiring 25 code departures on recreational land in a predominately residential community. Rather than questioning the credibility of the current planning director, it should focus on developing a more appropriate plan that is a better fit for the community. Unfortunately, that will not happen, unless you send them back to work in good faith with the planning director and other vested parties.

Remember, Loeb’s No. 1 customers are its investors with the highest return on equity as its primary goal. As such, it will aggressively work to minimize its risks, publicly marginalize its opponents and promote the design flaws that are becoming more evident as they release more information.

A less-intensive, better-designed development can mean much more to all parties including Loeb, however, its actions to date indicate it’s “their way or the highway.” As our elected commissioners, you have the opportunity to communicate to Loeb that you have not delegated the Longboat Key planning function to them. Please support your planning director and the town’s Comprehensive Plan.

Robert Clark
Longboat Key

+ The club’s plan is too dense, too massive and too intense
Dear Editor:
I have just viewed the model of the massive resort plan in the Longboat Key news Internet file. No wonder Monica Simpson declared the application to be too massive, too intense, too dense. Gone are the tennis courts, the driving range and all of the landscaping associated with it. Instead, you have massive building after massive building. Board members please read and re-read the staff’s assessment! This is an independent critique and logically concludes that the application should be denied. On behalf of the residents at Sands Point, I urge you to follow the staff recommendation and deny the application.
Julian R. Hansen
President, Sands Point Condominium of Longboat Key Inc.

+ Simpson’s opinion should be followed by the commission
Dear Editor:
To the commission: Three cheers for Monica (Simpson). (She is) a true professional who calls it as she sees it without fear and with confidence. She is the expert you folks hired to do what she has done here, give an unbiased, expert and educated opinion and recommendation. No bull. No politics. It should be followed. As a full golfing member I would add one more item. The driving range should not be sacrificed on the altar of greed and wishful profit. If this is to be a so-called five-star resort, the range is essential. If I wanted to hit into a net or travel miles to practice at a real range, Manhattan is quite sufficient. Travelers will think the same. There are plenty of facilities that offer true five-star services. Furthermore, the club is proposing to substantially reduce the facilities paid for by members when we joined, tens of thousands of dollars, and for which we pay a hefty annual fee. Nothing but a more crowded course and more traffic has been offered in return for this significant dilution of services and facilities. The commission should heed Simpson’s wise counsel and affirm the minority opinion of the Planning and Zoning Board.
Evans Tilles
Longboat Key Towers

+ Longboat Key needs to be developed on a smaller scale
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to the Longboat Key Town Commission and The Longboat Observer.
Dear Editor:
As a member of the Longboat Key Club and property owner at the adjacent Sands Point, I’ve read persuasive memos from both sides of the Key Club project. My husband and I favor some development of the south end of the Key and believe that some new hotel and meeting facilities would be useful. Having been involved in economic development up north, we are not among those who think that Longboat Key needs to stay exactly the same — residential and amiably shabby around the edges.

But we are concerned all over again about the scale of this proposed project. The model makes it vividly clear that the number and size of the buildings on that slim section of Longboat Club Drive at Islandside are unsustainable from both ecological and traffic standpoints. The density and height of the buildings will tax the ecosystem on which they all depend — not even to mention that of its neighbors. The proportion of open space to building, maintained elsewhere on the Key by code, is severely compromised by this overblown plan.

Lane and I want to see development, just as we want the Avenue of the Flowers shopping area upgraded. But this plan is bloated and destructive. Please send this plan back to its progenitors with a message: Scale it down, consider the capacity of the Islandside property and come back with something we can welcome. And we would.
Linda Ware
Wausau, Wisc.

+ The project will improve the financial strength of the Key
 Dear Editor:
Think about the financial strength of downtown Detroit, Longboat Key and Athens today. Detroit and Athens are in a real mess, however, Longboat Key is not, but could be.

There are a number of predictable trends that exist in today’s world that are somewhat new to many of us. First: Everything is becoming more complex. Second: Things are changing faster than ever and the rate of change is also increasing. And third: Because of the speed and complexity of change, most things cost more.

Ask many families in Detroit or the Greek government if, had they had the chance to easily improve their financial strength with minor inconveniences a few years ago, would they have done so? I think they would have done so, but they did not because they did not anticipate the rate, complexity and cost of change.
Now, what about Longboat Key? We now have a wonderful opportunity (perhaps once in a lifetime) to approve the Longboat Key Club’s application for its redevelopment. This project will, in so many ways, improve the financial strength of our community.

We need financial strength during uncertain times and at this very moment we have a budget shortfall, an ongoing need for good white beach sand, the potential of very high costs for beach clean up if the oil hits the shore, and there is always the risk of a hurricane hit. I know that money does not always buy happiness but financial strength sure helps in today’s world. Please encourage approval of the Key Club’s redevelopment.
Phil Segerstrom

+ Commission should consider changes to Key Club’s plan
Dear Editor:
Hopefully this will be considered, moving (Longboat Club Road) to the north and keeping all construction south of Longboat Club Road. That would avoid the tunnel effect that would be created with the current Longboat Key Club proposal and minimize the visual commercialization of Longboat Key.

That would not allow the magnitude of new construction desired by the Key Club but it would still give them a tremendous bonus of free land.

I recognize that the majority of the commissioners are in favor of the Key Club expansion but please recognize how dramatically the ambience and residential livability in Longboat Key would be changed if the Key Club proposal is approved as it is now being presented.

I have been a builder and developer for more than 50 years and the above suggestion is practical and, hopefully, you in the commission will give it consideration.
Herman Frankel
Longboat Key

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