Skip to main content
Longboat Key Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 7 years ago

Letters to the editor


+ Kudos to the Longboat Key Club for its project
Dear Editor:
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to town commissioners and The Longboat Observer.
Although we take no official position on the issue under consideration (the Longboat Key Club’s redevelopment project), I am here today to clear the air on some issues, which could have some impact on your decision.

It is certainly no secret that during 2008 there was some serious conflict between many of our slip owners and the Longboat Key Club after its purchase of some of the marina properties from the Vernon Group.
The dispute was widely publicized, and there were times when there was deep concern that the only way the matter could be resolved would be in the courts.

I am happy to report that beginning in the early months of 2009, both sides were able to sit down and negotiate our differences.

We have established a cooperative relationship and have been working closely on all matters of mutual concern and importance.

I would like to publicly commend Michael Welly and his staff for their willingness to work with us toward negotiating a mutually acceptable peace and healing the wounds, which resulted from the dispute.
In our community … indeed in our world … it is not often that warring parties can negotiate peace and cooperation. We are proud that we have been able to achieve that at the Longboat Key Marina.

Steve Petty
President, Longboat Key Marina
Condominium Association

+ Key Club’s project should be reviewed from all angles
Dear Editor:
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to the Town Commission and The Longboat Observer.
The new hotel development plan (by the Longboat Key Club and Resort) has been reviewed and scrutinized by reviewing the floor plan from the Gulf of Mexico Drive and Longboat Club Road side, but I believe that no one has reviewed this massive, out-of-scale and code-issue project from the lagoon side of Sands Point and Lighthouse Point.

I extend to all of you an invitation to visit my property and review this project looking at it from our shores.
The heights of these villas and closeness to each other is wrong for the charm, environment and residential feeling that this lagoon has now enjoyed for many years. While I am for a new hotel, I feel this plan can be reduced by moving some of the villas to the golf course side next to the garage. I also ask you to review now the heights of the other buildings that are jammed into the tiny strip of land.

I beg all of you, as my commissioners, not to vote on this plan until you objectively review this project from all angles.

I am writing this letter for my neighbors who agree with me. I hope to hear from you for when you would like the tour.

Shan DiNapoli
Longboat Key

+ Emphasize should be on the positives
Dear Editor:
I read with interest the letter from Alicia Aeziman in reference to a positive focus on businesses that are staying in Longboat Key. I completely agree! In emphasizing the positives, we project a healthy business community, not a dying one. I recently opened an office on Longboat Key in The Centre Shops as an acupuncturist and psychotherapist and am excited about joining the local business people. Many of us provide unique services and skills, and we appreciate the support of the residents, the visitor and the press.

Lisa Grossman, DOM, AP, LCSW
Alchemy Acupuncture, Psychotherapy & Herbal Pharmacy, LLC

+ Key Club project keeps getting worse
Dear Editor:
Welcome to Miami Beach/Longboat Key. Look at what a marvelous sight you will enjoy coming on to Longboat from New Pass and continuing down Gulf of Mexico Drive. This massive display of the finest concrete money can buy, not to mention the row of villas reminiscent of a housing project, greets you with a feeling of peaceful ambience. Just what we all need to enhance the value of our property. Is this in the public interest? 

This project gets worse by the minute. 

Carmel Izzo
Longboat Key

+ Longboat feels like home
Dear Editor:
It was unseasonably cold for Florida this time of the year, but we bravely drove down from New York, leaving the snow and ice behind us. We arrived here on Monday and fixed up our one-month rental condo to be home for February. The beach, specifically the Gulf side, had been my reason for wanting so much to be here. I missed the ocean since we had moved from Long Island to northern Westchester, and this was my chance to walk on the beach, even with the pesky arthritis that was stiffening my hips and knees, to experience, once again, the air, the shells, the gulls, but mostly the green water churned up to whitecaps by the eternal waves.

My husband was working on his laptop and I bundled myself up in jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and a fleece-lined outer garment and took off for the beach. We had been here three days, and I had hoped it would warm up sufficiently to walk on the beach, but because it hadn’t, adjustments had to be made and I was off, alone, with tissues in my pocket for my nose that was sure to run and sneakered feet.

I walked from our condo to the beach, maybe three minutes, crossed a little wooden bridge, and there it was. All I could think of was, “I’m home, I’m finally home!” The sight of the beach in front of me took my breath away for a second. It was real, it was in front of me, and I was lucky enough to be here. So what if the weather was cooler than it could have been, so what if my legs felt annoyed at me for putting them through this ordeal, I was here and my feet knew what to do as I put one foot in front of the other and walked the beach. I would walk with determination, as if the day was warm and beautiful and ignore the wind that I was fighting with every step. I would walk because I could!

Never one to be a wallflower, I smiled and said hello to fellow walkers, usually in pairs, stopping to talk with them and exchanging information about their state of origin and how long they had been coming here and complaining mildly about the cold weather.

Still, even though we all thought it was too cold, I knew that I was lucky, and I knew these people also were lucky. We were alive, we were walking on a beautiful beach and we were near the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and I needed to keep this image with me when I returned home at the end of the month, and it was colder still and the beach was so much further away.

Gloria Raskin
Beachplace visitor

+ Key’s core values should stay
Dear Editor:
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to town commissioners and The Longboat Observer.

After attending all the related zoning and commission meetings and reading the Longboat Key Club’s Feb. 11 Outline Development Plan amendment application with the staggering number and large scale of requested departures, I respectfully request that you do not prematurely amend the open space agreement. As you know, that agreement requires that the driving range be maintained as a driving range and that no commercial use can be made of the site.

The town has spent countless hours and financial resources on this conceptual plan that essentially dismantles the zoning code, disregards the Comprehensive Plan and marginalizes the residential neighborhood. With all the effort from June 2009 to February 2010, the net result is a 3.2% reduction in the number of units and a request for a 31-acre or 200% increase departure from the 5% non-residential development limitation in the PUD. 

If as much effort was spent on vetting the major issues of land use, density and implications of further commercial development on Longboat Key open space/recreational land with unused “units,” then Longboat residents would have been better served. Just apply the same departures to Bayside and see the results. 
Clearly, Loeb Realty serves the bottom line of its investors and will continue to push for as much development as the town will accept, regardless of the consequences. This minimizes its risk and ignores the risks of the town and legitimate concerns of other stakeholders.  

Shortly, another “take it or leave it” ultimatum is about to be presented to you. This is an opportunity for the commission to interject a new perspective in continuing to move Longboat forward without sacrificing the programs and core values that made Longboat Key a most desirable residential community. Thank you for your consideration and continuing dedication to serving the residents and business owners of Longboat Key.

Robert Clark

Longboat Key


Related Stories