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Longboat Key Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020 4 weeks ago

Longboat Key historic cottages planning to move in 2021

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The cottages currently sit at 521 Broadway St. in the Longbeach Village neighborhood.
by: Mark Bergin Staff Writer

The town knows where two historical cottages are bound, but the specific timing and authorizations on when they’ll get moved is still a work in progress.

Planning, Zoning and Building Director Allen Parsons updated Planning and Zoning Board members recently about plans to relocate the cottages in 2021.

“The smaller of the two [cottages] is going into the Town Center,” Parsons said. “That won’t come before this board immediately. There likely will be an update to the planned unit development for the Town Center property, but that’s not coming in the immediate future.”

Parsons estimated the P&Z Board would receive a site development plan amendment for its consideration by February to move the larger L-shaped cottage to 6920 Gulf of Mexico Drive just north of Whitney Plaza. The Chiles Group, which owns Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant, purchased the larger cottage.

Initially, the Chiles Group planned to build a 98-spot parking lot and 300-square-foot satellite office on their land near Broadway and Gulf of Mexico Drive, a project approved about a year ago. If the P&Z Board approves the plan amendment, the historic cottage would replace the proposed 300-square-foot building. The cottage, which is not built with plumbing or electrical service, will require a measure of renovation to serve its function. 

The smaller cottage is set to move to the northeast part of the Town Center site as the land's first structure. The two cottages currently sit at 521 Broadway St. and are being moved because the landowner wants to sell the property. They were moved there in 2017 after a developer purchased from Ringing College of Art and Design the site of the now-defunct Longboat Key Center for the Arts, on Longboat Drive South.

In November, Chiles Group CEO Chuck Wolfe told the Longboat Observer that the Historical Society must move the smaller cottage before his company can move the larger one.

The Historical Society has paid $2,500 in monthly rent since August 2018 for the cottages to sit where they do now, according to society President Michael Drake.

The historic cottages were built in the late 1930s and were among the original structures of Whitney’s Beach Resort.

Other things before the P&Z Board in 2021

Parsons previewed a few other things before the P&Z Board in 2021.

In January, the P&Z Board is set to swear in Gary Coffin to fill a vacancy. Coffin is set to take over for Ken Marsh, who resigned from his seat in October.

“I look forward to having him join us and I think he’ll bring a good perspective and experience with a long involvement on the island and real interest in being on the board,” P&Z Chair David Green said.

In March, the town commission will need to appoint two new members to the P&Z Board. Current P&Z board members Penelope “Penny” Gold and Debra Williams are considered commissioner-elects until they are sworn into the town commission at the statutory meeting on March 22, 2021.

In January, Parsons said the P&Z Board will consider a site development plan for Harry’s Continental Kitchens. In November, the P&Z Board granted Harry’s a special exception. The restaurant is planning to expand its dining area and increase its number of parking spaces.

Parsons estimated that by February the P&Z Board would consider a proposal from the Columbia Restaurant Group about the Buccaneer restaurant.

According to Parsons, the Planning, Zoning and Building Department is also planning to update its comprehensive plan, and undergoing an evaluation and appraisals next year.

The P&Z Board’s first meeting in the new year is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2021.

Mark Bergin is the Longboat Key Town Hall reporter for the Observer. He has previously worked as a senior digital producer at WTSP, the CBS affiliate in St. Petersburg. Mark is a graduate of the University of Missouri and grew up in the Chicagoland area.

See All Articles by Mark

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