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Longboat Key Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2 years ago

Longboat P&Z Board approves new Key Club driving range

The Islandside resort has plans to construct a more shallow and narrow driving range, a new cart barn and a new pro shop — a project that follows in the wake of a another to move Longboat Club Road.
by: Bret Hauff Staff Writer

The Resort at Longboat Key Club Islandside golf course is slated for more change this year, alterations to its driving range and golf cart barn that come as part of its project to reroute Longboat Club Road to accommodate a new hotel project.

The Planning and Zoning Board last week approved construction plans for the Resort at Longboat Key Club to allow for the club to rebuild its cart barn and move its driving range north to make space for a rerouted Longboat Club Road, which has been slated for completion this fall.

The project to move the road has been described as an “in-furtherance” of the Resort at Longboat Key Club’s plans to convert 300 residential units within Islandside to tourism units and build a new hotel south of Longboat Club Road. The May 2015 referendum was approved by 1,948 votes in favor, 53%, to 1,721 votes, 47%, opposed the referendum.

This change to the driving range makes it more narrow and shallow, accommodations made to create space for a rerouted Longboat Club Road, which will curve north of where the roadway now runs.

The Planning and Zoning approved a project to reroute Longboat Club Road in December. The Resort at Longboat Key Club hopes to complete construction of the road by Thanksgiving.

The new cart barn and pro shop are planned for the area just west of the proposed driving range, replacing structures that have served the resort since 1976.

The 10,785-square-foot cart barn the resort now uses will be replaced by a 10,158-square-foot building with a breezeway to a pro shop, which is proposed to measure 7,275 square feet.

And although the driving range is more shallow than the one that existed there before the construction project, the resort does not have plans to install a net to stop balls from being hit beyond the driving range and into Gulf of Mexico Drive, according to application documents. 

Intense landscaping is planned for where the driving range abuts Longboat Club Road and Gulf of Mexico Drive, according to a staff report about the Resort at Longboat Key Club’s application for development.

As envisioned on the submitted landscaping plan, the driving range will include several target greens and sand traps.

Both the cart barn and the driving range are planned for immediate construction, according to the staff report. Construction of a new pro shop may begin within the next two years, according to the report.

A tee pad for the proposed driving range is planned for the location where the cart barn now stands.

All of these amenities will continue under private ownership of the Resort at Longboat Key Club, although all utilities must be reviewed by the Public Works Department before construction starts and after the project finishes.

I’m a Longboat Key Staff Reporter. I write stories about how decisions and events affect the island, its leaders and its citizens. I received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Emerson College, where I wrote for The Boston Globe. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 333.

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