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

Reactions to the Key Club hearing


“Obviously a ‘yes’ vote was for the Key Club … It was for the Key Club, for the hotel, for the parking garage, for the meeting center, for the golf clubhouse … it was for the villas, for the spa in one of two locations and it was for the tower on the south parcel. What was not included was the golf-course condominiums … I think it’s a good thing, because obviously the ordinance can be amended.”
Randall Clair
Former Longboat Key commissioner

“It was unbelievable to me to watch all these commissioners … up there designing the club as a committee, which is not in the commission’s purview. I’m reminded of central-government control and how inefficient it is when government tries to control private enterprise with a fault. Frankly, I’m stunned.”
Bob Gault
Country Club Shores resident

“I think it was bizarre. I think everybody was shocked. And why that happened we’re still trying to figure out ... With the commission, you never know what’s going to happen. I’m not sure all seven commissioners knew what they were voting for. People in the audience were not even sure what happened ... Time will tell. If I were the Key Club, I would have second thoughts.”
David Miller
Longboat Key resident and owner of Cannons Marina

“I think a first-class hotel would be a great addition to the island, but the Key Club needs to sit down and start negotiating like neighbors and not like attorneys … George Spoll’s gift (idea) was absolutely right. This is a good vote because now it’s going to force everyone to sit down. (The Key Club) is going to build on this island, but we don’t have to give them the gift of all of this high density.”
Bob Craft
Emerald Harbor resident

“My reaction is confused, yet hopeful. I would hope the commission will realize that there is not going to be any satisfying IPOC, and the ‘referendum’ for this project was actually held with the election … I would hope they would say, ‘The Key Club knows what it’s doing, so let’s go ahead and get this done.’”
Marnie Matarese
Realtor with Re/Max Excellence and former chairwoman of the LLSA Chamber of Commerce

“It’s like a train wreck, a disaster, a sellout to IPOC. We live in Sands Point and (near) Sands Point and Lighthouse Point. We have already had the hotel raised, more villas added, we’ve sucked up a ton of units on our lagoon and they’re wanting to put more condos here … If you had a vote of members of the club and people who plan on using the spa, it would be 90-10 in favor of leaving it on the water … ”
Rick Crawford
Co-founder of Positive Change for LBK

“I’m very disappointed … I don’t think there is anything that can happen next … I thought it was going to have a positive outcome, and when the mayor started to talk about what changes he wanted, that started it all downhill. The things he wanted to happen clearly were not going to happen.”
Ron Johnson
Former Longboat Key mayor

“My reaction is it’s very unfortunate for the Key and its citizens in terms of the viability of the Key. It’s also disappointing that at least one commissioner obviously didn’t know what that commissioner was voting on … I don’t know the mayor felt he was playing in a big poker game where he thought he could extract huge sums of money from what he terms as a gift for what will be a mutually beneficial project.”
Terry Gans
Grand Bay resident

 “I would hope that the town would find a way to allow the club to make this significant investment in our island. I believe the Key Club development will have multiple benefits for all of our residents.”
Jim Eatrides
Longboat Key resident

“I am very pleased to see them moving ahead. I believe they are making significant progress.” 
Lee Rothenberg
Former Longboat Key mayor

“Obviously this has been a very, very long process. It’s been somewhat confusing to everyone, but the single most important thing was that a lot of people wanted to get something done … I was encouraged because this is the first time the Town Commission has really been able to push back at the Longboat Key Club and give them some parameters, saying this is what will work for all the parties … One of the things that is disappointing is that the club has basically taken the position of it’s an all-or-nothing kind of a thing. Will the club come back? They’ve been very reluctant to give the town money for things, certainly reluctant to engage in any meaningful way to make this a better end product. That’s what the people are saying and the Town Commission is saying — less is going to be more for everyone.”
Robert Clark
Longboat Key resident

“What it means is still anyone’s guess that the club may or may not accept it. They indicated early that they would examine their options. To me, it may decrease the density on the north side of the road and significantly increase it on the south side. You may not have a lawsuit from IPOC, but almost certainly will have one from Lighthouse Point. I don’t think anything has been decided yet. It was a total surprise to everyone.”
Jim Brown
Longboat Key resident

“First and foremost, the process worked very well in its thoroughness. The players took their roles very seriously and performed them to the full. In my view, a 4-3 decision was likely early on. The question has only been, ‘which way?’ For the moment, it appears to me that the town will either pay a price or gain an edge depending on how the market and competition view the outcome.
"The Key Club’s membership, however, will almost surely see the consequences of a cow being milked. All in all, we have witnessed a fair fight illustrating democracy.”
Vince DeLisi
Longboat Key resident


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