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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2013 4 years ago

Town looks for answers on top issues

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

The Longboat Key Town Commission will get 10 questions answered for a price tag of $125,000.
At the commission’s workshop and a subsequent special meeting June 17, commissioners approved those questions created by a subcommittee of commissioners and residents.

The questions were prepared for the Washington, D.C.-based The Urban Land Institute (ULI). The commission approved a $125,00 contract with ULI to help answer those questions for the town this fall.
ULI will meet with 100 residents during the third week of October to discuss Key issues and get answers to those questions.

Even the most critical commissioner of this process showed signs of support Monday.

“I have been the biggest skeptic of this process and I’m still concerned we won’t get a dollar value for this exercise,” said Commissioner Phill Younger. “But the efforts put into this by this committee were extremely well done and there’s been some great discussion about the future of this Key.”

Planning and Zoning Board Chairwoman B.J. Webb, who has past experience with ULI’s work in Virginia, urged commissioners to move forward.

“My personal experience has been that concerns will not be in your heart when this opportunity is over,” Webb said. “You will be both surprised and pleased with what the results tell you about what this town wants to be moving forward.”

A working subcommittee that prepared the questions last week will also stay intact to work to prepare documents and the history of the town for ULI consultants to peruse.

Urban Land Institute Mission
The mission of the Urban Land Institute is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Below are the approved questions.

• Longboat Key has an adopted Vision Plan. How realistic is it and does it contain the appropriate elements to help ensure that Longboat Key remains a premier residential and visitor destination. Which elements work or do not work and why? What recommendations can be made to ensure the plan is relevant to future residents and visitors, and how do we measure our progress?

• Who will be the likely future residents and visitors of Longboat Key over the next 20 years (age, retired/families, fulltime/part-time, etc.)? How do we target and attract those who are most likely to help Longboat Key remain a viable premier residential and visitor destination, with both short and long-term objectives?

• What should be the balance of residential, tourism and supportive commercial services to ensure Longboat Key’s status as a premier residential and visitor destination?

• Much of the building stock on Longboat Key is aging. How should the town encourage revitalization to make properties attractive for the future?

• Do the differences in the north, mid and south Key warrant separate planning efforts? If so, what would be the primary elements of those plans?
• What challenges and opportunities should the town be aware of that are likely to influence our future and how can the town prepare for them? i.e.: Market and regional forces, demographics, changes in resident and visitor expectations and recreational and lifestyle trends.

• What innovations or creative approaches should Longboat Key be developing to address challenges in community infrastructure that could be applied on Longboat Key? i.e. natural systems, technology/communications, waterfront/water-related, arts and culture, island-based medical services and transportation.

• What are Longboat Key’s most important assets? How should we protect, enhance and leverage those to make a better community in the future? What might we gain or give up when leveraging those assets?

• How important is the concept of a town center to Longboat Key? If important, what would be the best attributes of a Longboat Key town center and where would be the best location for it to be successful?

• Should Longboat Key have a community center and, if yes, what attributes should it include and where should it be located?




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