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Longboat Key Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 4 years ago

Villagers hope to sink boat-parking ordinance

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Restrictions on boat-and-trailer parking aren’t going to float in Longbeach Village.

An ordinance that would prohibit boat owners from parking their vessels on any Longboat Key front yard will soon be anchored in front of the Longboat Key Town Commission.

But residents who attended the Longbeach Village Association’s first meeting of the season Wednesday, Oct. 2, made it clear that it won’t be smooth sailing for the ordinance.

Village residents told the five commissioners who attended the meeting they would voice their opposition when the commission discusses the issue in November.

Country Club Shores residents let their deed and covenant restrictions lapse years ago and now want the town to ban trailers and boats from being parked in their driveways.

Village residents, however, believe that a ban on boat and trailer parking in a historic boating community, in which many lots don’t have water access, is unfair.

Village Association President Michael Drake, who served on a subcommittee that explored the issue, told residents about a study the town conducted by driving through neighborhoods to count violations and tallying complaints in each neighborhood.

“The Village had the most violations and the fewest complaints,” he said. “That tells me that, in our neighborhood, we really don’t mind looking at somebody’s boat.”

“It sounds to me like they couldn’t get support in their communities, so they’re going to force it on everybody,” Village resident Bus Fischer said.

A group of Village residents agreed at Wednesday’s meeting to form an island-wide committee of residents who have concerns about proposed restrictions.

“I have to believe there are people even in Country Club Shores who feel the way we do,” Drake said. “It’s telling me that they have trouble getting their covenant restrictions restored.”

The Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Board recommended the new restrictions in September.

The proposed ordinance states those with corner lots can’t park their boats and trailers on side yards that also have access to the street.

Boats and trailers parked in side yards must also be screened so they are not as visible from the road.

The changes do allow the parking of boats and boat trailers in a carport, garage or any other building.

The commission will most likely discuss the ordinance at its November workshop.


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