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IPOC questions plan changes

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  • | 5:00 a.m. March 9, 2011
  • Longboat Key
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The town has been working on amendments to four sections of its Comprehensive Plan since last year to clarify the uses and densities allowed in the land-use categories of the plan.

The town created the amendments to clarify that non-residential uses and densities are allowed and currently exist in town planned-unit developments. The town is also clarifying that planned developments allow for tourism uses and is setting standards for additional height allowances in planned developments.
But a resolution regarding the amendments the Town Commission was supposed to review at its Monday, March 7 regular meeting was pulled from the agenda. Town attorney David Persson explained that Islandside Property Owners Coalition attorney Michael Furen wanted more time to digest the resolution and its materials, which were not all available at the town clerk’s office when a public notice was issued regarding the hearing.

Although Persson believes it can be argued that Furen has had more than enough time to digest the material, he suggested the hearing be continued to 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at Town Hall.

That hearing could attract IPOC supporters, who have been urged by IPOC for months to tell the commission to stop amending its comp plan in regard to the Longboat Key Club and Resort’s Islandside project. (The Town Commission approved the Key Club’s nine town code changes in May, and IPOC filed an administrative appeal to challenge the code changes in July. The Department of Community Affairs ruled in October that an ordinance amending parts of Longboat Key’s code was partly inconsistent.)
In a press release issued March 3 by IPOC President Bob White, he wrote: “The town’s efforts to save the Key Club’s massive development project were given another setback recently by the DCA. The town requested the DCA provide a courtesy review of proposed amendments needed to save the Key Club project. DCA agreed with and reinforced IPOC’s position that the proposed changes do not comply with state law.”

Persson, however, called the amendments and the review process by DCA “no big deal.”

“The DCA performed a courtesy review for the town at our request, offered suggestions and we appreciated the feedback and made the appropriate modifications,” Persson said.

In response to the IPOC press release and the delay of the resolution, Persson said, “I’m not sure if IPOC fully understands the process.”

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected]