- January 25, 2018
A new political sign posted at the front of the shuttered Colony Beach & Tennis Resort at 1620 Gulf of Mexico Drive is causing questions on Longboat Key.
The sign reads: “Vote YES on March 14, 2017 for the Colony.” Yes is colored in red while the rest of the words are in blue. The sign also lists the project developer’s website at www.ColonyReDevelopment.com.
Unicorp President Chuck Whittall, the Orlando-based developer proposing a $1 billion reimaginement of the property, said the sign would not be there much longer.
“We filed for a permit. It was an existing sign and we changed the face of it,” Whittall said Sunday. “On Monday, we’re going to take it off the billboard and put (the political sign) on posts.”
Mayor Terry Gans said three people raised questions regarding the sign posted Thursday at the entrance to the Colony property.
Gans had two questions for Director Alaina Ray of Longboat Key Planning, Zoning and Building Department:
• Is the sign permitted?
• Is the sign’s content allowable under recent Supreme Court rulings?
In his note to Town Hall, Gans made it clear he was not implying objection or approval - simply seeking clarity.
“While we are not able to regulate the content under the Supreme Court ruling, Unicorp is still required to get a permit to ensure the Colony Resort sign complies with size and location regulations,” Ray replied to Gans.
The Town Commission designated the sign at the Colony a "historical sign" in 1999. No modifications can be made to the sign without Town Commission approval.
A separate temporary sign would be allowed on the property, once the appropriate permit is obtained, Ray said.