Sea turtle nesting season officially begins on May 1 and runs through Oct. 31. There are a number of new and revised requirements in our Town Code adopted in 2021, that are effective this nesting season. Thank you to our partners Mote Marine, Longboat Key Turtle Watch, and the Longboat Key Garden Club. Call Chris Kopp at 941-316-1966 with any questions or to schedule discussions about the new Code for your condominium or HOA meetings.
Auto transport vehicles (car-haulers): It is that time of year again as many of our seasonal visitors start to depart the island. For those who schedule an auto transport, please tell the driver that parking on Gulf of Mexico Drive or on the GMD right-of-way is illegal, and being enforced with ticketing. Signs are in place at the entry points to the island reminding the commercial truck drivers of the law. There are safer & legal locations to load/unload vehicles available both on, and just off, the island. If you have questions, please call the Town Manager’s Office at 941-316-1999.
It is also budget season: Our first budget workshop of the year will be at 9 a.m. on May 16. This first workshop will focus on capital needs of the town over the next five years. We will also be incorporating the Commission priorities developed during the April Strategic Planning Retreat into our Fiscal Year 2023 Work Plan.
Gulf of Mexico Drive Corridor Plan: Learn more about this long-range planning effort at a public outreach session at 9 a.m. May 3 at Town Hall. The Corridor Plan includes wider bike paths, wider multi-use sidewalks, landscaped medians, and a roundabout at GMD and Broadway. The town staff and our consultant will provide information and take public input that will be considered when the plan goes back to the Commission for approval.
Greer Island: Army Corps of Engineers approved our permit for the Spit Management Plan project. That project will take some time to solicit the contractor and perform the work and is part of an on-going plan to maintain that area. Staff also requested an emergency permit from the Corps to remove a smaller amount of sand near the area of the private dock to improve access to the lagoon as soon as possible. Town staff is also presenting a proposal to establish a motorized vessel exclusion zone for a portion of the spit to facilitate kayaks and paddleboards.
Legislative update: Lots of press about state politics and new laws proposed and enacted this year. At the May 2 Commission Meeting our state lobbyist and our state representative Fiona McFarland will be providing an update on the actions of the Legislature this session.
Multi-story building inspections: The state did not act on legislation regarding multistory building inspections as a follow-up to the Surfside collapse in South Florida. Absent statewide regulations, the town was prepared with proposed regulations for structures on the island. Commission discussion will occur at the May 16 Workshop.
Town Hall’s art exhibit: Come by and see the latest local artists’ work installed on April 9 as part of the 72nd Town Hall Art Exhibit. All artwork is for sale directly from the artists. Call 941-316-1955 with questions.
Gulfstream & U.S. 41 roundabout project: Season is winding down but traffic can still be a challenge, especially with the Florida Department of Transportation U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue project under construction. Check routes and potential delays in advance of your travel. FDOT Project Website: http://www.swflroads.com/gulfstreamroundabout/
Upcoming Public Meetings/Events
• May 2: 1 p.m. Town Commission Regular Meeting
• May 3: 9 a.m. Gulf of Mexico Drive Corridor Plan Public Outreach Meeting
• May 10: 9 a.m. Planning & Zoning Board (Comprehensive Plan Workshop)
• May 11: 2022 10 a.m. Special Magistrate
• May 16: 9 a.m. Town Commission Special Workshop Meeting (Budget)
• May 16: 2022 1 p.m. Town Commission Regular Workshop Meeting
• May 17: 9:15 am Planning & Zoning Board (Comprehensive Plan Workshop)
• May19: 1 p.m. Zoning Board of Adjustment
• May 20: 9 a.m. Consolidated Retirement System Board of Trustees
• May 26: 1:30 p.m. Joint Meeting with Manatee County Commission
In the 2021 Sea Turtle Nesting Season, Longboat Key beaches held 1,032 turtle nests!