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Longboat adopts new property maintenance standards

The Town Commission adopted the International Property Maintenance Code with additional town-specific provisions at its March 6 regular meeting.

Newly adopted property maintenance codes requires all garbage cans and dumpsters to have their lids and gates closed, when applicable.
Newly adopted property maintenance codes requires all garbage cans and dumpsters to have their lids and gates closed, when applicable.
Photo by Lauren Tronstad
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Longboat Key residents and business owners will now be held to a higher standard for upkeep of their homes and properties. 

The standards come after the Town Commission unanimously passed changes to the property maintenance code and adoption of the International Property Maintenance Code at its March 6 regular meeting. 

Prior to the meeting, the last time the town’s property maintenance codes were updated was in 2012. 

The town has been relying on chapter 104 of the town’s code to set minimum property standards including exterior property, pests and mosquitoes, rubbish, brush and garbage and lot maintenance. 

The adoption of the IPMC would address new areas that were never in previous versions of the town code and include: 

  • Lighting 
  • Ventilation 
  • Occupancy limitations 
  • Plumbing facilities and fixtures 
  • Mechanical and electrical; and
  • Fire safety

Town staff also recommended additional provisions that are meant to cover subjects “unique to the town,” the staff memo said. Such provisions include construction equipment and machinery, structures over water and yard irrigation systems. 

“The idea of adopting the most current version of this standard is using the experience that has been gained over these years and the hundreds, if not thousands, of communities that have also adopted this,” Town Manager Howard Tipton said. “We are benefiting from a whole bunch of experiences. It’s essentially a best practice.”

When town commissioners were first introduced to the potential changes in their January workshop, they raised concerns about some of the phrasing used, particularly in the section covering garbage cans. Under town staff’s recommendation, residents would be asked to not put their trash can out earlier than 5 p.m. the day before trash pickup and to bring the can back inside the day it was collected. 

However, commissioners requested that the window for garbage to be set out and taken back into homes be returned to 48 hours before and after pickup.  

Even though the ordinance passed, commissioners still had additional concerns to bring to staff attention. 

Mayor Ken Schneier asked Planning, Zoning and Building Director Allen Parsons to consider having a summary of the rules available to residents in hopes of making the lengthy contents more digestible. 

“I think that would go a long way,” Schneier said. 

Neither the town recommended amendments or the adoption of the IPMC will affect the town’s code enforcement process including the notice, hearing and appeals processes. 

The International Code Council updates the IPMC every three years. 

“This will provide staff a more routine review and allow for regular updates in the future, if the Town Commission deems appropriate,” the memo said. “Staff is of the opinion that these higher standards will allow for better enforcement of both our current requirements and a reasonable aesthetic set of expectations for structures and for properties.”

Adoption and amendments to the code help maintain and improve the quality and appearance of properties on the barrier island. 

Bradenton, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach are among neighboring jurisdictions that have already adopted the updated IMPC. 



Lauren Tronstad

Lauren Tronstad is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2021. Before moving to Florida, she worked for the Columbia Daily Tribune.

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