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Forum Notes

May 11, 2010

Boca Grande Community Center

Boca Grande



Community Vision
Land Use/
Transportation Public


Future Community Vision:

  • See the Boca Grande Community Plan’s vision
  • Promote, in every aspect, the Boca Grande lifestyle
  • Boca Grande is very seasonal
  • Leave us alone
  • Keep Boca Grand as is
  • We are a donor community
    • But we do not want to become our own municipality
    • However there is a mixed feelings about whether the county does a good job; some yes – some no
  • Quality of Life
    • Quieter lifestyle
    • Improve emergency response time and services
  • Community Character
    • Economic Development
      • We have enough shops
      • No chains
      • Commercial property taxes are too high
        • They threaten the viability of small businesses
    • Cultural/Social Development and Resources
      • Boca Grande seems to have no consensus because a lot of independent thinking and independent thinkers
      • Increased demand for cultural activities
      • Need for cultural venues – tired of going to Sarasota to experience cultural events
      • Place Whidden’s property on the historical registry
        • The zoning does not allow for museum uses
    • Environmental
      • Problem with roadside litter
    • Land/Community Development
      • Low density
      • Reasonable home size
      • Maintain strong individual property rights
      • Do not over regulate
        • If a new law is created, take one off
    • Transportation
      • Golf cart tradition and values
      • Enforcement of speed laws
      • Bicycles – improve the bike and golf cart path from 1st street south to protect pedestrians and bikers from cars

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Land Use/Development:

  • We are OK the way we are

  • Gasparilla Act

    • Enforce the Gasparilla Act
    • Do not amend
    • Enforce the Boca Grande community plan and planning vision.
    • Can you change the Gasparilla Act?
    • Don’t allow high rise development
  • Too much regulation
  • There is not much to develop because there is no land left
  • Ownership of more than one lot prevents selling of one lot
  • Do not urbanize Boca Grande
    • Enforce zoning and limit variances
  • Community center
    • Promote proper maintenance
    • Allow dogs
    • Utilize native plants
    • Enhance the community center as needed to meet the community’s needs
    • Encourage new programs
  • Parking issues during spring break
    • But we can live with it for 2-3 weeks
  • Gilchrist Street
    • Be open to suggestions for beautification
    • Work in concert with stakeholders
    • Address the community’s parking needs on Gilchrist
  • FP&L Property
    • Concerned that current zoning would allow undesirable uses
      • Single family
      • Marina/gambling ship

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  • Follow comprehensive plan
  • Parks and public spaces
    • Protect our beaches
    • Review signage on beach access streets
    • Is the ball field well used
      • Could it be better utilized for another purpose
    • If the FP&L property becomes available buy it
  • Conservation areas
    • Protect island beaches and wildlife
    • Acquire more conservation land
    • Continue aggressive iguana eradication program
    • Community needs help with iguana population
    • Remove exotic plants
    • Promote native biodiversity
  • Access and location
    • Access to public lands – status quo is good
    • Add signage to send people down the island to the public beaches

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  • Roadways
    • Concerned about the bridge/causeway
      • Speed
      • Cost to rebuild
      • Accessibility
      • Impact on small businesses
      • Required design standards for construction of new bridge
      • Debate about who should run the bridge, as some think the State of Florida should do it
    • 20 MPH on causeway is too slow
      • One of the bridges should be 20 MPH to preserve their stability
    • Road improvement scheduled for on and off the island are supported
    • Do not allow roads off the island to be widened
    • Provide valet parking on Gilchrist so people do not have to park on grass
    • Improve roadway drainage
      • There are mixed feelings about open ditches and piped
      • If there are open ditches, then they should be cleaned and maintained properly
  • Multimodal
  • Sidewalks/trails
  • Bikeways
    • Maintain a county bike path
    • There should be a bike path on both sides of Gilchrist Street
    • Prohibit bikes and golf carts on sidewalks
      • Enforce with signage and patrols
    • Mark north end of bike path at First Street with painted directional sign on the path
    • Regulatory sign on bike path
      • Warn pedestrians
      • Remind people to pass on the left
      • Rename golf cart path to “bike path”
  • Transit

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Public Services:

  • The services to the island are good
  • Utilities
    • Improve drainage on the island
    • Address the problem with power outages
  • Land Development
    • Enforce zoning
    • Oversee and enforce regulations for tax exemptions on “palm farms”
  • Schools
    • Continued support for the island school
  • Emergency services
    • Keep the ambulance service
    • Maintain local control of the fire department
    • 911 routing causes delays in response time
    • 911 calls cannot find addresses or do not know where Boca Grande is
      • EMS should have drills to better familiarize emergency services with the island
      • Residents and businesses should improve visibility of their street numbers
    • Protect the resident sheriff program
    • Hurricane evacuation is adequate as it is
  • Other
    • Flood control in front of community center
    • Support for the community center

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