Longboat Key, Florida | June 5th, 2017 – An overhead jumble of cables and wires could ruin the all-important curb appeal of residential properties. For this reason, recent news on the steady progress in the planning of the Longboat Key utilities undergrounding put a smile on prospective sellers of residences in the town with whom our Kepecz-Hays team has shared the report with.
Longboat’s Town Manager, Dave Bullock, himself indicated that he is well-pleased with how the long and complex project is shaping up a bit ahead of its schedule. With the way things are going, construction of this project costing $50 million would begin next year, Dave said.
Aesthetics plus Safety
Upon its completion, the utilities undergrounding would not only enhance the appearance of the town and its various residential communities. The project would also help further improve the town’s protection and safety from storm-related outages as well as hasten local recovery from any damage.
Bullock, in a May update of the town-wide undergrounding of utilities, reported that the project’s contractors’ field survey work for all of Longboat Key has been completed. Florida Power and Light (FPL) was sending its preliminary plans ahead of schedule.
The utilities project manager, CDM Smith, and FPL are also completing field data collection, while the preliminary plans are being validated to enable updating of project cost. Meetings are also being set now with communication carriers whose cable wires will be buried along with the power lines.
Pedestrians and Motorists Benefit
Burying power lines underground brings additional benefits aside from avoiding outages caused by fallen trees or severe weather. It would also free up additional sidewalk space for pedestrians as well as for wheel-chair-bound residents and visitors. Removing electric poles will likewise help minimize road accidents. In one U.S. study, it was noted that there were 1,100 yearly fatalities nationwide because of vehicle collisions with utility poles.
Eliminating poles and overhead cables will vastly improve the aesthetics in a community too. Tree canopies along streets could grow normally as there would be no need for trimming of branches tangling up with utility lines.
Code on Town Signage
Another town project that the Kepecz-Hays team is closely monitoring is the plan to overhaul Longboat Key’s sign code which as it is currently is content-based. This code provision, present in codes of many other municipalities, is unconstitutional according to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
The town will host an open house this June 13 to get community inputs for the code changes that the Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Board is considering. The code changes will affect most of the businesses in the island, including property owners selling their residences.
The changes that the board has suggested relate to temporary signage, such as real estate and election signs, as well as those posted to announce construction projects, garage sales, special events and forthcoming activities. Generally, the code’s revamp will involve regulating the time, place and manner in signs that may be put up in the island.
As a leading luxury and waterfront specialists in Longboat Key real estate, the Kepecz-Hays team will definitely keep ourselves and our clients on board of these new developments in our town. For more insights on the local market, contact us if you have a property to sell or is in search of an available residence here.