Plans Advance for Beaches Rehab in Longboat Key


Longboat Key, Florida | December  1st, 2019  Residential property owners in Longboat Key have reason to be cheerful beyond the forthcoming holidays. The local officials are advancing multimillion-dollar beach renourishment projects, efforts that are vital to the protection of residential property values on the island. 


The Longboat town commission is mulling over a proposed comprehensive beach management plan with an estimated price tag of between $32 million and $52 million. The plan’s final cost shall be largely determined by sand sourcing and sand quality for the beach rehab projects. The budget ticks upward if it is decided that the highest quality sand would be dredged and hauled by trucks for the beach renourishment projects. 


The town commission is proposing to borrow a maximum of $34.5 million to fund all these initiatives culminating in an island-wide beach renourishment in 2021 or 2022. The loan proposal will be presented to the town residents in a referendum this March. The measure is likely to be approved as residents did so in three similar instances before.


Beach Tax Adjustments


Once the residents approve the town’s new borrowing, a higher beach tax will be charged to the residential property owners on the island.  The owners of gulfside properties pay 80 percent of the beach tax, while 20 percent is assessed for the bayside property owners.


Besides sand dredging and hauling, the total cost estimate for beach management plan covers funding for shoring up erosion hotspots along the 10-mile Gulf-front coastline of Longboat Key. It also allots funds for the proposed groins to stabilize the north shoreline of the island.


Longboat Key’s beaches, either north or south, are assets that local residents zealously watch out and are proud of. Many properties on the eastern flank of the island, although off the Gulf Coast in the west, notably draw an added value from their deeded access to the beach.


A Weighty Island Asset


Much of the town’s quality of life revolves around the beaches of the island. Unlike the public beaches of Lido Key and Siesta Key, those of Longboat are less crowded and are lined almost entirely with private residences, condos, and rental properties. 

Public access to Longboat beaches is limited to 12 entry points spread along Gulf of Mexico Drive. Blue and white signs mark these beach entries. Visitors won’t find any public facilities, like concessions, lifeguards, and restrooms in the beaches of Longboat Key, except parking at or near the access points. There are restrooms though at the access point near the Bayfront Park parking lot. 

Also, there are shops and restaurants at the beach access point near Bay Isles Road which is likewise host to a large Publix supermarket. Take note that the town prohibits the consumption of alcoholic drinks in its beaches, unlike in the public beaches of Sarasota County where such practice is allowed.


By and large, Longboat’s beaches are quieter and quite conducive to family picnics. For these bonding experiences, one popular choice is Whitney Beach toward the north end of Longboat. Its beach access points are close to the Whitney Beach Plaza, a strip mall featuring restaurants and some service providers.


Besides the Longboat beaches and the firm measures the town takes to care for them, there are plenty of other factors driving market interest on the island’s real estate properties. Call or email our Judy Kepecz-Hays team to keep yourself updated on opportunities for buying or selling local residences.


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