Monday, July 28, 2014

Local Beaches Declared Critical Habitat

Our thanks to Valerie Guenther and Pat Bienemann for sending this along:

On the Florida Waterfront - Local Beaches Declared Critical Habitat

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service adopted new regulations designating portions of Florida's sandy beaches as "Critical Habitat" for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.  Local beaches affected by this designation include Longboat Key, Siesta Key, Casey Key, Venice Beaches, Manasota Key, Knight Island, Don Pedro Island, Little Gasparilla Island, and Gasparilla Island.  Beaches of Anna Maria Island and Lido Key were not included.
The direct effect of this designation is that any coastal development requiring federal funding or federal permits, will be reviewed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine whether or not the proposed project is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, or destroy or adversely modify the designated critical habitat.  The construction and remodeling of existing residential structures does not require federal permits. Therefore, this recent action should not have any direct effect on the local housing market.  However, federal permits typically are required for beachfront seawalls and beach renourishment.
As sea levels continue to rise, this is a matter that will need to be readdressed sooner than later.  To learn more about coastal construction and Loggerhead Sea Turtles,
check out my website at
David M. Levin, Esq.
Waterfront Property & Environmental Law

110 Sullivan Street, Suite 112
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
2033 Main Street, Suite 600
Sarasota, FL 34236

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

You're gonna need a bigger boat.

Shark Week is coming to your TV in August, and one of the programs has a bit of special meaning for us Island old-timers.

Kelly Hayward-Smith is the daughter of John M Hayward, Don Pedro Island pioneer.  Johnny was a commercial airline pilot, and “discovered” the Island while aloft.  In fact, he even picked out his property from above, circling in his plane! He built his home and guest house on a double lot on Bocilla drive, and remained there until he passed several years ago.

Daughter Kelly is a twice Emmy-nominated editor with decades of experience in TV production.  She was editor and post-producer for “Great White Serial Killer” which premiered on Discovery’s Shark Week in 2013.   Now she is editing “Air Jaws: Quest for Colossus" for Shark week 2014. (there may have been a late title change to “Air Jaws: Fin of Fury” so keep a look-out!) Tune in starting Sunday, August 10th.

By the way, Johnny’s Bocilla Drive estate is now inhabited by his stepson, Kris Doubles, and partner.  It’s good to keep the Island ‘all in the family’!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Public hearing for fire service coming up

A notice was posted in the Englewood Sun yesterday regarding a public hearing on July 24th to establish the annual rate for the fire protection MSBU. 

The Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing at the Tringali Recreation Center, 3460 N. Access Road, Englewood FL on 7/24/2014.
According to the ad, "The maximum and proposed schedule of assessment for the Unit is:

Proposed Maximum:
Proposed rate for FY 2014-15

A. Residential Properties

1. Residential homes, apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, barns, etc. per ERU
2. Residential vacant lots accessible by road, per lot
3. Residential vacant lots inaccessible by road, per lot

B. Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Properties

1. Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Properties per Square Foot
2. Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Properties, per lot or, where applicable, per acre

C. Acreage

1. Acreage/parcels that abut or are accessible by road, per acre
1. Acreage/parcels that do not abut or are not accessible by road, per acre. Not to exceed $3,175.00 per parcel

Public input will be taken at the hearing.