Longboat Key Beach plan moves forward But will it be enough?

The ‘hot spot’ of beach erosion in front of Longbeach Condominiums and 360 North Condominiums has long been a challenge for Longboat Key beach engineers. The town’s beach maintenance plan which currently consists of spot beach renourishment and five groins at the north end, is moving forward after this week’s commission workshop, but it may not be fast enough for some beach residents.

One resident from Longbeach Condominium’s Coquina building, which is situated right next to the beach and has a seawall, spoke out at the workshop on Tuesday.

“We (at Longbeach Condominium) wanted to fast track the second part of the application, with the southernmost groins. The water is routinely coming up over the seawall, and it is hitting sod and grass. We’ve had irrigation pipes exposed in the Coquina building. I live in the Coquina building, it’s really an emergency right now,” said the resident.

She also stated that the condominium has surveyed its unit owners, and reported that of 73 owners (out of 88) that responded, 70 percent were in favor of the groins.

Planning and Building Department Director Isaac Brownman informed the commission that he, his staff and the town’s engineering firm Olsen Associates, Inc., had met with residents from Longbeach condominiums, as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

Dr. Al Browder of Olsen Associates noted how the town staff and his company had been working on updating the beach renourishment plan after the 2008 renourishment. The current beach design states that a 120-foot width of the beach should be maintained as the profile, which is based on 1993’s vegetation line.

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