Can I trim the mangroves located water ward of my property?
The Department of Environmental Protection of the State of Florida (813-744-6100) regulates the trimming of mangroves. Trimming of this vital resource is strictly regulated and it is recommended that you contact the State to determine if any proposed trimming would require a State permit or would be allowed under the exemption criteria. Monetary fines and wetland restoration can result from the trimming of mangroves in excess of State requirements.
Does the Town of Longboat Key have a “light and air” ordinance?<>Similar to other communities, the Town Zoning Code has light and air regulations, known as Daylight Plane (Section 158.098 Zoning Code). The intent of the ordinance, adopted in 1997, is to preserve and protect existing residential structures through the regulation of scale, bulk and relationship to the adjacent environment of future development, and maintaining an appropriate balance within the scale of the buildings. Basically, it calls for greater building setbacks on the upper floors of buildings, which provides more light and air for adjacent buildings.
How can I determine what my property is zoned?
The Town has an adopted Zoning Map, as well as an adopted Future Land Use Map. The zoning of a parcel can be determined through the utilization of these maps or consultation with a member of the zoning staff. Reliance on the zoning information provided by an entity other than the Town of Longboat Key is not advised, as the information may not be up-to-date or accurate.
The Town has created a new Interactive Online Zoning Map where you can search by address for particular properties and retrieve zoning information, along with a link to the property appraiser's website.
What happens if a non-conforming multifamily or tourism property is damaged or destroyed by a Hurricane or other natural disaster?
In 2019, the Town amended the Town Zoning Code to permit limited reconstruction of existing multifamily or tourism properties that are legally nonconforming due to the current number of dwelling or tourism units exceeding the current allowable density of the Town Zoning Code (Section 158.132). Existing developments that are legally nonconforming due to the current number of dwelling or tourism units, may be reconstructed to the same number of units, and the same type of principal use(s) in existence prior to the reconstruction. In any redevelopment scenario, the overarching intent is to reduce or eliminate nonconformities with a preference that properties develop according to their zone district, especially gulf and pass waterfront yard setbacks, to the greatest extent possible. Three individual, and mutually exclusive, legal nonconforming density redevelopment options are provided.
What if I cannot comply with a Zoning Code requirement? Can I request a variance?
A variance can be requested for a departure from the dimensional or numerical requirements of the Zoning Code. The Zoning Board of Adjustment is the Town Commission appointed board that reviews variance requests. The Board must determine whether: the variance request is not be contrary to the public interest; the variance request is due to conditions peculiar to the property; variance request is not the result of the actions of the applicant; and, a literal enforcement of the chapter would result in unnecessary and undue hardship. A variance is authorized only for height, area, and size of structure or size of yards and open spaces, to the extent that such variance is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
The Planning and Zoning Division is responsible for the updating and implementing of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan (Long-Range Planning), and daily planning activities with proposed developments, as well as amending and implementing the Town’s Zoning Code (Short-Range Planning). Town Planning Staff provides residents, developers, contractors and visitors with current zoning information.
Town Comprehensive Plan
The Town's Comprehensive Plan, required by the State of Florida, is the enabling document that serves as the overall guide to the development of the Key through the Town Zoning Code, the adoption of ordinances, and creation of Town policies. This Plan is amended every seven years, beginning with an evaluation of the overall effectiveness through the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) as mandated by the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA). This evaluation process concludes with amendments to the comprehensive plan in existence at that time.
Town Zoning Code
The Town Zoning Code contains the land development regulations for the Town, to establish comprehensive controls for the development of the land in the Town based on the Comprehensive Plan. The Code is designed to preserve the unique character of the Town and is enacted to protect, promote, and improve the public health, safety, comfort, order, appearance, convenience, morals, and general welfare of the people. The Zoning Code also protects the natural and man-made resources and maintains, through orderly growth and development, the character and stability of present and future land use and community development. Regulations pertaining to permitted land uses, required setbacks, maximum allowable building heights, fence regulations, and regulations for accessory structures such as docks are included in the Zoning Code. Additional land use regulations are included in the Zoning Code, as well as descriptions of the various zoning districts on the Key.
The Town has created a new Interactive Online Zoning Map where you can search for a particular parcel to determine its zoning and also link to the property appraiser's website.
Planning and Zoning Board
Planning Staff reviews proposed site plans for commercial, tourism and multi-family developments (of more than 10-units), and subdivisions (Chapter 157 of the Town Code), prior to their submittal to the Planning and Zoning Board for final consideration by the Town Commission. Staff also reviews applications for Outline Development Plan (ODP) approval through the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process. These requests are also reviewed by the Board, which makes recommendation to the Town Commission. Final action on these requests is made by the Town Commission. The Board only has final authority on special exception applications.
Planning and Zoning Board meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month beginning at 9:15 AM in the Town Commission Chambers located at 501 Bay Isles Road. To review a list of meeting dates, please click here.
The Planning and Zoning Board and Town Commission shall not receive, review, make recommendations or act on applications for outline development plan or site plan approval except during the Town's annual site and development plan season. The annual site and development plan season shall include the months of September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May an June of each year.
The period of time between July 1 and August 31 shall not be included as part of the site and development plan season, but shall not preclude the P&Z Board from meeting for the consideration of any other matters.
Scheduled meeting dates and times are subject to change by action of the Planning and Zoning Board.
Zoning Board of Adjustment
Requested variances are reviewed by Planning and Zoning Staff, and forwarded to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for consideration. A variance is a departure from the dimensional or numerical requirements of the Zoning Code, as defined in Section 158.006. The Board also reviews Daylight Plane Waiver and Appeal of Administrative Official applications.
Zoning Board of Adjustment meetings are held the third Thursday of the month beginning at 9:30 AM in the Town Commission Chambers located at 501 Bay Isles Road. Scheduled meeting dates and times are subject to change by action of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The Planning and Zoning Division enforces the Tree Ordinance (Chapter 98 of the Town Code), issuing Tree Permits for the removal and/or replacement of protected trees.