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Florida town, county involved in boundary line dispute

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Obtaining permits in Florida can sometimes be a tricky business. It often involves jumping through several hoops, but if there is a boundary line dispute that puts these permits in jeopardy, it only further complicates the process. That appears to be the case in a debate involving Manatee County and the town of Longboat Key over a piece of land known as Beer Can Island.

Longboat Key takes responsibility for trash cleanup on Beer Can Island and rescues beach goers who get stranded there during high tide. Therefore, they paid for a permit to build a groin on the island, in addition to two other groins that will be built within the boundaries of the town. While the island is under the town's political jurisdiction, it is actually owned by Manatee County.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a notification that the permit would be approved. However, a town resident and a former county commissioner petitioned for a review of the permit, claiming that the proposed groins will be harmful to recreation lands. An attorney for the county stated that Longboat Key's municipal boundaries cover all three structures, so the county should not get involved in the matter. All responses to the petitions have been forwarded from the county commissioners to the town.

At least for now, it seems like political boundaries are taking precedence over physical boundaries. Current county officials seem to have no objections to allowing the project to proceed. However, if the permit gets approved and Manatee County is asked to contribute funds toward the structure on Beer Can Island, it may only further escalate this boundary line dispute.

Source:, "Town, county crack open Beer Can dispute," Kurt Schultheis, July 24, 2013

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