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Are you ready to catch’em up? Friday, 20 March 2015 13:53 BY MARCY SHORTUSE AND LEW HASTINGS - It’s springtime in Boca Grande and that means tarpon season is rapidly approaching. Two traditional events have been planned by the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as a third event held by Gasparilla Outfitters and Boca Grande Charities, Inc that is rapidly becoming a tradition. Read the Full Story
Opposing groups fail to reach consensus on median parking, county awaits new proposals Friday, 20 March 2015 13:52 BY JACK SHORT - The three plans outlined in a recent Beacon story failed to gain traction between the two main sides in an ongoing debate over parking on the Gilchrist Avenue Median.  “Our hope was that they could get close enough to agree on one option,” said a representative of Lee County, “but they each favored a different option.” Read the Full Story
Open enrollment at The Island School wrapping up next week Friday, 20 March 2015 13:48 BY MARCY SHORTUSE - Next week marks the end of open enrollment at The Island School for the next school year and, at this time, 57 applications have been received. According to Head of School Jean Thompson, those are great numbers for the island’s little school, as the maximum number of students is 60.  “March 27 is the last day of open enrollment,” Thompson said. “After that we will take a look at the total number applications we have received. If there are more than 60 we will have our first lottery/waiting list in more than 5 years.”   Read the Full Story
Native Now to host World Water Day Sunday, ‘Reflections’ discussion on Monday Friday, 20 March 2015 13:44 BY MARCY SHORTUSE - Water. Every living thing needs it to survive. Almost 97 percent of the Earth’s water can be found in our oceans. Of the remaining three percent, nearly 70 percent is locked up in glaciers and icecaps. This means the water sources that most of us know, rivers and lakes, account for less than one percent of all the freshwater that exists on Earth, according to the National Ocean Service. On Sunday, March 22, the island will join the world in celebrating World Water Day: Gasparilla Island, 2015. Read the Full Story
A whole lot of line means a whole lot of troubles for our marine life Friday, 20 March 2015 13:42 BY JACK SHORT - As the water crosses that magical temperature threshold somewhere in the mid-70s, the fish and the things that eat them are becoming more active. And, of course, so are the fishermen, but unfortunately, with that increased activity comes an increase in accidental or negligent behavior.  Read the Full Story
Get your Ultimate Dining Experience tickets today Friday, 20 March 2015 13:14 Time is running out to get raffle tickets for the Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce Ultimate Dining Experience. Read the Full Story
Islanders discuss possibility of new restaurant coming to town Friday, 13 March 2015 19:57 BY JACK SHORT - Representatives of 111 Damfiwill, LLC., presented plans to the public on Tuesday, March 10, to renovate the shop at 360 Park Ave. and build a restaurant next door, at 354 Park Ave., and to provide off site parking at 421 Palm Ave. because of limited space near the proposed restaurant.   Because the restaurant, which proposes to serve artisanal pizza, salads and beer and wine, is being combined with the existing J. McLaughlin retail shop next door, the application will be for a multi-use structure, which can carry lighter parking requirements. According to the public notice given for Tuesday’s meeting, the two-story restaurant being built will contain 2,940 square feet of floorspace, which would obligate the builder to provide approximately 40 parking spaces if it were built as a single-use building. However, in a multi-use building, the minimum requirement for a group II restaurant, such as the one proposed, is the same as for retail space in a multi-use building – one space per 350 square feet of floor space, according to Pam Houck of the Lee County Zoning department. Hartsell said the total square footage of the restaurant and retail space combined is 4540 square feet, which would necessitate approximately 13 spaces. Houck said those requirements are part of an approximately 2.5 year-old revised county parking code that had formerly been “overparking people.” Those regulations are set forth in 34.2020(b) of the Lee County Land Development Code (note that footnote (9) sets forth the minimum square footage for a restaurant of this type). Multi-use applications are very common, Houck said, though not in Boca Grande because of limited development. Attorney Steve Hartsell of the Pavese law firm said they intend to provide two or three more spaces than required, approximately seven on site behind the restaurant and seven or eight off site. Houck said that off site parking variances are less common, especially in cases where the site is so far removed from the building site. “It’s not just something we give away,” she said. “It will get a very comprehensive review.” After review of any application requiring a parking variance submitted to the county, staff will review it and determine whether or not it is sufficient to go to public hearing. If it is approved for hearing, the public will be notified so those who wish to attend can do so. Several members of the public who attended objected to the building, some owners of nearby businesses. Many objected to what they said were existing parking shortages in the downtown area. According to representatives at the meeting, the owner would like to seat 50 in an interior dining area with additional seating in a garden area behind the restaurant, though Hartsell admitted some limitations on seating might be necessary. At the meeting, he said they had not yet submitted an application to the county. Architect Doug Larson, who was interrupted several times while trying to complete his presentation, said the design would “use the existing vocabulary of Boca Grande,” and pull the two buildings together. Read the Full Story
BIPS formally undertakes Range Light restoration Friday, 13 March 2015 19:56 BY JACK SHORT - The Barrier Island Parks Society has formally undertaken the Range Light restoration, though the preparatory process goes back several years. Read the Full Story
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Read more...BY MARCY SHORTUSE AND LEW HASTINGS - It’s springtime in Boca Grande and that means tarpon season is rapidly approaching. Two traditional events have been planned by the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as a third event held by Gasparilla Outfitters and Boca Grande Charities, Inc that is rapidly becoming a tradition.


( 0 Votes )

The News - Breaking News

Read more...BY JACK SHORT - The three plans outlined in a recent Beacon story failed to gain traction between the two main sides in an ongoing debate over parking on the Gilchrist Avenue Median. 

“Our hope was that they could get close enough to agree on one option,” said a representative of Lee County, “but they each favored a different option.”


( 1 Vote )

The News - Featured News

Read more...BY MARCY SHORTUSE - Next week marks the end of open enrollment at The Island School for the next school year and, at this time, 57 applications have been received. According to Head of School Jean Thompson, those are great numbers for the island’s little school, as the maximum number of students is 60.  “March 27 is the last day of open enrollment,” Thompson said. “After that we will take a look at the total number applications we have received. If there are more than 60 we will have our first lottery/waiting list in more than 5 years.”  


( 0 Votes )

The News - Featured News

Read more...BY MARCY SHORTUSE - Water. Every living thing needs it to survive. Almost 97 percent of the Earth’s water can be found in our oceans. Of the remaining three percent, nearly 70 percent is locked up in glaciers and icecaps. This means the water sources that most of us know, rivers and lakes, account for less than one percent of all the freshwater that exists on Earth, according to the National Ocean Service. On Sunday, March 22, the island will join the world in celebrating World Water Day: Gasparilla Island, 2015.


( 0 Votes )

The News - Featured News

Read more...BY JACK SHORT - As the water crosses that magical temperature threshold somewhere in the mid-70s, the fish and the things that eat them are becoming more active. And, of course, so are the fishermen, but unfortunately, with that increased activity comes an increase in accidental or negligent behavior. 


( 2 Votes )

The News - Featured News

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