Author Archives: Terry O’Connor

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Treehouse owners reject demo, demand repayment

The city of Holmes Beach is adamant. It is demanding the illegal treehouse on the beach be removed. The owners are just as adamant in defying the order. The embattled owners of the treehouse received a demand from city code enforcement Jan. 18 directing them to apply for a demolition permit by Feb. 9. They […]

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Benderson vows to challenge Holmes Beach formula biz ban

Holmes Beach has been warned a second time by Benderson Development Co. not to adopt a formula business ordinance. This time, the warning came in a letter dated Feb. 14 from attorney Bradley Ellis of Icard & Merrill Attorneys and Counselors of Sarasota. “We believe the current draft of the formula business ordinance 18-05 contains […]

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HB prepares to force treehouse demolition

The demolition deadline came and went but the doomed treehouse still stands. Treehouse owner Lynn Tran emailed The Islander Feb. 9, on the afternoon of the city-imposed deadline to apply for a demolition permit for the structure, stating there will be “no demolition.” What’s next likely involves more trips to the courthouse and thousands more […]

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36th Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival ready to rock ’n’ roll

Except for one major uncontrollable detail, all is ready for the 36th annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival, according to chair Rose Lipke. “We’re in the two-week window,” Lipke said. “We just need good weather.” Lipke, in her fourth year as event chair, said Mother Nature will go a long way toward determining if the Feb. […]

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Holmes Beach adds safety signs at S-curves on heels of pedestrian fatality

Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer is taking steps to improve road safety after the first pedestrian fatality in the city since 2013. The “recommended” speed limit of 25 mph is now “mandatory” at the accident site in the 5600 block of Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach, Tokajer said. “I’ve already spoken to commissioners, and […]

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Complicated Cayman Cay condo storm recovery begins

Your 1,200-square-foot slice of island paradise is a storm-soaked ruin. How do you recover your vacation hideaway or retirement oasis? Go to war. Battle frustration, city hall, red tape and slow-moving insurers and restoration crews. Ten condo owners at Cayman Cay Villas in Holmes Beach faced four months of fighting bureaucracy and incompetency to begin […]

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Holmes Beach presses for treehouse demolition

It’s time to knock it down. The nearly five-year legal battle waged between the city of Holmes Beach and the owners of an illegal beachfront treehouse is entering its final stages. Or so the city hopes. The city issued a code enforcement notice Jan. 18 directing the treehouse owners to apply for a demolition permit. […]

Island leaders push back on state rental legislation

Island officials are up in arms over new vacation rental bills filed in the Legislature. “It’s ludicrous,” said Holmes Beach Mayor Bob Johnson. “The state has no ability to do any of that stuff effectively at all. They don’t do home inspections.” State Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, and state Rep. Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, […]

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Islanders plot against state vacation rental legislation

He’s baaack, and backing new legislation scary to many Anna Maria Island property owners and elected officials. State Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, has filed Senate Bill 1400 to give the state complete control over vacation rental properties. SB 1400: Vacation rental bill at a glance What: Senate Bill 1400 would give the state complete control […]