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Date of Issue: September 21, 2006

Survey says: Part of Westbay Cove in county, not city

westbay pic
County property?
According to a survey given to Holmes Beach by Manatee County, the eastern-most building in Westbay Cove North is not in Holmes Beach but in the county. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

The old game show Family Feud used to ask contestants the most common answers to certain questions asked of 100 people. Host Richard Dawson used to say “And the survey says” as the answers were displayed on the board.

If 100 people were surveyed last week and asked if all of Westbay Cove condominiums were in the city of Holmes Beach, the survey might have shown 100 percent of the people believed that was true. That might not be the same answer this week after city officials learned that a portion of the complex might be in unincorporated Manatee County.

The city was simply trying to determine if a portion of the Kingfish Boat Ramp was within the city limits or in the unincorporated portion of Manatee County when it asked the county for a survey of the area earlier this year.

Much to the city’s surprise and chagrin, the county last week gave public works superintendent Joe Duennes a survey that shows that not only is Kingfish Boat Ramp on county property, but the eastern section of Westbay Cove North condominiums, including at least one building, is not inside the city limits of Holmes Beach. And it’s possible that a portion of Westbay Cove South on the south side of Manatee Avenue might also be located in the county.

But before anyone gets in an uproar, said Mayor Carol Whitmore, the city ordered its own survey at the same time it asked the county to provide one.

Whitmore wants to know what the city survey says before taking action.

“We have some options if it turns out that a portion of Westbay Cove is not in the city,” said Whitmore, “but we need to see the survey first and bring it to the commission and city attorney for discussion. I don’t want to speculate on what the city will do until then.”

The need for a survey arose when the county said it wanted to increase the available parking at Kingfish Boat Ramp, install permanent rest rooms and remove some of the Brazilian pepper trees at the west end of the boat ramp.

The city and Westbay Cove residents opposed the plan and the city requested the survey to determine the exact city limits.

The city-ordered survey of its boundaries was expected to reach Duennes this week.