Longboat Key is an offshore barrier island running roughly north to south and enclosing the western boundary of Sarasota Bay in Southwest Florida. The island’s eastern shoreline has dense mangroves except where canals have been dredged and marinas built. The western shoreline consists of a white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico. On both the north and south ends, Longboat Key is separated from neighboring islands by deep water passes from the Gulf to Sarasota Bay. St. Armands Key and Lido Key lie just south of Longboat Key and West of Sarasota. Lido Key is bordered by Sarasota Bay on the East and by the Gulf of Mexico on the West. St. Armands Key is surrounded by Lido Key on the West and Sarasota Bay on the East. Longboat Key, Lido Key and St. Armands Key are directly connected to each other by bridges.
Land Area: 4.26 square miles
Length: 10.8 miles
Width: .05 to 1 mile
Elevation: 3 to 18 feet
Water area: 11.74 square miles
Full-time Residents: 8,000
Seasonal Residents: 12,000
Peak Season: 22,000
Average Age: 66
Avg. Household Income (2013): $175,000
Longboat Key lies in two counties- Manatee on the northern half and Sarasota on the southern half. The island was incorporated as a township in 1955 and is governed by a seven member Town Commission, each serving a two-year term. The Mayor is elected for a two-year term by the Town Commission. Administration is under Town Management with a full complement of departments; building, planning & zoning, finance, town clerk, police and fire/rescue. Additionally the Town maintains coorperative relationships with police and fire rescue in neighboring communities. Lido Key and St. Armands are both in Sarasota County and are governed by the City of Sarasota. The Sarasota City Commission consist of five elected commissioners. The Mayor and Vice-Mayor are chosen by the Commisson and serve one year terms. All elections are non-partisan and Sarasota has a Commission Manager form of governement. The Commission appoints a City Manager. City departments include police, public works, building, zoning and code compliance, finance, housing and Community Development, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Planning and Engineering.
Longboat Key’s primary transportation element is Gulf of Mexico Drive (S.R. 789), a state highway classified as “urban minor arterial” running from the northern to southern ends of the key. All other roadways are Town-owned two lane streets connecting to Gulf of Mexico Drive. St. Armands Key’s primary transportation element is S.R. 789 which takes you around St. Armands Circle into Sarasota. Other roadways on St. Armands Circle are city owned. Lido Key’s primary road is Ben Franklin Drive which is just west of Blvd of the Presidents on St. Armands Circle. All other roadways on Lido Key are owned by the City of Sarasota. The Intracoastal waterway runs through Sarasota Bay and is accessible from Longboat from both the Gulf passes and numerous channels on the island’s bayside. There is public bus transportation serving the islands from Sarasota County. The Sarasota/Bradenton area has an international airport, extensive bus service, major state highways and the interstate highway system.
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