Longboat Key is an offshore barrier island running roughly north to south and enclosing the western boundary of Sarasota Bay . 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 Armand’s Key and Lido Key lie just south of Longboat Key and west of Sarasota. These Keys are directly connected to each other by bridges.
The length of Longboat Key is 10.8 miles and .05 to 1 mile wide. The elevation is 3 to 18 feet. The population of full-time residents is about 8,000 and seasonal residents 12,000. During peak season which runs from December through to after Easter it rises to about 22,000.
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 & fire/rescue.
Longboat’ Keys’ primary transportation element is Gulf of Mexico drive running from north to south with all other roads connecting to this.
The island has a mix of residential condominiums, single family homes and tourist properties. This housing reflects the areas popularity as a haven for retired and working residents, winter residents and tourists.
Visit http://www.longboatkey.org and http://www.mymanatee.org
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