Article Courtesy of The
By Lauren Tronstead
Published January 26, 2023
Starting Feb. 1, Longboat Key police will be empowered to write traffic tickets
behind the gates of the Bay Isles community.
“If you drive normally
and safely the way you do anywhere else, then you’ve got
nothing to worry about,” safety committee chair for the HOA
Mark Hullinger said. “It’s only if you violate the stop
signs, speed limit or the crosswalks that you are going to
have a problem.”
The agreement between the largest residential development on
the island and the town was approved by town commissioners
at their Dec. 5 regular meeting.
In April 2022, the town was approached by Bay Isles in hopes
of exploring an agreement with the Homeowners’ Association
for non-criminal traffic enforcement on their private roads.
Seeking the agreement came as advice from the HOA’s legal
counsel as they were discussing solutions to traffic issues
in the community, Hullinger said.
As a private gated
community, the town does not provide that service to the
Traffic circulates near the Bay Isles north entrance.
do so, under Florida statute, a formal agreement approved by both the HOA board
and the town must be executed.
On Nov. 14, the board approved the agreement before it was moved on to
Some residents have
said speeding on Harbourside Drive has been an issue for
years where part of the road is four lanes and the other
part is a winding two-lane stretch. In a traffic study the
community conducted in 2012, results showed that about
three-fourths of drivers were speeding in the gated
“Over the years folks have kind of taken the stop signs as a
suggestion rather than mandatory,” Hullinger said. “They’ve
kind of treated the speed limit as a suggestion, and we’ve
even had issues with people driving through occupied
crosswalks where pedestrians are present.”
In 2011, a safety committee was formed by the HOA to look at
the issue. In 2019, speed humps were installed by the group.
The agreement recognizes the town’s current service level,
which includes periodic law enforcement patrols through the
gated community. Under the agreement, the town’s police
officers are able to take enforcement action on the private
roads while patrolling the area.
Traffic slows for a speed hump in Bay Isles.
Initially, the term for the agreement is five years. At the end of that period,
the agreement will automatically renew. If necessary, the town or the
neighborhood can decide to terminate the agreement without cause with a 90-day
Additionally, the agreement includes the provision that the HOA is able to
schedule specific traffic enforcement. The association would then be responsible
for compensating the town for the time and work of the barrier island’s police