No plans made for future Grassy Point development

No plans made for future Grassy Point development
The entrance to Grassy Point Preserve in Holmes Beach reflects the city’s commitment to maintaining the preserve as a passive park. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – There may be some improvements coming to Grassy Point Preserve in the future, but city commissioners want to weigh all of their options before making any decisions.

City Engineer Lynn Burnett appeared before commissioners at an April 10 work session to present an update on the passive park. She said that a survey of the city’s property and surrounding area is complete along with topographical elevations. With a normal high tide, she said the area of Grassy Point closest to the water remains relatively dry, however during king tides and other abnormally high tide events, the area floods. In her suggestions for the future development of the site, Burnett said a passive walkway, a raised boardwalk and building berms with culverts underneath and WaStop valves to combat sea level rise may all be good options for consideration.

“It’s a beautiful asset,” she said of the park.

Burnett is planning to present renderings of possible additions to the current park pathways to the city’s Parks and Beautification Committee during their Wednesday, May 1 meeting to get feedback before presenting the sketches to commissioners.

Commissioner Carol Soustek said she’s happy to know what property, submerged and otherwise, the city owns, however on second thought and after getting feedback from some residents, she’s unsure that a raised boardwalk or kayak launch are good options for Grassy Point.

With the renderings being presented at the commission’s first May work session, which is not yet scheduled, she recommended that any residents with suggestions or concerns email city hall or bring them before commissioners at that meeting.

Another topic for commission discussion is the nearly 30 unbuildable lots surrounding the city’s Grassy Point property. Attorney Patricia Petruff said the lots were declared wetlands and unbuildable by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection nearly 25 years ago, lowering the assessed value of each lot to somewhere around $500. Soustek suggested the city look into purchasing as many of the lots as possible to incorporate into Grassy Point as conservation lands.

Commissioner Kim Rash took the suggestion a step further, suggesting the city offer some sort of tax incentive to have people donate the land to Holmes Beach since it is considered unbuildable.

Related coverage

Insider’s Island – The insider’s guide to outdoors AMI

Grassy Point Preserve gallery