Little Gasparilla Island Community Plan
Navigation to and around Little Gasparilla Island is constrained by channels and aids to navigation. The entire area within Placida Sound is a manatee protection zone, subject to minimal wake restrictions (Figure 8); however, there are some designated areas limited to 25 miles per hour (MPH).There are 117 docks on the bay side of Little Gasparilla Island. Most of these docks are used by several dwelling units; others are private. In most cases, docks are aligned with access easements or rights-of-way, which provide access to the island interior.
Mobility on Little Gasparilla Island is limited by the lack of a designated road network. There are some dedicated County-owned rights-of-way. As a result, the transportation network is a series of ad hoc pathways that traverse the island in north/south and east/west directions (Figure 9, Photo 5). These roads of convenience are maintained with a sand or shell surface and used almost exclusively by golf carts.
Photo 5. Typical Little Gasparilla Island Road
4.2 Analysis of Community Needs
The community wants the County's assistance to investigate ways to establish facilities on the mainland and on the island to facilitate transportation between the island two. Ideally, these facilities should accommodate private boats; barge transportation of bulk items; transport of emergency equipment and personnel; and car and boat trailer parking on the mainland.
The community clearly wants to avoid road widening and paving, yet residents would like to secure a north/south corridor that would allow for access across the entire island. The current legal status of the path network remains unclear. Easements exist for some roads on the island, but much of the network has been established through long-time use. The community is not interested in surrendering ownership or maintenance of the roads to the County.
Citizens of Little Gasparilla Island
LGI Advisory Committee