Commissioner Phill Younger has requested the Longboat Key Town Commission reconsider its approval of a Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub site plan amendment and special exception approval at a special meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. today.
At the meeting, a discussion will be held on whether the commission wants to take back its approval and re-notice and reschedule a public hearing to further consider the project at another date.
Less than a dozen people spoke out in opposition of a Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub site plan amendment and special exception approval at the Longboat Key Town Commission’s May 6 regular meeting, but dozens more have overloaded commissioners’ email accounts in recent days to oppose the project. What commissioners approved on May 6 increases restaurant seats by 11 spots with a second story waterfront dining addition and adds a meeting room and a small deck in an adjacent historic house that could be used for private parties.
Currently, the restaurant at 760 Broadway has 169 indoor and outdoor seats. The recent approval allows the restaurant to increase its seat total to 180 seats with the addition of a second story that offers views of Sarasota Bay.
The major difference in the application, though, involves an old house, dubbed the Jordan House, which sits behind the restaurant closer to Broadway. The old house is currently used for storage and Mar Vista owner Ed Chiles is looking to utilize it for patrons.
Village residents have expressed concern with the approval and are worried that the restaurant’s total maximum occupancy capacity (either sitting or standing) now reaches 331 total possible patrons.
Chiles, though, said the 331 number is one he will never come close to exceeding. Chiles said he would never put more than 60 people in the meeting space and if the restaurant is full in season, he has no intention of scheduling gatherings in the meeting room at the same time.
Also today, commissioners are holding a Goals and Objectives workshop, its first budget workshop and its 1 p.m. regular workshop. The regular workshop, which starts at 1 p.m., will include discussions on freezing town pension plans.
For more information on today’s meetings, check www.yourobserver.com for updates and pick up a copy of Thursday’s May 23 Longboat Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].