Islandside Property Owners Coalition President Bob White offered a compromise at the Islandside renovation-and-expansion hearing Wednesday he believes he and his coalition can support.
Testifying in front of the Town Commission at Temple Beth Israel, White presented a proposal that calls for:
• The reduction of the proposed hotel to 10 stories including parking, which would reduce the number of hotel and condominium units;
• Eliminating the golf course condominium towers altogether;
• Moving Longboat Club Road north near the golf course and co-locating the meeting center and garage adjacent to the hotel;
• Reducing the size of the meeting center ballroom to 8,000 square feet and pre-function space to 6,00 square feet and adjusting the adjacent parking garage accordingly;
• Installing a driving range west of the golf clubhouse;
• Keeping the Villas on the Pass, the spa and wellness center, the renovation of the golf clubhouse and the four tennis courts as proposed;
• Attempting to obtain permission to remove the sandbar at the entrance of the lagoon near New Pass.
White also presented a list of conditions that include restricting the number of large events at the meeting center during peak season.
“In the spirit of trying to offer something that would be acceptable to the Islandside coalition and something that could save the town, the club and the coalition years of legal wrangling, I would like to offer this proposed compromise,” said White, who noted this is something he could support as an Islandside resident and would take to the coalition for approval.
IPOC attorney Michael Furen told the commission if there was a plan “of reasonable scale,” IPOC would work with the applicant to make sure a plan is approved.
Said Furen: “If there is an acceptable negotiated development plan, IPOC would not reserve its right to challenge a plan they have accepted.”
Mayor George Spoll said he was “delighted there was movement and consideration of some sort of solution.”
“It can’t be worse than a big fight,” he said.
Although Commissioner David Brenner was glad White presented a compromise, he expressed disappointment with how long it took for the proposal to come before the commission.
“If something like this would have been proposed more than a year ago, we might not be here today,” Brenner said.
White, however, maintained that IPOC has submitted three different proposals that have been rejected by the club.
The commission most likely will begin deliberations on the project late this afternoon, at which time suggestions proposed by the club, town staff and IPOC can be discussed and considered as potential conditions of approval for the $400 million project.
Check www.YourObserver.com for live updates regarding the hearing.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at email@example.com.
Currently 2 Responses
- The majority of people on LBK, let me say it again, the majority of people on LBK, are in favor of The Club renovations and are excited about what this will offer to the future of the island. We are looking down the road unselfishly with the understanding of building a brighter future for the next generation as that is where the reality lies. For those of you who have the attitutde of "It's all about me", and are merely concerned about what's happening right now today, need to understand that The Club enhancement isn't all just about money. What you're missing is it's about leaving a place better than when you found it. What are you giving back to LBK? As you enjoy your present condo behind the gates at Islandside, what are you doing to enhance the area? A nicely decorated condo, fancy shoes, a pretty dress and an expensive car is not giving back. Having the attitude that your individual tax dollars are giving back to the island is certainly not a giving attitude. Taxes are mandatory. The Club offers so much more than just the monies it will generate!!! It's a lifestyle for our future. I challenge you to step out of your box of thinking, look around and ask your self what you are doing to make this place better than when you found it? Really.
- 'Spoll noted that the club should recognize the risk of having its project denied if no modifications are made.
But Welly countered the mayor by saying: “And you recognize the risk (of) turning us down.”'
By now everyone knows that the Key Club is in reality a minor player in the town’s finances. The Key Club pays less that forty thousand dollars in ad valorem taxes a year while the property owners at Island Side pay thirty to forty times more taxes.
Imagine a board of directors meeting (commission hearings). At one end of the table sits the KC with 40 shares of equity. At the other end sits IPOC with 1400 shares of equity. Who should the directors listen to? It is clear that in this case the tail is wagging the dog.
When the Key Club threatens the commission (see above), who should the commissioners listen to?
Please note that the town has a less than enviable track record involving land use litigation.
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