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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jun. 9, 2010 7 years ago

IPOC offers 11th-hour compromise

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

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 for live updates regarding the hearing.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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