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Longboat Key Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 2 years ago

Public comment welcome at Longboat P&Z hearing

Planning and Zoning Board members are scheduled to hear from three applicants who hope to reshape the island.
by: Bret Hauff Staff Writer

The planning and zoning board is scheduled to hear testimony on three applications for changing the makeup of Longboat Key Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the ballroom at 3200 Harborside Drive. 

Unicorp National Developments Inc., Ocean Properties Hotel and Resorts and the Longboat Key Historical Society Inc. each applied for projects that range in character and span the island. Longboat residents are welcomed to testify on any of the following applications. 

Unicorp’s application

The Orlando-based developer seeks redevelopment of the site of the former Colony Beach and Tennis Resort. Its application has been submitted in two parts: a zoning text amendment which would increase the density for developers seeking departure from zoning codes and an application for redevelopment. 

Unicorp is hoping to build a 102 residential condominiums, a 166-room St. Regis Hotel — of which 165 units would come from the town’s tourism pool — a 15,700-square-foot spa, two restaurants, a lounge and bar, a 10,000-square-foot ballroom, 6,700 square feet of meeting rooms, and 2,750 square feet of boardrooms.

The application, which outlines how Unicorp plans to develop the 17.6-acre site, is written as if the zoning text amendment were enacted. This is not unusual, said Town Manager Tom Harmer. What is unique about this application, Harmer said, is that town staff, in a report sent to the planning and zoning board, recommend denying the zoning text amendment. 

[Longboat seeks delay in portion of Colony's Planning and Zoning discussion]

The town has not distributed its 72-page draft staff report for the application, which suggest approval if the town offers its remaining 165 tourism units to the developer, to the planning and zoning board. 

Ocean Properties’ application

Delray Beach-based developers hope to reroute Longboat Club Drive, the private road that offers access to the Resort at Longboat Key Club, in its first steps toward building a new hotel on the property. 

Ocean Properties hopes the planning and zoning board will approve its application to curve the roadway north into the islandside driving range, which John Patterson, attorney for the developer, said would be moved if the development is constructed. 

[Resort at Longboat Key Club applies to realign road]

Town staff have recommended approving the application, so long as developers do not park construction vehicles on Gulf of Mexico Drive and work “in good faith” with the town and state to redesign the Longboat Club Drive intersection with the island main throughway — the location of one of two stop lights on the Key. 

The Historical Society’s application

Longboat’s long-time archivers have spent years without a permanent headquarters — its application the the planning and zoning board is its official step toward changing that. 

Michael Drake, president of the nonprofit organization that catalogs the Keys history, hopes to put that headquarters in two former Whitney cottages he obtained by donation and moved to 521 Broadway St. on the north end of the island. 

The organization’s application asks for the town to exempt .21-acre site from its residential zoning to allow the nonprofit to host offices, storage, museum and meeting space there. 

[Longboat Historical Society one step closer to permanent headquarters]

Town staff recommended approving this application granted the site is used solely for the above stated purposes. 

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