The resort's proposals is the first step in its master plan to build a new hotel on its property.
The Islandside driving range at the Resort at Longboat Key Club could move next year as the resort plans to reroute its private drive, Longboat Club Road, through the area in advance of a proposed expansion years in the making.
That’s the plan Ocean Properties, which manages the club, is scheduled to present to the Planning and Zoning Board Tuesday, Dec. 19 — the first steps in a voter-approved building process for constructing a new hotel at the resort, said John Patterson, legal counsel representing Ocean Properties.
“This is in furtherance, it’s the first step toward the actualization of that further master plan,” Patterson said. “Even though it doesn’t seem like a lot, engineering this road was quite a feat.”
The goal of the road realignment is to create construction space in the area of the tennis courts adjacent to New Pass.
Developers for two years have worked with Longboat Key Association Inc., which manages the private drive, and the Island Property Owners Association, which sued former club owner Loeb Partners Realty when it tried to develop a similar project years ago, to design this proposal, said Patterson, who represented the club under both Loeb and Ocean Properties ownership.
Previous reservations about moving the Longboat Club Road’s path was one of the main reasons the development’s former owners couldn’t proceed with the project, Patterson said.
The project Ocean Properties plans to bring before the Planning and Zoning Board includes realigning Longboat Club Drive to the north, making the hotel parcel to the south larger, and landscaping the roadway and the gatehouse, said Town Planner Steve Schield.
This realignment may affect about two acres of the 17.3-acre property.
An application for the project submitted this fall shows the roadway lined by palm trees — oak trees edge the drive now — bordered by Shady Lady Black Olive trees and bamboo species.
Developers hope to redesign the entrance with a new sign, water feature and columns surrounded by seasonal annuals.
Developers have proposed a left-turn lane into the hotel before the gatehouse to help with traffic, allowing residents to bypass hotel congestion. In a letter to the town written by Patterson, developers say they are willing to work with public officials “in the design of the intersection or roundabout with the understanding that all parties will work towards a solution that seeks to improve traffic conditions and minimize impact on private property.”
One of the initial proposals of Florida Department of Transportation’s Barrier Island Traffic Study includes a roundabout at the intersection of Longboat Club Road.
The hotel proposal is tied to a 2015 mail-in ballot referendum, which asked voters’ permission for Ocean Properties Ltd. to convert 300 residential units within Islandside to tourism units.
The referendum was approved by 1,948 votes in favor, 53%, compared with 1,721 votes, 47%, that opposed the referendum.
If approved, construction for rerouting Longboat Club Road could start in January, according to Ocean Properties’ application for development.