The state’s Department of Community Affairs ruled Oct. 20 that an ordinance amending parts of Longboat Key’s code is both consistent and inconsistent with the town’s Comprehensive Plan.
The Islandside Property Owners Coalition filed an administrative appeal July 14, challenging code changes approved by the Town Commission on May 3. Those code changes diminished much of the legal challenges presented by IPOC, which opposes the club’s $400 million renovation-and-expansion project.
In three of the five challenges alleged by IPOC, the DCA ruled that the town’s Comprehensive Plan was consistent with the code changes amended.
Those challenges included alleged inconsistencies of allowable clustering of density and open space requirements in gulf-planned developments and an alleged inconsistency with allowing commercial tourism (hotels/motels) in GPDs.
But in the other two challenges, the DCA ruled that IPOC’s challenges were partly consistent and partly inconsistent.
Those challenges include claims by IPOC that non-residential uses and densities are not allowed by the Comprehensive Plan and that changing the permitted amount of non-residential land (commercial, office and other non-residential uses) within a GPD from 5% of the area to 15% is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan because it doesn’t permit such uses.
And even though DCA ruled in favor of the town on the challenge of not allowing commercial tourism (hotels/motels) in GPDs, the DCA also states that when three subsections are read together, planned developments and GPDs prohibit permitting tourism uses in those same zoning districts.
IPOC attorney Michael Furen told The Longboat Observer he “was very pleased” with DCA’s ruling.
“I think DCA has made it abundantly clear that several of IPOC’s core positions were correct, specifically with the core position that the plan doesn’t permit commercial and tourism uses in a GPD,” Furen said.
Assistant Town Attorney Kelly Martinson, meanwhile, said the town was still reviewing the 32-page ruling.
“But we are very pleased the DCA ruled in the town’s favor on a number of the challenges brought forth,” Martinson said.
For more information on the ruling, pick up a copy of the Oct. 28 edition of The Longboat Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].