CLEARWATER - As predicted by City officials, the July 1 deadline for applications seeking to convert beach hotels and motels into residential condominiums under Clearwater's old rules was met with a flood of requests.
The Clearwater City Council created the July 1 deadline. Seeking to stem the tide of hotel room to residential condo conversions, they modified the City's development code, modifying a provision that allowed the termination of non-conforming density with a change in use.
Under the old provisions, non-conforming hotel units could be converted to residential condominium units at a ratio of 3 condo's for 4 hotel rooms. Under the new rules, residential condo conversions would have to comply with a density limit of 30 units per acre. Some properties stood to lose up to 1/2 of their potential condominium units as a result of the change.
But the immediate effect of the code change was to encourage the condo conversions that many feared would harm Clearwater's tourism industry. Ten applications were submitted by the July 1 deadline, representing the conversion of 470 Clearwater Beach hotel/motel rooms into 369 residential condominium units.
Some of the conversion applications were expected. City officials had already discounted the loss of the Sea Wake's 110 rooms and the Quality Inn's 93 rooms. But the loss of the Red Roof Inn's 72 rooms was not anticipated.
Many of the applications were for small properties that were under the City's radar. The Gem Tower's 29 motel units will convert to 21 condo's. The Ebb Tide's 18 motel rooms will become 13 condos.
Even smaller property owners sought to profit from the rising tide of beach condo conversions. The Nicky Motel, currently 10 motel rooms, will become the Venetian Sands, a 4-unit residential condominium. Koli-Bree Condos, with 5 residential units, will replace The Koli-Bree Motels 10 overnight units.
City staff will have a busy month of July. In addition to reviewing the 10 beach condo conversions, their backlog includes 25 more development applications and 5 applications for annexation.
Summary of Beach Condo conversion applications:
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition