Zoning Change Sought For Sand Key Shoppes
By Anne McKay Garris
Property owners of Sand Key's Marriott Hotel and the Shoppes of Sand Key will be before Clearwater's Community Development Board on Tuesday, December 18, at 2:00 P.M., to request a change of zoning from Business zoning to Tourist. The property is listed as "parcel 3" in City records.
Business zoning was put on the property by court order when the City of Clearwater attempted to rezone the property in 1986. The owners sued and a judge ordered that Business zoning remain on the property for 20 years. This allowed residential, overnight accommodations and commercial uses.
When the city's development code was rewritten, Business zoning was eliminated. It would be difficult to determine the permitted perimeters of a project in Business zone under today's regulations because the zoning of a property determines allowed heights, density and setbacks for a project.
The new zoning requested by the Sand Key property owners is Tourist. According to a spokesman in the City's Planning Department, this includes retail sales, offices and overnight accommodations. Contrary to what the Sand Key Association was told by the property owners' consultants, it does not necessarily limit the building height to 100 feet.
The current code shows that height bonuses are possible if the property qualifies for "comprehensive infill." The consultant was correct, however, in saying that transfers of density rights is limited to Beach By Design zones and, therefore, not available outside of Clearwater Beach. Transfer of density rights would not be needed if the City adopts the recently approved County plan to increase motel unit density expotentially.
Sand Key Parcel 3 is over 3 acres and would be eligible for the largest density allowance under the County plan which would be 125 units per acre.
On December 18, the Community Development Board members will consider whether the rezoning meets the standards of Section 4-602,f of the development code. They will also consider the recommendation of the City's Planning Director and comments from Clearwater citizens, before making a recommendation to the Clearwater City Council.
The zoning change must then be presented at two public hearings before the Council. If, at any point, the rezoning is denied, the Business zoning will remain in place and the definition of it spelled out in the 1986 court order will govern what is allowed.
Interested citizens may speak at the public hearing before the Community Development Board or before the City Council. They may communicate their views of the proposed rezoning by e-mail, phone call, or in person. If this is done before Thursday, December 13, the comments of the citizens will be included in the packet sent out to the Community Development Board members before the meeting.
E-mails should be go to Steven.Everitt@myclearwater.com.
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