Save Our Neighborhood Files Appeal Against City of Clearwater and the Belleview Biltmore, L.L.C.
Five disgruntled Sand Key residents and representatives of Save Our Neighborhood filed an appeal of the Community Development Board’s determination to approve the application of the Belleview Biltmore, LLC for the Cabana Club site. These residents filed the appeal because on September 16, 2008, the City’s Community Development Board (CDB) allegedly incorrectly approved all of the numerous and significant deviations to the Community Development Code requested by the Belleview Biltmore, LLC. Legg Mason, the purported owner of the Belleview Biltmore, wants to build a 38 room hotel/165 seat restaurant complex on less than one acre of land on Sand Key. SON’s appraiser testified that surrounding home values will decrease $8.35 million and affect 110 families by an average of $75,000 per home. In addition, the CDB allegedly incorrectly determined, according to the appeal, that the 165 seat restaurant would be an accessory use to the 38 room hotel in an attempt to avoid the city’s parking requirements.
Legg Mason wants to tear down the current Cabana Club Restaurant and build the hotel/restaurant complex where the current parking lot, swimming pool and restaurant that seats about 175 people, is located.
The last redevelopment on Sand Key occurred when the Utopia and Bella Rosa condominiums were built. Sand Key residents opposed the many deviations that were requested by that developer to build a 21-story high residential condo. The CDB approved the Code deviations but the residents won on appeal and the condominiums were built according to the Code and without deviations.
Joe Penner, Managing Director, Legg Mason has previously stated that “Legg Mason is fully committed to redeveloping the Cabana Club site with a new property which is consistent in size and scope to the surrounding area of Sand Key.”
Legg Mason had the support of all CDB members after lengthy hearings on the controversial project.
Nevertheless, it came as no surprise to Clearwater officials who supported the project and Legg Mason Management that a lawsuit contesting the CDB ruling would be made.
The matter now moves to the “appeal” level where all of the issues will be again presented.
Return to Current Edition