“Regardless of all the recent cooperation, here we are,” wrote Mainsail Lodging and Development president Joe Collier March 28 to Holmes Beach city attorney Patricia Petruff.
The city commission had voted 3-2 at its March 26 meeting to revoke the original site plan for Tidemark Lodging that Mainsail obtained with the purchase of the vacant property Tidemark property about three years ago. The development was first proposed in 2001 for the former site of Pete Reynard’s Yacht Club restaurant in downtown Holmes Beach.
Collier asked the commission to consider rescinding its vote and “come back to the table.”
Commission Chair Jean Peelen apparently plans to bring the Mainsail matter up at the April 9 meeting, although it is not on the agenda and there was little time for public notice.
Collier said he was “blindsided” by a letter from city building official the day prior to the hearing, but the city did not introduce the letter at the March 28 meeting. Instead, the mayor said it had not been finalized, and it was not part of the discussion.
City planner Bill Brisson, who also made recommendations regarding the revised Mainsail site plan, did speak briefly to his concerns.
Brisson highlighted concerns with building setbacks, particularly building B. He noted the project has increased intensity based on about 4,000 added square feet of air conditioned space. Brisson notes the site plan meets the provision for parking spaces on site, but also notes some spacing and circulation problems.
Building code administrator Tom O’Brien’s letter, dated March 25 and preceeding the meeting, outlines the background meeting March 8 between the city and the developer.
O’Brien’s comments on setbacks state provide the setbacks are substantially the same as the original plan, but also says there is “concern that (setbacks) were not correctly applied at the time of the original approval.” He further notes the minimum setbacks decrease the area for landscaping between the seawalls and the buildings.
O’Brien recommends a comprehensive review of the appropriate setbacks.
He notes the Mainsail proposal increases the intensity — the living area — of the project.
He recommends a reduction in the ground-floor areas to reduce the footprint and provide better onsite circulation and parking.
O’Brien notes the arrangement of buildings and/or reductions could better accommodate on-site parking.
He notes the internal circulation of traffic is significantly compromised by the main lodge building. He also recommends vacating the right of way on the southern boundary of the project where it connects to the public right of way to Marina Drive to ease the project’s onsite circulation.
O’Brien goes on to note the building masses of buildings A and B on the peninsula provide minimal landscaping areas and he recommends a significant increase in the setback of building A.
He notes “considerable concern” of Sunrise Lane property owners regarding the facade on the eastern boundary of the project and increased setbacks for building D.
O’Brien says the project lacks an access easement for Sunrise Lane and parking and traffic congestion need to be more fully addressed.
He concludes that a major revision of the original site plan and that proposed by Mainsail are required to address the issues.
Collier asks in his March 28 letter that the commission consider rescinding its vote and “come back to the table with us.”
He offers to improve the plan “where we are able” and listen to ideas “within reason.”
Collier says he hopes the city will give reconsideration and “go for a positive outcome and show everyone in the community that we don’t have to go to the mat.”
Other matters on the April 9 agenda include final readings for the ordinance to end the moratorium and require duplex party walls, discussion on extending O’Brien’s contract, bike paths and the county’s proposed half-cent sales tax.