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HB tightens Mainsail agreement

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Holmes Beach commissioners, at a Dec. 11 work session, made some minor tweaks to a settlement agreement between the city and the Mainsail Lodge development team.

It was the second round of review for commissioners. The agreement stems from two rounds of mediation initiated by Mainsail attorney Robert Lincoln to avoid suing the city over a March revocation of its site plan to develop the vacant commercial land near the intersection of Gulf and Marina drives.

The city received several concessions during the mediation, reduced setbacks, the elimination of some lodging buildings, a reduction in size for the two remaining buildings, reduction in restaurant seating and more.

Parking also was a primary point in the ongoing discussions with Mainsail and, while parking appears to be adequate for the proposed lodge, Commissioner Marvin Grossman alleged that Mainsail is already violating the parking ordinance at the marina where it leases boat slips to charter captains.

“I think the whole commission believes there should be no special interest,” said Grossman. “The marina has been operating for 12 years. There are hardly any parking spaces for the boat slips.”

Grossman said according to his count of boats using the slips and Mainsail’s business tax receipt, the developer is required to have 36 spaces.

“I was told they submitted a plan to correct all of this, but was then told it was our fault for not directing our mayor and building department to examine the information they submitted.”

Grossman said he wants that rectified.

Building official Tom O’Brien replied that the plan is “on the pending shelf.”

He said once the matter entered mediation, the review of the marina parking plan was put on hold, “and has been ever since.”

O’Brien said a code enforcement action was initiated prior to the mediation and that Mainsail’s parking plan was its response to the code enforcement action. However, he reiterated, everything was put on hold until the mediation is completed.

Grossman said anyone running a business in the city is required to do certain things.

“This one is being ignored and I don’t think that’s right,” said Grossman.

Mayor Carmel Monti said he would look into it and give it a high priority after city attorney Patricia Petruff said she agreed with Grossman.

Commissioners commenced with some minor adjustments to the settlement agreement, including defining some setback limits agreed to in mediation and ensuring the maximum capacity seating at the proposed restaurant would not exceed 80 seats.

Most of the adjustments were to ensure what was agreed to was associated with the appropriate language in the agreement.

The bigger issue for Commission Chair Judy Titsworth is that Mainsail has not yet reached a settlement with residents on Sunrise Lane. Mainsail wants to use the road for emergency vehicle access, but only partly owns the road along with the Sunrise Lane residents.

During mediation, it was made clear that any deal with the city would be contingent on Mainsail reaching a deal with the two Sunrise Lane residents who oppose Mainsail’s use of the road. Titsworth also lives on Sunrise Lane, but is not engaged in the dispute over use of the road.

However, with the elimination of some lodging facilities, Titsworth noted that Mainsail might not need to use Sunrise Lane. It was an idea that Mainsail did not oppose, if the opportunity ever surfaced.

A consensus was given to pass that option onto Mainsail before finalizing the agreement.

Titsworth also wanted the language clarified for Mainsail to clean up the site, since actual construction is likely to be four or more years away — and that is contingent on final site plan approval.

Titsworth wanted time limits imposed for cleanup and, while commissioners agreed, time limits were not defined during the work session.

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