New plaza plans in 2018

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Lobstahs restaurant closed in June at the AMI Plaza in Holmes Beach. Islander Photo: Terry O’Connor

AMI Plaza owner Mike Hynds has been trying for months to sell his shuttered restaurant business, but has had no takers.

Hynds said Dec. 23 he has a few interested parties, including the former Bradenton Beach music venue, the Freckled Fin, but in the event that doesn’t come to fruition, he says he’ll open a new eatery/bar at 5306 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach. He recently applied to the city for a transfer of Lobstahs business license.

“I have spoken to many interested parties but no one has pulled the trigger and moved forward,” Hynds said in a Dec. 19 email to city hall. “My intention is to open this business when you advise me my (license) is ready, subject to the health board inspection.”

His site plan, however, calls for adding a second floor of residential units, and it requires city approval.

Hynds, who has been absent the past two commission meetings when discussion of the AMI Plaza site plan was on the agenda, claims the Holmes Beach building department and Mayor Bob Johnson have been non-responsive to his applications and hinted at possible legal action.

“This application has been ongoing since Sept. 22 and I hope I don’t need to involve anyone else in the process,” Hynds wrote in a Dec. 20 email to Johnson, building official Jim McGuinness and city clerk Stacey Johnston.

In an email response the same day, Johnston said Hynds’ business application was processed by the clerk’s office and awaited approval from McGuinness.

In October, the mayor granted Hynds a four-month extension to finish renovating his property. At the time, Hynds was close to losing grandfathered parking for the property that formerly housed Lobstahs.

Had the mayor not intervened, the parking could have been reduced from one per five seats to one for every three after Dec. 20. The extension pushed the renovation deadline for Hynds to April 15, 2018.

The restaurant is allowed 128 indoor seats and 16 outdoor seats.

Hynds wants confirmation the indoor restaurant seating is subject to plaza parking and, if more parking is available, indoor seats could be added.

He emailed city attorney Patricia Petruff Dec. 18 requesting confirmation on the seating. But Petruff indicated she would respond only if requested to do so by the mayor.

“I have no plans to respond unless you specifically direct me to do so,” Petruff wrote in an email to Johnson.

Hynds has complained in the past that Holmes Beach city officials are non-responsive. He continued in his latest string of emails.

“Can’t say I like being ignored by the mayor of a city I have lived in for 15 years, but this is your right, I guess,” Hynds wrote in an email dated Dec. 18. “I am getting used to it by other city departments.”

The commission will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

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