170-room hotel, about 80 feet in height, proposed on four parcels between Beach Road and Calle Miramar on Siesta Key, just off Ocean Boulevard

Pre-application materials submitted to county staff in May

A graphic shows the four parcels slated for the hotel project, just outside Siesta Village. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Just down the street from Siesta Village’s only hotel, a real estate agent wants to build a new, 170-room hotel on four parcels between Beach Road and Calle Miramar.

The structure would include a restaurant, bar and shops, The Sarasota News Leader has learned.

Moreover, the proposal calls for a major change in how the county’s Comprehensive Plan treats density and intensity of new construction on the barrier islands.

The total area of the proposed hotel site is 0.96 acres, according to a preliminary application filed with Sarasota County Planning and Development Services Department. The land is zoned Commercial General (CG) as part of the Siesta Key Overlay District (SKOD). That zoning allows structures, by right, to stand up to 35 feet in height, above the base flood elevation standard required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The CG zoning district in SKOD allows for an increase in height “up to 85 feet above [base flood elevation] by Special Exception,” the preliminary application notes.

The proposal calls for the hotel to comprise five stories over three levels of parking. The building would be about 80 feet tall.

These schematics show the potential design of the ground floor, with the lobby, and floors 2 through 4. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Filed on May 19 by attorney G. Matthew Brockway of the Icard Merrill firm in Sarasota, the materials note that the four-parcel site is located in the northeast quadrant of Ocean Boulevard and the southwest quadrant of Calle Miramar and Calle Menorca.

Brockway referred to the focus of the application as the “Siesta Key Hotel Project.”

Among the four affected parcels is the one at 221 Beach Road, where a UPS Store operated for many years.

Office space and multi-family apartments exist on the land, Brockway pointed out.

One Special Exception will be sought for transient accommodations, with a second to be requested for a building height increase to 80 or more feet above base flood level, Brockway wrote in his cover letter to county staff.

“The architecture of the hotel will compliment and be consistent with the style of Sarasota and Siesta Key, incorporating key design features from the Sarasota School of Architecture,” Brockway noted. The primary access to the hotel would be from Calle Miramar, he pointed out.

Mark Sultana of DSDG Architects in Sarasota and Christopher Hatton, a professional engineer with Kimley-Horn of Sarasota, and Kelley Klepper, a planner with Kimley-Horn, are listed as “Other Team Members.”

This aerial map shows Siesta Key Resort and Suites at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Calle Miramar (property ID No. 0080240016), with one of the parcels proposed for the new hotel site, 220 Calle Miramar, outlined in red. Image courtesy Sarasota County Property Appraiser Bill Furst

Among county staff comments on the preliminary application, a representative of the Public Works Department’s Transportation Division said the project would be expected to generate more than 100 extra vehicle trips during the peak afternoon drive time. “Therefore, a Traffic Impact Analysis is required,” the staff member added.

County Planning and Development Services staff told The Sarasota News Leader that, as of June 30, the formal application for the initiative had not been received.

The owner of the land is Louise Khaghan of New York City, the preliminary materials say. The long-time lessee of the property is Robert T. Anderson Jr., a RE/MAX real estate agent whose company SKH 1 LLC is listed on the application.

The total market value of the four parcels is $3,495,900, according to a News Leaderreview of their records on the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s website.

A chart from DSDG Architects, which was included with the preliminary application, notes that the lobby level would contain 27,620 square feet, with an outdoor deck comprising another 7,591 square feet.

This is the schematic for Level 5, with the pool. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Levels 2, 3 and 4 would have 2,444 square feet of outdoor deck space, while Level 5 would feature 7,244 square feet of such space, the chart says.

A schematic for Level Five shows a pool, a pool bar and kitchen storage space, along with 26 rooms.

The DSDG chart also shows that the first parking level would encompass 34,711 square feet, while the each of the other two parking floors would have 34,911 square feet.

Only 51 spaces would be provided on that first level, with 72 on the second level and 75 on the third.

Proposed land development changes for hotels

Formally, as part of the process to construct the hotel, Khaghan and Anderson plan to request an amendment to Future Land Use Policy 2.9.1 in the county’s Comprehensive Plan, as well as an amendment to the county’s Unified Development Code (UDC), which encompasses the county’s land development and zoning regulations.

The proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment would treat transient accommodations as a non-residential use, Brockway continued in the preliminary materials submitted to the county. That, he noted, “is consistent with the true nature of the use. After all, from a land use, planning, and zoning perspective,” he wrote, “hotels are a commercial use critical to tourism and our local economy. To that end Transient Accommodations are only permitted (either as Permitted Uses or by Special Exception) in certain commercial zoning districts [Brockway’s emphasis].”

He added, “These text amendments will eliminate residential density and residential density calculations for Transient Accommodations, and instead rely on existing height, bulk, setback and other commercial development standards and requirements.”

A structure located at 221 Beach Road served as home to the UPS Store on Siesta Key for many years. Image courtesy Google Maps

Further, Brockway pointed out, “The text amendments to the UDC would apply County-wide (not just to a small area of Siesta Key). Compared with the current ‘residential density’ approach to Transient Accommodations, the proposed text amendments will result in simpler application of the UDC to Transient Accommodations,” he added.

Future Land Use Policy 2.9.1 in the Comprehensive Plan applies to the barrier islands, such as Siesta Key. It recognizes the need to consider their existing land use patterns in light of the potential for hurricane evacuation planning and disaster mitigation efforts, Brockway pointed out.

The policy says, “The intensity and density of future development on the Barrier Islands of Sarasota shall not exceed that allowed by zoning ordinances and regulations existing as of March 13, 1989, except that, with respect to lands zoned RMF [Residential Multi-Family] as of that date and consistently so thereafter, a non-conforming duplex whose density exceeds the density restrictions of the zoning regulations and restrictions may be rebuilt within the footprint of the structure, or a non-conforming multi-family structure may be demolished and a duplex rebuilt in its place within the prior footprint of the multi-family structure without violating this policy.”

The proposed amendment to that policy would add, “[W]ith respect to lands zoned CG/SKOD, such lands may be redeveloped to contain transient accommodations which exceed the density and intensity restrictions of the zoning regulations existing as of [March 13, 1989] without violating this policy.”

The suggested change to the UDC would allow transient accommodations to be considered a non-residential use “for all purposes.”
“However,” it would add, “a transient accommodation in the [Boutique Resort Redevelopment/Planned Development District] or the Nokomis Center Revitalization Plan U.S. 41 Corridor shall be considered a residential use for density purposes.”

The proposal would eliminate the language that says, “Each transient unit not having a kitchen shall be equal to ½ dwelling unit. Each transient unit having kitchen facilities shall be equal to one dwelling unit.”

Development Review Committee responses

On June 4, the county’s Development Review Committee (DRC) members addressed the preliminary Siesta Key Hotel application and provided a number of comments.

The DRC comprises county staff members who handle land development projects.

For example, a representative of the county’s Air and Water Quality Division noted, “A quick review of readily available records found no information indicating the possible presence of environmental contamination. Please be mindful of the requirements of Article 9, Section 124-174 of the Unified Development Code in the event that historic uses of the site may have resulted in environmental issues.”

In the center is the building located at 220 Calle Miramar. To the right is the structure standing at 214 Calle Miramar. Image from Google Maps

Additionally, the representative of the Historical Resources staff noted that two structures located at 214 Calle Miramar date to 1925, and buildings standing at 220 and 226 Calle Miramar “will need to be recorded on the Florida Master Site File (FMSF) prior to demolition and development approval.” That person further noted that the FMSF record for the structure at 221 Beach Road “will need to be updated.”
The person further explained, “All are part of the [Mira Mar] development, one of the earliest developments on Siesta Key.”

Additionally, the DRC comments document explains that a Neighborhood Workshop about the project will be required.

Among other notes, one directs the applicants to “Please provide an extended narrative supporting confidence in the underground stormwater system to adequately perform during the 100-year/24-hour design storm event.” County Stormwater Division staff “strongly recommends for the design of the stormwater system” to include storage capacity to prevent excessive runoff.

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