SK Coalition’s new web site: skcoalition.org
August 4, 2021
To SK Coalition Community Supporters
This note is to give you information on how to communicate with the Planning Commission, and how to attend the hearing on the proposed Calle Miramar/Beach hotel, on 19th August 2021.
Emailing County Leadership, Timing and Content
We are asking every one of our supporters to send an email to the Planning Commission and County Commission, prior to the upcoming hearing. We are all unified in our opposition to high-density hotels, even though some of our supporters have more concerns about one or more of the four proposed hotel locations. However, we need everyone to address the first hearing for the proposed Calle Miramar/Beach hotel on 19 August. The decisions made there will set precedents for future hearings for all four of the proposed hotels.
To ensure your comments are publicly recorded by Planning Staff in their reporting package to the Planning Commissioners, you should send your e-mail to the Planning Commissioners and Planning Staff no earlier that Fri August 6th and no later than Mon Aug 10th, as it pertains to the proposed Calle Miramar/Beach hotel.
- Click here for Planning Commission e-mail addresses.
- Click here for County Commission e-mail addresses.
Please blind copy (bcc) firstname.lastname@example.org
Use the Subject: “Planning Commission Hearing for Proposed Hotel at Calle Miramar/Beach Rd .” As to content, click here for the list of Coalition Issue Statements and select one or two items that particularly resonate with you. We recommend that you use your own words, but you can cut and paste from the list, if you prefer.
Participation in the Planning Commission Hearing
We encourage everyone to attend the hearing which will be held in the County Administration Building at 1660 Ringling Boulevard, at 5:00 pm on Thursday 19th August 2021.
The Coalition will have only a limited time to present to the commissions, and we plan to have our Coalition leadership, and our lawyers and consultants kick off at the beginning of the presentations. We will welcome those who would also like to speak at the meeting, but we ask that you confer with a Coalition representative at the Speaker Card Desk, 30 minutes before the meeting starts.
Thank you for your support,
Mark Spiegel, President
Updated May 28, 2021
The Coalition recently requested the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners review the cumulative impact of multiple hotels and how precedents could set in motion undesired development by others to follow suit. They also ask that the Community be given a seat at the table to help shape the decisions regarding these hotels and changes to existing regulations. “The Community, as a whole, should be involved (as it was in 1999) before such significant modifications are made to our Overlay District, Comprehensive Plan language for barrier island protections, or UDC zoning.” Read the letter
The Siesta Key Coalition exists to protect the unique character, environment and quality of life of our island home of Siesta Key. We are committed to preventing the development of large-scale hotels that would remove protections for the barrier island, and allow building beyond current zoning and codes. The Coalition, the Siesta Key Association, the Siesta Key Condominium Council, and many community organizations, oppose any non-compliant hotel developments, now and in the future.
Our barrier island is a unique community of residential neighborhoods, small businesses, vacation homes and condominiums. Our Public Beach was named #1 Beach USA, twice. Our tourism tax has supported many off-island county-wide projects.
The Coalition was formed initially to oppose an 8-story, 170-room hotel, on less than one acre at the south end of Siesta Key Village, a project that will egregiously exceed the existing “by-right” zoning limitations. Subsequently, it became apparent that several more proposed hotels were being considered (in the Stickney Point Area, and on Ocean Boulevard) that would exacerbate the threat to the island. Our coalition is not opposed to re-development of properties on Siesta Key in general. In fact we strongly favor economic growth on the island, but not if it involves revising and circumventing existing protective policies, regulations and codes, which will result in adverse consequences.
These protections were strategically developed and implemented for Siesta Key in collaboration with Sarasota County Commissioners, Planning Commissioners, and the entire Siesta Key residential and business communities, between 1999 and 2002.
The hotel developers seek multiple amendments and special exceptions to these long-established protective policies, including the Uniform Development Code (UDC), the Siesta Key Overlay District (SKOD) and the Future Land Use (FLU) for the Barrier Islands These regulations restrict transient accommodations, limit building height, control building density and setbacks, and discourage this kind of intense development. Removing these protections is dangerous county-wide, and will impact other similarly-zoned properties on Siesta Key.
We urge the Board of County Commissioners to deny the developers the special exceptions and precedent-setting amendments they seek, and to vote to preserve Siesta Key as a unique destination and home, keeping Siesta Key an exception to the many over-developed coastal communities in Florida.
How You Can Help NOW
The current focus of the Coalition is to expand the base of support for our group, on Siesta Key and throughout Sarasota County; to develop new talking points; and to prepare to engage in the public review and approval process in the weeks ahead. If you live in a neighborhood or condominium, please connect us with your Association representative(s) to discuss joining us. Email us at SKCoalition@gmail.com Read November SK Coalition E-blast.
Recent Media Coverage
Sarasota News Leader, February 12, 2021, Rachel Brown Hackney: Numerous deficiencies cited by Sarasota County staff in application for eight-story, 170-room hotel proposed on edge of Siesta Village
Sarasota News Leader, February 5, 2021, Rachel Brown Hackney: Condominium Council encouraging members to join Siesta Key Coalition
Siesta Sand, February 2, 2021, Rachel Brown Hackney: Traffic analysis completed on proposed south Siesta Key expansion
Siesta Sand, February 2, 2021, Rachel Brown Hackney: Protests aplenty aired over proposal for 170-room, eight-story hotel on edge of Siesta Village
Sarasota News Leader, January 28, 2021, Rachel Brown Hackney: Sarasota residents fail in quest to prevent county staff review of proposed changes to barrier island density regulations outside normal cycle
Siesta Key Observer, January 27, 2021, Brynn Mechem: Commission approves out of cycle hotel proposals
Herald-Tribune, January 27, 2021, Tim Fanning: Sarasota County to press ahead with review of hotel proposals on Siesta Key
Sarasota News Leader, January 21, 2021, Rachel Brown Hackney: Siesta Key Coalition calling for county staff to review three island hotel proposals in one general review
ABC7 TV WWSB, January 17, 2021, Seshmi Hayes: Siesta Key Hotel Controversy
Sarasota News Leader, January 14, 2021, Rachel Brown Hackney: Protests aplenty aired over proposal for 170-room, eight-story hotel on edge of Siesta Village
Sarasota News Leader, January 14, 2021, Rachel Brown Hackney: Only 92 extra vehicles expected to be associated with 120-room hotel and 203-space garage proposed near stickney point road on Siesta Key
Siesta Key Observer, January 13, 2021, Brynn Mechem: Hotel workshop draws Siesta Key concerns
SNNTV, January 13, 2021: Siesta Key residents want commissioners to be vigilant on hotels
Herald-Tribune, January 11, 2021, Tim Fanning: Residents Slam Effort to Fast Track Large Siesta Key Hotel Proposals
ABC7 TV WWSB, January 11, 2021, Seshmi Hayes: Hotel Developers to hear from Siesta Key residents
ABC7 TV WWSB, January 11, 2021, News at 6 Live, Seshmi Hayes: Siesta Key Coalition
ABC7 TV WWSB, January 11, 2021, News at 5 Live, Seshmi Hayes: Siesta Key Coalition
Siesta Sand, January 4, 2021, Rachael Brown Hackney: Residents Voice Strong Opposition to proposed Stickney Point hotel and Garage
Sarasota News Leader, December 18, 2020, Rachel Brown Hackney: Siesta Key residents remain Adamant in Opposition to Plans for 120-Room Hotel and Five-Story Parking Garage
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, December 5, 2020, Timothy Fanning: Ask Gary Siesta Key hotel proposal gets earful at first Workshop
Sarasota News Leader, December 3, 2020, Rachel Brown Hackney: Kompothecras’ Hotel and Garage Project Team Members Hear Numerous Complaints
Siesta Sand, December 3, 2020: Island chatter – Condo Council Members Strongly Opposed to Hotel Plans
ABC News Channel 7, December 2, 2020: Hotel Proposal on Siesta Key
Sarasota News Leader, November 13, Rachel Brown Hackney: Siesta Seen – Condo Council members strongly opposed to hotel plans
Siesta Key Observer, October 22, Brynn Mechem: Residents worry hotel proposals will change Siesta
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, October 20, Editorial Board: Protect the Charm of Siesta Key
SNN News, October 16, SNN Newsroom: High Rise Hotels Possibly Headed for siesta Key
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, October 15, Timothy Fanning: High-rise hotel proposals would ‘open the floodgates’ on Siesta Key, opponent says
Sarasota News Leader, October 15, Rachel Brown Hackney: Update on the SK Coalition
Siesta Sand, October 3, Rachel Brown Hackney: Siesta Key Coalition organizing in opposition to 170-room hotel project
- Rachel Brown Hackney posted a substantial online article in the The Sarasota News Leader on the Coalition’s grass-roots opposition, called “Fearing a future Siesta Key with overwhelming density and diminished local flavor, SK Coalition forms to fight proposed 170-room hotel project” on September 17, 2020.
- SK Coalition released its first Press Release (a copy is on the web page – link below) on September 29th.
- A comprehensive article on our SK Coalition perspective was also published on the front page of the October 2020 edition of The Siesta Sand newspaper by Rachel Brown Hackney, “Siesta Key Coalition formed to oppose new hotel project in village”
- Brynn Mechem, referenced the SK Coalition’s growing opposition in an article in the Sarasota Observer, October 1st Edition of the Sarasota Observer, “Siesta hotel developers ask for density changes”·
- The SK Coalition spoke at the SKA October 1st monthly membership meeting. Click here to view 20-minute live presentation.
For those subscribed to the Sarasota News Leader, read “Fearing a future Siesta Key with overwhelming density and diminished “local’ flavor, SK Coalition forms to fight proposed 170-room hotel project ,” an article by Rachel Brown Hackney in the September 18th edition.