Hotel Updates: County Commission approves special exceptions for hotel proposed on former Wells Fargo site
October 29, 2022 —
The Sarasota County Commissioners unanimously approved two Special Exceptions for a proposed hotel on the former Wells Fargo bank site at 5810 Midnight Pass Road. One allows “transient accommodations” (hotel rooms) and the second allows building to a maximum height of 59 feet. According to the Sarasota News Leader, Dave Balot stated that if he won County Commission approval of his hotel, he planned to await the resolution of pending lawsuits before taking any steps toward construction. Read full account of commission hearing in Sarasota News Leader, October 27, 2022, Rachel Brown Hackney: “112-room hotel planned for former Wells Fargo bank site on Siesta Key wins full County Commission approval”
October 22, 2022 —
The Sarasota Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will hold a public hearing regarding the hotel proposed for the former Wells Fargo bank site. The hearing and decision are scheduled for Wednesday, October 26, 2022. The meeting will start at 9 am in the County’s Ringling Building Council Chambers. It is agenda item 11.
The developer has requested a special exception for use of this property for transient accommodation (a hotel) and a second special exception to allow the hotel height restriction of 35 feet above the design flood elevation to 59 feet.
The hotel will include 112 rooms and a restaurant/bar/ballroom patron area of up to 7000 square feet. The developer also proposes to provide 43 paid extra public beach parking spaces and a business to rent street-legal golf carts.
Your SKA signed on to a Siesta Key Coalition (“SKC”) letter covering concerns and demands. (Read the letter.) This letter was sent to the County Commissioners and Planning Staff. You are invited to supplement this letter with your own email to the County Commissioners (firstname.lastname@example.org) and their staff (email@example.com).
The staff report on the proposal is located as an attachment for item 11 to the agenda at: https://egenda.scgov.net/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Meetings/ViewMeeting?id=1787&doctype=1
This would be the third large new hotel on Siesta Key. The Planning Commission reviewed this proposal on July 1, 2022 and recommended it unanimously but with conditions. Your Siesta Key Coalition testified at that hearing and was able to require the developer to commit in writing to increasing the south and west boundary concrete privacy walls from 6 feet to 8 feet. The binding development plan endorsed as part of their development protects the grand oak tree near the front of the site. It also requires a 15-foot landscape buffer with 60 percent opacity. They utilized a “wedding cake ” style design with a 45-foot setback for the 4th through 6th floors.
The major issue of a violation of the Comprehensive Plan is in front of a State District judge based upon the first two hotel permit approvals but is still in discovery with no decision expected until next Spring.
October 9, 2022 —
On October 26 at 9 am in the North County Administration building, the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing regarding the hotel proposed for the former Wells Fargo site. See County calendar
September 21, 2022 —
Read more about the legal controversy over the County Commission approval of two high-density hotels on Siesta Key.
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 18, 2022, Derek Gilliam: Suit shows builder’s sway
September 3, 2022 —
At the September 1 hearing, the County Planning Commission recommended that the hotel proposed for the former Wells Fargo site on Siesta Key be built, even as the public raised significant issues.
Robert Luckner, an SKA Director, pointed out several discrepancies in trip generation numbers in the applicant’s traffic analysis. The developer’s traffic expert explained that the discrepancies were not a problem.
Catherine Luckner, SKA President, recommended that before voting on the hotel, a stormwater management plan be added to the binding concept plan due to significant flooding in the area. However, the developer’s engineer explained that stormwater would be dealt with later, and that flooding issues would be much better once the hotel was built.
Several people requested that the Planning Commission wait for settlement of lawsuits opposing the two previous hotel approvals before voting on a third hotel. However, the Planning Commission decided not to wait and recommended approval of Siesta Key’s third hotel.
August 16, 2022 —
A public hearing for Special Exceptions for height and transient accommodation use for the proposed hotel at the former Wells Farge site will be held by the County Planning Commission on Thursday, September 1, beginning at 5pm. Developer Dave Balot will need County Commission approval for a Special Exception to allow him to increase the structure’s height from 35 feet to 60 feet and for transient accommodation use. The hotel would stand over two levels of parking, the application notes.
The hearing will be held in the County Administration Center, Commission Chambers, at 1660 Ringling Boulevard.
If you have questions or public comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters/emails must be received by August 24 for them to be published online with the staff report for the Planning Commission. Any correspondence received after that, until August 31st, will be given to the Planning Commissioners right before the Planning Commission meeting begins. You may also speak at the public hearing. Letters/emails received after August 31st will be included in the packet for the Board of County Commission public hearing.
The staff report will be published on the web about one week prior to the Planning Commission hearing. Link to Planning Commission staff report