The Sarasota County Planning Commission on Sept. 2 voted 7-2 in support of the special exceptions requested by an applicant hoping to build a seven-story, 120-room hotel on Old Stickney Point Road. The exceptions allow height increases beyond the current 35-foot limit for the hotel to be 83 feet and a five-story parking garage across the street on Stickney Point Road to be 54 feet.
Commissioners Justin Taylor and Martha Pike were the dissenting voters. The County Commission will have the final vote, set for Nov. 2.
The proposed hotel would sit on 1.17 acres and at 120 rooms would require four times more density than is currently allowed. Its developer is Gary Kompothecras of 1-800-ASK-GARY fame.
It’s the second hotel to be supported by the Planning Commission, the other being an eight-story, 170-room near the Village on Calle Miramar that would sit on .096 of an acre, requiring nearly seven times the allowable density. That vote came Aug. 19 and the County Commission will decide its fate on Oct. 27.
Two more Siesta Key hotel proposals will be reviewed by county officials. The dates have yet to be determined.
It was trial by fire on Sept. 2 for newly sworn-in Planning Commissioners Pike, Donna Carter and Jordan Keeler. During a four-hour meeting, they heard 19 public speakers voice opposition, often noting that Old Stickney Point Road is a dead-end and access to the hotel will be difficult and hard on local residents.
The only speaker who did not voice opposition appeared on behalf of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, who reported a recent surge in visitors to the area and thus a need for more lodging.