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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Belleair explores alternative development options for Belleview Biltmore site



Conceding that options for restoring the historic Belleview Biltmore hotel look bleak, the Belleair Town Commission on Tuesday directed city staffers to explore zoning changes that would allow other types of development on the property.

The hotel's owners want to tear down the landmark, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and erect 32 townhomes and 136 condominiums. But first, they wanted to know if commissioners would be receptive.

One by one, commissioners questioned the plan. And they wondered if a new zoning category needed to accommodate the project would have negative implications elsewhere.

But they ultimately sided with Town Manager Micah Maxwell and City Attorney David Ottinger, who said the property's current land use and zoning designations and height restrictions as well as the town's comprehensive plan prohibit BB Hotel - or any other developers - from proposing anything other than hotels or single-family homes.

"As you folks can see," Mayor Gary Katica told the roughly 50 residents in attendance, "we feel the passions of both sides. But we cannot sit up here and do nothing. We have to prepare for the future."

Full story here.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 8, 2013 2:42pm]


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