Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Proposed rebuilding ban would affect Pass-a-Grille hotels

The proposed rebuilding ban would prevent Coconut Inn in Pass-a-Grille from reapplying for traditional hotel district designation. In January, city commissioners rejected the hotel’s rezoning application.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2009)

The proposed rebuilding ban would prevent Coconut Inn in Pass-a-Grille from reapplying for traditional hotel district designation. In January, city commissioners rejected the hotel’s rezoning application.

ST. PETE BEACH — Pass-a-Grille hotels would be barred from any rebuilding if city commissioners adopt a proposed rezoning moratorium when they take up the matter in May.

If enacted, the rebuilding ban would last for six months or until the city considers changing the rules for and/or boundaries of its traditional hotel overlay district, which currently includes tourist lodgings operating south of 15th Avenue.

There are nine operating hotels on the southern tip of the city that qualify for rezoning to the city's traditional hotel overlay district. Rezoning would allow most of them to rebuild to federal flood elevation requirements without losing their current lodging units.

The Gulf Way Inn and the Sable Palms Inn were granted traditional hotel district zoning about a year ago, but so far have not submitted rebuilding plans to the city.

Other eligible hotels include the Coconut Inn, Inn on the Beach, Castle Hotel, Island's Inn Resort, the Fairhaven Estate Bed and Breakfast, the Pass-a-Grille Beach Hotel and the Keystone Hotel.

The latter two hotels are unlikely to apply for the rezoning because they currently exceed the maximum allowed 50 units per acre. If they rebuilt, they would lose lodging units, according to Community Development director Karl Holley.

In January, after a six-hour hearing where intense neighborhood objections were raised, the commission rejected a rezoning application from Coconut Inn at 113 11th Ave.

The 84-year-old Coconut Inn is located on a lot facing 11th Avenue. An empty lot directly behind the inn faces 12th Avenue, which is a residential street.

Commissioner Bev Garnett, who proposed the moratorium, confirmed that commission approval of a temporary rebuilding ban would block Coconut Inn owner Joe Caruso from reapplying for traditional hotel district designation in June. That is when the six-month waiting period between repeat rezoning applications expires.

Neighbors would raise similar opposition again, Garnett said, if the Coconut Inn proposal is revived.

"It's not just about the Coconut Inn, I just don't want a repeat of what happened last time," Garnett said.

She has asked City Attorney Mike Davis to draft a moratorium ordinance that she will present to the commission at a meeting in May. The exact date has yet to be set.

Garnett said the original intent of the traditional hotel overlay district was to allow aging hotels to rebuild.

"The commission created a new district so the city wouldn't have to take the height issue to the voters," Garnett said. "But if the Coconut is rebuilt, it will be upwards of 50 feet high. The residents will flip when they see how high it is."

Ironically, Garnett was a leading member of Save Our Little Village during its push for a referendum on the now-controversial comprehensive plan amendments that opponents said would allow tall hotels along Gulf Boulevard.

The voter-approved plan is now the subject of multiple lawsuits that so far have cost the city more than $300,000.

Garnett said she was being inconsistent with her former views.

"We are a unique little community down here. I want the commission to take another look at what we want for Pass-a-Grille," Garnett said.

Proposed rebuilding ban would affect Pass-a-Grille hotels 04/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 6:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    Adeiny Hechavarria is quick to make his presence felt.
  2. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  3. At College World Series, the save goes to an LSU dad/doctor

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The father of LSU pitcher Jared Poche' helped revive an 87-year-old man who was slumped on the TD Ameritrade Park concourse with no pulse during Game 1 of the College World Series finals.

    UF’s Tyler Dyson delivers against LSU in Tuesday’s late CWS Game 2. Go to tampabay.com/sports.
  4. Plant City police searching for drive-by shooter

    News

    PLANT CITY — Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in an early morning drive-by shooting outside a home.

    John J. Keeper, 49, was shot in the thigh in a drive-by shooting early Tuesday outside this home at 516 E Laura St. in Plant City. [Hillsborough County Property Appraiser]
  5. FSU-Tulane coming to Amalie Arena in December

    Blogs

    Florida State basketball is coming to Tampa.