John's Pass Village hotel proposal clears hurdle

Published November 8 2018

MADEIRA BEACH — The City Commission recently decided to hold a second public meeting on a John's Pass Village hotel project and to move the project on to the city Planning Commission for its review.

Architect John Bodziak said the first neighborhood meeting at John’s Pass Village drew about 120 people and brought positive comments.

The hotel project had appeared to hit a major roadblock when first announced by Bodziak at a commission workshop in late August. A shared-use agreement on a city-owned alley that runs through the center of the hotel property, which Bodziak said was needed for the project to proceed, failed to have commission support.

Bodziak said the agreement would allow him to double the parking spaces in a planned parking garage to be built above the alley. The increase, from 148 spaces to nearly 300, would provide enough parking for hotel guests and about half would be available for public parking, said Bodziak.

Bodziak had proposed giving the city a percentage of the parking revenue, but agreed to consider a flat payment after commission members favored that option.

Bodziak also redesigned the look of the parking garage, in response to public comment, adding awnings and hanging gardens to “make it more like a street scene.”

The additional parking will generate income and revenue for the city, and “solve the parking problem at John’s Pass with no cost to the residents,” Bodziak said.

Bodziak said he is ready to proceed, acknowledging more negotiations lie ahead. “There will be a lot of conversations back and forth,” he said.