What’s next in Lido pool plan?

Editor & Publisher

The contentious Lido Pool and Pavillion plan left a room full of upset residents and property owners when the Sarasota City Commission approved a lease that will allow a 200-seat restaurant to be developed on the site by the owners of the Daiquiri Deck.

To add insult to injury, it took a 4-1 supermajority by City law to approve the lease and that is what the applicant, Lido Beach Development Partners, received. At the very next commission meeting, Commissioner Willie Shaw declared he had changed his mind following public outcry and wished to rescind or change his vote. In order to accomplish a new vote, it required three of five commissioners to agree with Shaw and the re-vote on the lease never happened.

The terms of the lease allow for the Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners to take over the facility for 10 years, with an additional 20 years in lease options for a possible total of 30 years. The two lease extensions are at the sole discretion of the tenant.

The Partners say they will spend about $3 million to $4 million improving the restrooms, kitchen and existing structures as well as adding a shade structure over the 200-seat restaurant it plans to open. The Partners will also operate a tiki bar as well as the pool, a proposed splash pad and an event lawn space.

The lease allows the operators to keep the restaurant open nightly until 10 p.m.

In trade, the tenants will pay the City about $80,000 per year with annual escalations.


Next steps…

Two things are still pending that are necessary for the proposed project to come to fruition. First, the applicant must receive the approval by the commission of what is called a “Major Conditional Use.”

The proposed restaurant exceeds what in zoning code can be considered a minor accessory use simply supporting hungry beachgoers.

It is for this reason that it must be considered a Major Conditional Use and specific criteria are required for approval.

According to city staff, many of the considerations are technical, such as where the placement of trash, parking and the layout of the site is configured. It must be accomplished in a way that does not unduly impact or burden the neighbors.

The Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners will next submit the major conditional Use request as well as a Site Plan that will show specifically their proposal with all the details that are only generalized in the lease.

Once this application is made, staff and the applicant will hold a community workshop where resident can weight in and share concerns.

Next, the applicant will formally submit a final site plan and application for the Major Conditional Use to be considered by the City Planning Board, which is tasked with making a recommendation to the City Commission.

The City Commission will the hold a Public Hearing and there will be two votes wherein the public can again make a case for any changes that may be sought such as reducing the hours to an earlier closing time of the restaurant or configuring the site and sound buffers in a way that do not interfere with nearby residential properties.

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