Article Courtesy of
By Timothy Fanning
Published January 13, 2021
SIESTA KEY – A consortium of homeowners associations, condominium councils and
residents on Siesta Key are calling on Sarasota County officials to closely
scrutinize the collective adverse impact of large-scale hotel proposals on the
The Siesta Key Coalition wants the county to deal with the three
“precedent-setting applications” at one time, rather than separately.
This comes after two of the hotel developers have requested that Sarasota open
an unscheduled, or “out of cycle,” revision of the county’s long-range growth
This would allow the three hotel proposals to circumvent or customize certain
protective policies on the barrier island – which could have countywide
implications if approved by the County Commission on Jan. 26.
The request by the Siesta Key Coalition is motivated by the prospect of three
new large hotel projects on Siesta Key that come at the heels of the approval of
the 170-room Siesta Promenade hotel in 2018.
Those proposals include:
Mike Holderness’ plan to expand his Siesta Key Resort on
Ocean Boulevard from 55 to 170 rooms.
Robert Anderson’s plan for a second Village hotel with
its entrance on Calle Miramar. The 170-room, seven-story hotel would replace
existing single-story buildings. It also calls for a 223-space parking
garage, a restaurant and a rooftop pool and bar. Traffic is proposed to come
and go along Calle Miramar. Anderson’s project team was scheduled to host a
community workshop on Monday evening.
Gary Kompothecras’ plan build a seven-story, 120-room
hotel at Siesta Key’s south entry on Old Stickney Point and Peacock Roads.
The proposed structure would sit on a little over one acre. The project has
undergone two community workshops and is expected to go before the planning
“These hotels will collectively add 460 rooms with the prospect of an additional
1,000-plus transient guests spilling onto Siesta Key roads and beaches in high
season,” said Mark Spiegel, who represents the coalition.
Charlie Bailey, Kompothecras’ attorney, said that he had not seen the Siesta Key
Coalition’s proposal when reached by a Herald-Tribune reporter Monday afternoon.
Bailey said he would review the material and respond accordingly.
According to Spiegel, a collective “bigger picture” approach taken by the county
should include a review of the 1999 Siesta Key community plan that led to the
formation of the Siesta Key overlay district and the Sarasota future land-use
“Our appointed and elected representatives have a responsibility, one they took
seriously in the 1999 process, to understand the implications and legal
precedents that the proposed developments would have on our barrier island,”
Allowing developers to revise and customize the policies and regulations enacted
in the comprehensive plan, for their purposes, will set a legal precedent for
the other 30 acres of commercially zoned property on Siesta Key, Spiegel said.
Of special concern to the coalition is a request by Anderson and Kompathecras to
allow county planning staff to review two privately initiated amendments
separate from the usual schedule for considering such changes.
“This is not an approval of a change in the comprehensive plan but rather an
attempt by the developers to accelerate a review of potential changes,” Spiegel
These changes could remove density and intensity restrictions on overnight
accommodations for all three proposals on Siesta Key.
“Any reasonable review of their projects will clearly show that they fail many
of these required standards,” Spiegel said.
The coalition also believes that there has never been a comprehensive vehicular
and pedestrian traffic study for all of Siesta Key. In particular, the coalition
would like a traffic study that analyzes the impact of multiple large-scale
hotels, together with the Promenade mixed-use development.
The Florida Department of Transportation has given segments near Old Stickney
Point and Calle Miramar a poor grade for traffic flow.
“Our Sarasota County representatives need to listen to the overwhelming concerns
of those that call Siesta Key their home,” Spiegel said. “We need those
representatives to lead, bring solutions to traffic and beach challenges, find
answers within existing regulations and codes, not open the floodgates to
high-rise, transient accommodations that will put at risk what makes our barrier
island such an attractive destination.”