Satellite Beach amends city code to pave way for new hotel despite some dissent

Article Courtesy of  Florida Today

By Bailey Gallion

Published December 6, 2019

"Despite some residents’ strong concerns that a proposed hotel will destroy the small town character of “sleepy" Satellite Beach, city council passed an ordinance Wednesday amending city code to allow the developer to move forward.

A Tennessee developer has plans to build a complex called “The Vue” featuring a four-star hotel, single family homes and three condominium buildings at the former Satellite Shores subdivision at the northwest corner of State Road A1A and Shearwater Parkway.

The current concept plan, approved in 2004, only allows the developer to build 398 condominium units with a maximum height of 85 feet, said Satellite Beach City Manager Courtney Barker. Changes to the ordinance passed Wednesday pave the way for the developer to build hotels and single-family homes as well as some condominium units.

Some residents have objected to the development, citing fears that the hotel would endanger turtles, disturb the town culture and cause traffic congestion. At Wednesday's meeting, activists said they would consider legal action and threatened to recall city officials voting for the changes, claiming the ordinance shouldn't have been passed without a referendum.

The ordinance passed Wednesday amended several pieces of city code. It updated the definition of “limited commercial” buildings to include hotels in addition to pretail stores, bars, professional offices and more. It leaves intact an existing 85-foot maximum height but extends the maximum building length to 224 feet from 200. Finally, it amends code in the district to allow single-family homes and establishes regulations for them.

The ordinance passed with a 4-1 vote. Jodi Rozycki was the only member who voted against the measure, saying she disagreed with expanding the allowed building width.

This conceptual plan depicts The Vue at Satellite Beach, a 27-acre development of condominiums, single-family homes and a hotel at State Road A1A and Shearwater Parkway.

Sullivan argued at the meeting that the town charter mandated a referendum before the city could permit the construction of 85-foot buildings at the site. A 2006 town charter amendment required a referendum before the city council could amend codes that increase allowed residential density or height.