CLEARWATER - A revision to the Development Agreement between the City of Clearwater and the Hyatt Aqualea will be considered by the City Council next week. The proposed changes permit the owners of hotel units greater flexibility in their own usage, address the delayed start of hotel construction and incorporate the terms of a lawsuit settled in October 2005.
209 of the Hyatt's planned 250 hotel rooms were gifted by the City from the Beach by Design density pool, and the current development agreement imposes certain limitations on their use. It requires those units to be available for overnight transient use no fewer than 330 days per year, and it limits stays to no more than 30 days. This restriction was intended to restrict the use of condo-hotel units by their owners, assuring that those rooms would available to the vacationers who fuel Clearwater's tourism industry.
Under the revised agreement, the Hyatt's hotel rooms need only be available for overnight transient use 305 days per year, a reduction of 25 days. Unit owners would still be limited to stays of no more than 30 consecutive days, but would be allowed 60 days of use per year; two 30-day stays, thirty 2-day stays or anything in between would be permitted.
The terms of the original agreement with the Hyatt Aqualea developer required the City to purchase the property for a sum not to exceed $6 million if hotel construction did not commence by March 6, 2006. That date will be missed and it is being extended to December 31, 2006.
Many of the revisions were required by the settlement terms of a lawsuit brought by beach residents Anne Garris and Suzanne Boschen. Those changes preserve the public appearance of the beach fronting the Hyatt by:
The lawsuit settlement also required the City to make a "good faith" effort to obtain a permanent 10 foot public access easement immediately to the south of the hotel. Assistant City Attorney Dick Hull recently wrote, "Efforts are still under way to acquire the necessary parcel. However, nothing is ready to present to city council."
The Hyatt Development Agreement is scheduled for discussion at the January 17th Council Work Session, a hearing at the January 17th Community Development Board meeting, and a hearing at the January 19th City Council meeting.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition