BELLEAIR - The town council met Tuesday evening for a special public hearing and scheduled public meeting. An amendment the council is seeking to The Town of Belleair 2008 Comprehensive Plan was voted on and underwent its first reading.
The council heard from a member of a local planning agency, The Easley Group, who recommended that the council submit the proposed amendment to the Department of Community Affairs (DOC) for approval.
The current draft, Ordinance #445 has provisions that aim to preserve the town's green space, whether that space is owned publicly or privately. Deputy Mayor Stephen Fowler said, "We are looking for any tools that we can use to arm ourselves in protecting our open space."
Present at the meeting were attorneys and representatives of the Belleview Biltmore Resort. They relayed their concerns about the ordinance and asked for changes in language because, "The proposed amendments to the Recreation and Open Space Element would appear to impose undue restrictions upon the development (and redevelopment) of private property."
Hotel representatives submitted their proposals to the council.
Though the council voted to submit the amendment to the DOC, Mayor Gary Kattica and the council agreed to work together on changes that will help the hotel in achieving its goals for renovation.
The council assured hotel reps that there will be ample time to change language and make changes to the amendment before adoption, a process that takes about five months.
The hotel's owners are set to present their plans to the community at town hall the end of September.