BELLEAIR – Once a completed application for a demolition permit for the Belleview Biltmore Resort and Spa finally was filed with the town, the next step was consideration by the Planning and Zoning Board. Monday night the board met and concluded that the application is not in compliance with the town’s comprehensive plan and unanimously voted to deny it.
Gloria Burton, P&Z board chairman, said that after reviewing the application for major development the board decided to deny it because it conflicted with the land development code found in the comprehensive plan.
Burton said elected and appointed officials have a responsibility to uphold the laws which include the comprehensive plan, and the town adapted a comprehensive plan that states that the Belleview Biltmore Hotel should be preserved.
“I cannot support a demolition permit that goes against the land development code,” she said.
The Town Commission, which meets next on Tuesday, Jan. 17, was scheduled to take up whether to approve or deny the application. However, attorneys representing Urdang and Associates have requested a continuance for an indefinate period of time before commission consideration. Attorneys for both sides will work out an agreeable date.
Town Manager Steve Cottrell said that if the commission does not agree with the Planning and Zoning Board and does issue a preliminary development approval, it would go to the Historic Preservation Board for review. If the commission denies the permit, then the application is back in the hands of Urdang and Associates to make the next move.
If the application goes to the Historic Preservation Board, it would decide whether or not to recommend that a certificate of appropriateness be approved by the commission based on the application.
According to the town’s new historic preservation ordinance, no feature of historical significance shall be demolished until a certificate of appropriateness has been reviewed and approved.
“They’re asking to demolish the hotel, and the town of Belleair is committed to the charter and the comprehensive plan which does not permit any destruction of the hotel,” Burton said.