TREASURE ISLAND – Due to fears of what the future might bring, Treasure Island City Commissioners voted 4-1 on Aug. 7 against a land use amendment that would allow Caddy’s owner Tony Amico to use a small tract of land on West Gulf Boulevard for valet parking.
The triangular .27-acre site is immediately south of the Ka’Tiki restaurant and bar at 8701 W. Gulf Blvd.
Amico was seeking a land use change from residential medium-15 to resort facilities medium-30, which would allow him to use the property that he owns as a parking lot.
Amico previously used the site for temporary parking with a special exception that has since run out.
Residents of Sunset Beach expressed concern over increases in traffic and the possibility of a four-unit structure being built on the site at some point in the future, if the proposed land use was amended.
“There’s nothing in RM-15 that allows for a parking lot,” said architect Jack Bodziac. “We’re not looking for increased density. We’re just looking to use it as a parking lot.”
The current land use designation allows for a maximum building height of 35 feet. The proposed change would have allowed structures up to 60 feet high.
“What if 20 years from now someone wants to come in and build four units?” Bodziac asked. “They can’t do it without coming back (to the city) for approval. We’re providing a solution to keeping cars off the street.”
Residents of Sunset Beach didn’t agree.
“Right now, we have a lot of traffic in our neighborhood, which is related to the applicants’ current use,” said Kristy Andersen, president of the Sunset Beach Civic Association. “What would be more reasonable would be to have a park there. What you’re forcing on us is another parking that we don’t want.”
“The residents of Sunset Beach are opposed to this becoming parking,” said Bob Weber. “It opens up a lot of different options down the road, which don’t fit in a village. I don’t want to see a 7,500-square-foot building and I don’t want to see a parking garage.”
Commissioners Phil Collins and Alan Bildz expressed dissatisfaction with the proposal.
“I’m really not in favor of this because residents have so many concerns,” said Collins, “but also because they have no control over this if it goes to RFM-30.”
“If we rezone this, we’ve got to think about the next owner, not the current owner,” said Bildz. “I would not be in favor of this.”
Carol Coward was the lone commissioner in favor of the land use change.
“In my mind, a lot parking is far better than four units,” she said.
Following the vote, Amico said he wasn’t sure what his next move would be on the issue.
“I don’t know yet,” he said. “There are some other things I’ve worked with (city officials) on. To keep those things, they’re going to have to work with me.”