ST. PETE BEACH – St. Pete Beach commissioners approved a conditional use and five variances requested by the owner of Skidders Restaurant Dec. 10 that sets the stage for the eatery to begin an expansion project.
Nikolaos Skadiotis, owner of the restaurant at Gulf Boulevard and 58th Avenue, wants to expand his business 1,728 square feet by going into its existing parking lot. But to do so, Skadiotis needs additional parking spaces on the north side of 58th Avenue.
Both the existing restaurant and parking lot are zoned Commercial Corridor Gulf Boulevard District, which permits off-premise commercial parking as a conditional use.
The area has a solid white fence around it and currently has wheel stops about 2 feet from the fence. For that reason, a variance to eliminate landscaping was required.
“It’s a difficult area to landscape because the fence sits about 2 feet off the back of the wheel stops,” said George Kinney, the city’s community development director. “So there’s not a big area between that fence and the wheel stops to do much. However, there is landscaping planned on both sides as you enter the parking lot.”
Commissioners also granted a variance on the number of parking spaces necessary for the lot. The lot will now have 47 spaces, instead of the previously required 57.
Commissioners also granted a variance on the maximum setback of 20 feet for the restaurant.
“In this case the majority of the restaurant is right at that 20-foot mark but it sits on an angle,” said Kinney. “With this addition, it would extend that to about 21.6 feet. So we’re requesting a variance on that.
Commissioners also granted another variance on the city’s streetscape design that requires sidewalks to be 10 feet wide. But the Florida Department of Transportation indicated it would not be in favor of the sidewalk on Gulf Boulevard being widened and indicated it would favor the current 5 feet.
“We’ve been in some discussion recently that we would widen those sidewalks in that area to 10 feet,” said Kinney. “But we’ve had discussions with FDOT and they are not of the opinion they will grant an approval to widen the sidewalk any wider than what it is.”