Letter to the Editor / City Commission Faces Crucial Decision: The Battle Over Rezoning Seminole Avenue
By Gregory Lloyd

On May 9, the City Commission will decide whether to approve the rezoning of 3.3 acres (e.g. 811/715 Seminole Avenue) owned by the adjacent Casa Marina Hotel, from a workforce/residential zone to a commercial zone.

If approved, it will permit the conversion of this acreage into yet another exclusive hotel property, along with allowing for retail shops, scooter rentals, restaurants, bars etc. This change also permits as a “matter of right” transient rentals.

The law is very clear that you cannot put conditions on a rezoning request hence if passed the flood gates will be forever open to the transference of transient rentals onto this property. Once approved, these and future developers of this property cannot be bound by promises made concerning transient rentals.

At a time of soaring rents, dwindling workforce, ever-growing traffic congestion and questionable infrastructure, this rezoning does not help to alleviate these and many other related problems, it only exacerbates and compounds them. We need to preserve and protect our ever-shrinking residential neighborhoods and the quality of life that goes with them. That is why our existing Codes and Ordinances expressly prohibit these changes and our Planning Department strongly opposes this terrible precedent.

This passed the Planning Board because 2 Board Members claimed there was no opposition. This request will directly or indirectly impact all of us, so I hope you’ll take a moment to contact our commissioners to let your voice be heard. If no one objects, you can pretty much guarantee it will pass.

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