The operator of miniature golf courses in Bradenton Beach and on Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street has filed a preliminary application with Sarasota County for an 18-hole project in Siesta Village.
The site — a 10,500-square-foot treeless parcel — is located at 5160 Calle Minorga.
The documents submitted on July 19 to the county Planning Department say the course would have a starter house/restroom facility, as well as 15 parking spaces, thanks to Siesta Key Overlay District zoning provisions for spots for bicycles and motorcycles. However, because the Zoning Code requires 37 spaces, under the guidelines of the district, “the project will require an alternative parking plan and parking relief …”
Robert Lincoln, the Sarasota attorney representing the applicant — Buf-Fun-O Inc./The Fish Hole at Lakewood Ranch — informed SNL that his clients “want to do the right thing.” If members of the Siesta Key community do not embrace the project, Lincoln said, The Fish Hole likely will not pursue it.
Lincoln pointed out of the plan, “It’s not a destination attraction miniature golf use.” Instead, he explained, “this is the kind of thing somebody’s going to do before or after they’ve gone to a restaurant or eaten ice cream” in Siesta Village. He and his clients do not anticipate this will add significantly to the demand for parking within Siesta Village, Lincoln said.
Furthermore, during the neighborhood workshop that will be required under county planning guidelines, Lincoln continued, “I want to be able to describe enough [facets of the proposal] so that everybody’s comfortable that it’s not flying under a false flag.” If the project wins community support, Lincoln continued, ideally, he would hope to see construction start in the summer of 2017.
Buf-Fun-O is seeking a rezoning of the property from Office Professional and Institutional (OPI) within the Siesta Key Overlay District to Commercial General in that district, with a special exception for outdoor recreation.
Officers of the SKA declined comment on the project in August, saying they had not had time to review the proposal thoroughly. However, Mark Smith of Smith Architects, vice president of the Siesta Key Village Association, told SNL he personally does not have a problem with the project. Nonetheless, he had hoped for some time, he said, that the county and the property owner would reach an agreement on using the space for Village parking.