Allegiant Air requested and received a three-week extension on its site plan for the proposed Sunseeker Resort.

County zoning staff granted the extension last week after initially rejecting the site plan due to the unresolved issue of public access to a harbor walk, among other issues.

County zoning official Shaun Cullinan said this back and forth between developer and county government is routine, and Allegiant has been in regular contact with the county.

“We’re comfortable approving the extension,” he said.

Allegiant’s next deadline is now Sept. 11; however, the company could ask for another extension before that, Cullinan said.

The biggest outstanding issue for the Charlotte Harbor redevelopment plan remains the unfinished easement for the 2,150-foot harbor walk, Cullinan told the Sun^p Monday. The 12-foot-wide easement is the foundation of the deal that allows Allegiant to build nine-story condomimium towers along the waterfront. In that deal, Allegiant agrees to provide public access to almost a ½-mile-long waterfront walkway. The document granting public access — an easement — was revealed prior to a vote by the County Commission in July. Allegiant withdrew the document at the last minute before the vote.

Allegiant has not commented on the easement except to say that the legal issues are technicalities. After the site plan was rejected, Allegiant said they were waiting for information from the Army Corps of Engineers, but offered no explanation of that.

Cullinan said he is not surprised that the easement is taking lawyers on both sides a while to resolve.

“When you’re trying to work out an easement for more than 2,000 linear feet, it’s not necessarily an off-the-shelf easement,” he said. The 17-page easement that was withdrawn defined prohibited activities, the boundaries of the land, and other features.

County experts also cited other issues with the Sunseeker final site plan. Primary among them is lack of information about what the state Department of Transportation wants.

“(P)lease coordinate with FDOT regarding access points and prepare the traffic study that meets both FDOT and County standards,” county transportation engineers wrote.

The location of U.S. 41 next to the property brings in federal regulations.

The county understands that Allegiant engineers are working with many other governmental authorities, Cullinan said.

“We understand that there are moving parts that are running parallel,” he said.

Site plans show a series of towers facing Charlotte Harbor west of U.S. 41. Those buildings house 1,495 hotel rooms and condominiums along with extensive restaurants and retail operations surrounding a giant pool.

Allegiant has said it will break ground on the project by the year’s end. It cannot receive building permits without an approved site plan, or financing. Allegiant President John Redmond advised investors in late July that the company expects to establish financing in the next 60-90 days.


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