ENGLEWOOD — A developer who had received a recommendation for a planned hotel from a Charlotte County advisory committee has retracted his request for a zoning change, citing public opposition to the plan.

The project was planned for the south intersection of State Road 776 and Strawberry Street, between Spinnaker and Sunnybrook boulevards in Englewood East. Kees Streuding, the property owner, asked for a zoning change from residential to commercial so he could build a 76-unit hotel there.

Residents objected to the plan, saying they felt it was too close to a residential neighborhood and a bad fit. Several spoke at a Charlotte County Planning & Zoning Board hearing on Jan. 15.

The Planning & Zoning Board voted 3-2 to recommend approving the zoning request. The county’s Community Development Department also recommended the zone change due to its alignment with the comprehensive plan. With those recommendations, the developer was set to approach the Charlotte County Commission for the zoning change, and a discussion was set for Feb. 26.

That changed Monday with a letter from the developer’s attorney Rob Berntsson to Charlotte County zoning officials Shaun Cullinan and Claire Jubb.

“Please be advised we are withdrawing these petitions at this time,” the letter states. “We appreciate staff’s recommendations of approval on both the plan amendment and rezoning. We were happy to have the P&Z recommend approval as well. However, the community has mis-labeled what we were attempting to accomplish by bringing in a name brand hotel to this location. This misinformation has swelled to a frenzy that we do not want to have taint the project. We reserve the right to re-apply for this or a similar plan amendment and rezoning in the future. Please advise if there is anything further you need from me at this time.”

Bernsston told the Sun there were no current plans for the parcel.

The Englewood East Property and Homeowners Association members were aware that the plans were pulled for the hotel, but the association still wants to discuss it at their next meeting, said association vice president Carrie Flynn.

Lenny Guckenheimer, association secretary, said he did talk to one of the project’s opponents this week.

“They feel relieved,” Guckenheimer said. “The association is studying the planning process and wants to become more involved.”

The association meets at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in the meeting room at the Englewood Charlotte Library in the Tringali Complex, 2450 North Access Road. Guckenheimer said Shaun Cullinan is scheduled to be at the meeting.


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