Center of Government

While most of the City of New Smyrna Beach's operations are at City Hall, the City Commission is currently meeting at the Brannon Center to have enough space for social distancing.

Plans for a wave pool and a five-story Holiday Inn southwest of State Road 44 and I-95 in New Smyrna Beach have been given a green light.

The New Smyrna Beach City Commission agreed to an amendment to the master development agreement for the Ocean Gate Commerce Center at its Oct. 27 meeting at the Brannon Center.

The amendment allows three new permitted uses to the overall development plan: mini-storage warehouse, car wash and a wave pool that would accommodate surfers and swimmers with a limit of 20 participants per hour.

The amendment allows the Holiday Inn to exceed the floor area ratio of .50 allowed in the development agreement. The floor area ratio is the relationship of the floor area of the building to the size of the lot.

The proposed Holiday Inn would be five floors with a 60-foot height accommodating 122 rooms on a 2.86-acre lot in Phase 2 of the 181-acre Ocean Gate development. The 47-acre Phase 2 is the northern area of the development fronting SR 44 west of the highway.

The amendment also calls for a 30-foot project perimeter building setback except along SR 44 where the master development agreement has more stringent setback requirements. The 30-foot setback area includes a minimum 20-foot landscape buffer.

The amendment also revises the width and sidewalk and bike path requirements for the project’s internal roads and drives.

The commission approved the amendment with stipulations that mini-storage warehouses would be limited to Phases 4 and 5, that a floor area ratio of .60 would be limited to the Holiday Inn site and that the site plan for the hotel return to the commission for final approval.

“We want (the project) to be something we’re very proud of as a community,” Mayor Russ Owen said.

Mayor Owen said the city’s west side has had an “explosion of residential growth” recently and needs more commercial growth in the area. But the mayor was the lone commissioner to vote against the amendment saying he felt the hotel should remain the original size for which it was approved.

Mark Watts, the attorney for the property owners, said a fifth story for the hotel was necessary to make it financially feasible.

In other business:

•The commission unanimously approved an ordinance that designates the New Smyrna Golf Club course, designed by renowned golf course architect Donald Ross in 1947, a local landmark.

“We may think of it as a simple municipal course that’s not great in length or size,” said Vice Mayor Michael Kolody. “But some of the features designed in it make it a difficult course to play. I think this is well deserved.”

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