Developer Requests Zoning Variance to Construct Hotel and Condos on Navarre Beach

Posted on March 2, 2023 by Romi White

Navarre Beach Hotels, LLC is asking Santa Rosa County for a variance to reduce required setbacks so that a hotel and multifamily development can be constructed on vacant parcels within the Navarre Beach Commercial Zoning District at 8459 Gulf Boulevard.

The agenda for the county’s March 9 zoning board meeting shows the issue will be up for discussion. The zoning board will hear the request and make a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners, who would make the decision on whether or not to grant the request.

The developer purchased three adjoining parcels for $1.8 million in December 2021 and is now asking the county for a variance to reduce the 20-foot setback on the East side down to 5 feet.

A public beach access is located on the East side of the property.

“The reason this project is going to the zoning board is because it needs a special exception for approval,” said Tamara Fountain, a Navarre Beach businesswoman. “Until infrastructure is addressed on the island, it would be completely irresponsible of our county to grant a special exception to an out-of-town developer. Piling on a high-density project is not in the best interest of anyone but that out-of-town developer.”

Fountain went on to say that a decision to support a high-density project on the barrier island puts the barrier island at risk.

In its request the development company, which is based in Knoxville, Tennessee, started the family friendly project would provide new revenue to the Navarre Beach Community.

The zoning board agenda’s supporting documentation shows the developers propose construction of a 200-room Hilton Dual Brand (Homewood Suites and Home 2 Suites) hotel plus 34 condominiums, which would be privately owned and available for purchase by the public.

The March 9 meeting will take place, starting at 6 p.m. at the Santa Rosa County Administrative Complex, located at 6495 Caroline Street in Milton.