Commission tables vote on Belleview Biltmore Hotel

11:52 PM, Jan 21, 2014   |    comments
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Bellaire, Florida - The saga over the future of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel will continue for several more months.

Bellaire city commissioners met on Tuesday night to decide on a land use ordinance change.

Hotel supporters say if that plan, known as RM-10, is approved it could be the death nail for the property. It calls for a new type of zoning that would allow the owners to demolish the hotel and build multi-family homes.

Opponents to that plan argue that the 117-year-old hotel is a historic treasure that should be renovated and not torn down.

Developer JMC Communities has entered into a contract to purchase the Biltmore and made no secret of its plans.

"I want to be clear, however, that our plan will include building townhomes and condominiums, which would require removing the hotel," said Michael Cheezem with JMC Communities during the commission meeting.

But dozens of people who attended the commission meeting were relentless in their attacks against anything that could lead to the hotel being torn down, despite its dilapidated condition.

"We do not want this zoning. We do not want heavier density. We want you to follow the law that you were sworn in to preserve," said Karmen Hayes, who directed her attack at city leaders.

After two hours of addresses from public speakers, commissioners voted to postpone change to the land use ordinance, which supporters of the Biltmore saw as a victory in their fight to save the facility.

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