Some residents of the Harve Lafitte subdivision are upset about plans for a hotel proposed near 77th Street and Stewart Road, for which a developer is seeking a height variance.

A developer submitted an application to the city for a Hilton Garden Inn Hotel at 7627 Stewart Road requesting three variances to land-use development regulations.

The proposed site extends between Seawall Boulevard and Stewart Road along 77th Street and was formerly The Hollywood Food Store. The property is in a commercial zone, according to the city.

The zoning requirements allow for a five story, or 70-foot tall structure, according to the city. The applicant is requesting to build about 75 feet high for at least part of the building.

The design firm also requested a height change of about 7 feet for a wall, which the architect said in a letter to the city was needed to mask some of the plumbing and mechanical infrastructure from 77th Street.

An architecture firm hired by developer SPN Enterprise LLC, owned by Suresh Shah, also is requesting to increase how much of the lot area can be built on from the base 75 percent to 89 percent, according to the city’s zoning department.

Residents said the city notified only 11 people who live on neighboring properties about the proposal, which requires approval from the zoning commission.

A notice circulated throughout the neighborhood and on social media telling people about the proposed hotel and a few residents criticized the plan and notification process.

In a short Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting Wednesday, about three neighbors showed up, but only one spoke against the proposed development. Dena Yngve lives in the 7600 block of Chantilly Circle across from the proposed hotel and opposed allowing changes to the city ordinances, she said.

“They’re there for reasons to keep things in check,” Yngve said.

On social media, other neighbors have complained about the potential to increase traffic at the intersection.

Before the public comment period, city staff requested the item deferred to notify more neighboring residents, which the zoning commission unanimously accepted.

Notices had been sent to a neighboring condo association, but not all individual condo owners were notified, city staff said. Those notices will be sent before a June 20 meeting to consider the application, officials said.

Marissa Barnett: 409-683-5257;


Senior Reporter

(3) comments

Ron Shelby

These variances don't sound incredibly significant, except for maybe the percent of land to be built on. I'm betting the 75% cap was to ensure some landscaping. Plan design may answer the question as to whether at 89% it will still fit in with overall plan for the area. For example: it could be that some of the additional footprint might be additional decorative features such as water.

Ellen Morrison

They might not seem significant to you, but why bother to have regulations?

If someone really wants to build a commercial enterprise, let them follow the rules. The tables are turning; we don’t have to bend over backwards to lure development anymore. We have finite resources, let’s treat that land accordingly.

And yes, a hotel there would be awful in terms of traffic.

Jarvis Buckley

Deferring so all the property owners
could have an opportunity to speak their mind on this building proposal
was definitely the correct thing to do.

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