Technical Review Committee to consider 107-room Topsail Hotel

NORTH ELEVATION drawings by L.L.W. Architects, submitted with the development order application for Topsail Hotel.

By DOTTY NIST

A 107-room hotel proposed to be constructed at 5 East Hewett Road in Santa Rosa Beach will be considered for approval.

Proposed by the St. Joe Company, the Topsail Hotel would be part of Phase III of the Topsail West Planned Unit Development (PUD).

Encompassing 117 acres, the PUD was conceptually approved by the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) in 2008. The PUD property stretches along the north side of U.S. 98 from the western CR-30A intersection to the east side of East Hewett Road.

Previous phases of the PUD, already developed, have included the south Walton County Walmart and TerraMar Apartments.

The hotel would be 61,767 square feet and four stories, with pool and associated infrastructure. It would be located on 4.47 acres northeast of the Walmart, and on the north side of Dune Lakes Boulevard, which runs parallel with U.S. 98. 

The property is in a Mixed Use land use area and a Coastal Center Mixed Use zoning district. Up to 125 rooms are allowed in the zoning district for lodging, according to the Walton County Land Development Code (LDC).

Due to its location, the property is not considered to be subject to U.S. 98 Scenic Corridor requirements.

As a phase of the PUD, the hotel project will undergo review by the Walton County Technical Review Committee (TRC) and, upon a recommendation of approval by the TRC, will proceed to the development order stage.

The Topsail Hotel has been advertised to go before the TRC at its 8:30 a.m. June 2 regular meeting at Freeport Commons, among other agenda items.

Several of those agenda items had been continued from the May 19 TRC regular meeting. These include Nautilus Pointe & Inlet Beach, The Preserve at Point Washington, and Gulf Shore Venture Plat. A request was approved to table another agenda item from the May 19 TRC meeting, Highway 98-Pentel Family Plat.

An additional May 19 TRC agenda item, Tanglewood 30A Shops, was continued to the June 16 TRC regular meeting. This was to allow time for redesign of the building and site in response to input from representatives of the community, who had met with representatives of developer Nissim Afuta. The redesign is to provide for driveways for the project to be pushed to the east.