MANATEE -- The number of hotel rooms in Manatee County just got a little larger.
A 110-room Home2 Suites Hilton hotel has been approved for U.S. 41 and University Parkway. Manatee County Commission approved the preliminary site plan for the four-story hotel during Thursday's land-use meeting.
The 59,446-square-foot-hotel, which will be built on 2.47 acres on the west side of U.S. 41 and north of University Parkway, will be a neighbor the Hilton Garden Inn and University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.
With the Hilton Garden Inn serving more of the business clientele, the new hotel will be able to even out customers at peak times, said Marla Hough, who spoke on behalf of the applicant Excel Sarasota I LLC.
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"Home2 Suites would probably serve more the leisure clientele," she said.
The site, which is in the Urban Infill Redevelopment Area, is also at an entranceway of the county, according to agenda materials.
"There is a need for more hotel rooms," Commissioner Robin DiSabatino said, adding that the project is great for the Southwest Area Tax Increment Financing District.
Also on Thursday, the commission:
Approved a rezone to planned development residential and a preliminary site plan for the Indigo subdivision, adding 137 lots for a new total of 590 lots for single-family detached and semi-detached residences. In February 2015, 453 lots were approved. The additional 49.32 acres on the east side of White Eagle Boulevard and north side of 44th Avenue East will be added to an already rezoned 151.32 acres for a total 200.64 acres, according to agenda materials. Neal Communities and Schroeder-Manatee Ranch are among the project's applicants.
Approved a large scale map amendment from mixed-use to residential-16 dwelling units per gross acre for a planned 324-unit resort apartment complex called The Oasis at University. The project would be built on 25.6 acres on the north side of University Parkway between Florida Street on the east and the S.C.L. Railroad on the west and south of Broadway Avenue. A rezone and preliminary site plan will come before the commission later.
Approved sending a letter to Gov. Rick Scott asking him to sign the Dangerous Dog Bill into law. The bill, which was unanimously passed in the Senate and House of Representatives, would give more leeway to hearing officers in determining the fate of dogs that cause severe injuries. State Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, filed the bill after the highly controversial case of Padi, a Manatee County male Labrador mix who bit off part of a child's ear last summer. "We just want to make sure it gets signed by the governor," Commission Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh said.
Approved revisiting Manatee County's ordinance in regard to towing services at a future meeting. Commissioner Charles Smith, who brought up the topic Thursday, said towing companies may be towing vehicles left overnight at different establishments because the driver may have had too much to drink. Smith said the county ordinance currently in place does not address the issue. "It's a public safety issue," Smith said. "I think we need to address that issue because our surrounding counties are dealing with it."
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.