Balmoral condo hotel appeals may be joined

Balmoral condo club rendering.

Balmoral condo club rendering.


Tribune Business Reporter


The planning authorities will decide on February 15 whether to combine two appeals over the Balmoral Club's plans to develop a condo hotel into one hearing.

The Sanford Drive community's residents and the Balmoral Club's developer were yesterday divided over the issue at the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) hearing. While the residents wanted to consolidate the two appeals into one, the developer objected.

Balmoral residents are seeking to overturn earlier approvals granted to the club for a four-storey condo hotel proposal, which they argue “threatens the integrity of the community” due to non-compliance with legal processes.

However, the Club developers are - via a separate appeal - attempting to overturn the Town Planning Committee’s (TPC) “baffling” rejection of their present $25m, eight-storey condo hotel expansion. The Committee rejected the 50-unit project on the grounds it was “incompatible” with land use development trends in the western New Providence community.

Khalil Parker KC, representing the homeowners and residents, told yesterday's hearing that there was a “prospect for consolidation” of the various appeals and that he wished to exercise that option.

“For the record I would be making reference to the record in 18, even though that’s not the one we’re discussing," he added. "Because, when we’re talking about case management as the Town Planning meeting was conceived, it appears that they were treating - and are treating - with the current application, the subject of 18 and the rejection as a completely separate issue from the 15 decision that was made two years ago.”

But Dwayne Mortimer, the Balmoral’s Club president, said he was not prepared to deal with the homeowners action and wished to move ahead with his appeal over the 50-unit condo hotel's rejection.

The appeals board created two dates, with February 15 an exploratory hearing to consider if a joint hearing would be feasible. If not, the residents' appeal will be held then, with March 15 asigned to deal with the developer's appeal.

Mr Mortimer was asked if he wanted to bring an attorney with him for both appeals, and he said he would make an attempt to have one for the February date, but was uncertain if one will be present in March appeals date.

The Balmoral Club, in February 2022, did obtain approval for a condo hotel that was half the height of the rejected application at four storeys and targeted at a different location. That approval, though, was obtained without a full public hearing on the application. The Balmoral Club then sought a “deviation” from the early 2022 decision in its bid to gain approval for the larger version.

Tribune Business sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Balmoral residents and homeowners were unaware of the four-storey proposal or the original Town Planning Committee approval from 2022 until the expansion to eight storeys required that the project be published in the newspapers and a public hearing held.

Keenan Johnson, the Town Planning Committee’s chairman, earlier confirmed to Tribune Business that site plan approval for the eight-storey option was refused because the project’s scale and “height in and of itself” did not fit with the existing gated residential community on Sanford Drive.

He explained, though, that the rejection of the eight-storey proposal does not impact the previous approval granted to the Balmoral Club’s four-storey version in February last year. “Last year February they made a request for four storeys, which was approved,” Mr Johnson said, “and then requested a variation to eight storeys.

“The public hearing was about the application that we received for eight storeys. They had already been approved for four storeys. This approval only lasts for a particular period of time that they have to act on it. If they do not move ahead with the development for four storeys in a particular timeframe, that approval will expire and they will have to register for re-approval.”


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