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Welcome to the Belleview Biltmore Updates by Diane Hein, President of Save the Biltmore Preservationists.

       
 
 
Friday, February 6, 2015

Biltmore Update
 
Dear Biltmore Supporter, News Media and Others,
 
WE HAVE A KISSES CONTEST GRAND PRIZE WINNER!!!
 
The winner for the Kissses for the Biltmore Contest, is Virginia Lamboley, from Clearwater with a winning guess of 424! Congratulations Virginia!   The correct number of kisses in the glass vase was 432, and Mrs. Lamboley's guess of 424 was only eight candy kisses short of the correct number!    Amazing!  But the story gets even better so PLEASE read on!
What is astounding is that Mrs. Lamboley chose her 424 winning number because it was the date she was married to her husband Lyle on April 24, 2005 (4/24/05) and then they honeymooned at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel that night! She said that the Biltmore hotel staff upgraded their double occupancy room to the bridal suite free of charge for their stay at the hotel! Now that is true hospitality and customer service from the White Queen of the Gulf! So her ten-year wedding anniversary is coming up in just a few months!  

She choose to receive her first place prize of all 432 yummy Hershey candy kisses, a small box of chocolates, heart sayings candy and a 2015 Biltmore calendar and bookmark over a $25 gift certificate, a second choice for the grand prize winner.

Mrs. Lamboley also has played Christmas Music at the Biltmore every Christmas Season with all her violin students!  So her love for the Biltmore extends back for years!

Truly an amazing story for our very first online contest, and we thank Virginia for participating in it, and for telling us how she chose the 424 number!

By the way I counted the candy kisses for the first time on Monday, Feb 2, the day the contest ended.  It took me a full 20 minutes to accurately count all 432 of them to make sure of the number.  The powerful tantalizing aroma of sweet chocolate for 20 minutes was overwhelming!  Such temptation at hand! ;-)  But I resisted! ;-) It was a huge surprise to see that there were so many kisses in that glass vase!  I am glad she chose the kisses as the prize, I could not imagine having that amount of delicious chocolate in my home for another day!

There were five runner up winners in the Kisses for the Biltmore Contest, Kurt Debban, Andrea Schleicher, Todd Ramquist, Noreen Kenny and Lynn Harrell, and they will also receive prizes in the mail. We had local participants and also participants from around the country. Runner up prizes include 13 lucky candy kisses in a pretty Valentine's Day Box, a 2015 one-page Biltmore calendar and Biltmore bookmark.  The runner up guesses ranged from in the 100 range up to 300.  Virginia was the only one who guessed in the 400 range, ALL based on her wedding anniversary date!!!

Such an exciting story and ending to our very first online contest!  It was very fun to write all the winners and let them know they had won and very gratifying to me personally so thank you for participating and also a BIG THANK YOU to EVERYONE who took the time and money to enter our kisses contest and try to win! 

All funds collected in the Kisses for the Biltmore Contest will be used towards the costs and expenses of the lawsuit Save the Biltmore Preservationists filed January 7, 2015 against the town of Belleair because they violated and broke their major law, the Comprehensive Plan.  Our nonprofit organization is trying to stop the demolition of the historic 1897 Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Belleair, Florida.  Donations are still being accepted at http://www.SaveTheBiltmore.com 

Please remember that it could take one to two years for the lawsuit to be completed, and the suit will cost us THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of dollars even with a reduced nonprofit rate by expert land use attorney, Ralf Brookes, Cape Coral, Florida.  So please continue to help support our lawsuit through your donation. 

Mrs. Lamboley, our contest winner, and her husband Lyle worked together to send me some photos, so I assembled them into a collage emphasize her winning number of 424.  If you are unable to view this collage, simply click on http://savethebiltmore.com/KissesWinnerVirginiaLamboley.htm and you can easily see her photos of her and her husband honeymooning at the Belleview Biltmore after they were married on April 24, 2005. You will note that the hotel invoice reflects the date they checked in, and it was April 24, 2005!  The link shows the collage in a larger size.

 

A BIG BIG THANK YOU:  A big thank you to all of you who HAVE already donated to our cause, we appreciate it beyond what words can express on this email!  Your generosity has been overwhelming, and every dollar donated will help us win to stop the demolition of the Belleview Biltmore and save it to be the once world famous 1897 Victorian hotel it once was.  I had been researching a bit on the late icon Babe Ruth baseball player, and the author of the article had said at that time the Belleview Biltmore Hotel was "world famous."  Well it's time we all continue to work together to make that happen again!  We MUST win against the Town of Belleair and let them know the White Queen of the Gulf will reign again and be a 4 star world-famous resort with huge convention facilities to make it financially successful!

Please donate now to fund our lawsuit and save the Biltmore from demolition!

OUR RED ROSES ONLINE AUCTION GOING ON!   Remember that the live red rose and vintage Czech vase silent auction is going on also until next Wednesday Feb 11.  The total auction package includes:

1.  One dozen beautiful RED Roses

2.  Czech vintage vase  (top two prizes donated by Renee Burrell owner of Arbor Elle in Antique Alley, Belleair Bluffs, Florida.

Arbor Elle
Suite #4
596 N. Indian Rocks Road
Belleair Bluffs, FL 33770  

3.  Our beautiful Red Roof Biltmore print (worth $75!!!) (see below for print)

4.  Two lovely hand-painted wine/champagne glasses by local artist Kim Kenney.  They are clear glasses, and Kim has painted red hearts on them. 

5.  Belleview Biltmore Hotel 2015 one-page calendar and bookmark.

The total auction prize will make a lovely centerpiece for a very romantic Valentine's Day dinner or gift.  It is only a $5 DONATION to bid on the prize!  All funds will be used to save the Biltmore from demolition via our lawsuit!   The retail value is a little over $200 with the red roses, vintage vase, Biltmore red roof print (see below for photo) and Kim's hand-painted glass! 

To enter auction click:  http://savethebiltmore.com/RedRosesSilentAuction.htm  If you win, pickup can be arranged with Renee Burrell at her store or some local delivery options are available for a fee.

  

Please bid now!

NOTE!  If you have already bid on the roses/vase, please note I HAVE RECEIVED YOUR BID!  I will NOT personally acknowledge the bids because if the donor wishes to surprise a recipient, I would want to keep it a surprise in case both parties use the same email address!

BUSINESS ADVERTISEMENT OPPORTUNITY:  If you are a business and donate a minimum of $100, you are entitled to a one-time free ad insertion of your business in both my Biltmore Updates and our Facebook page.  If you are a business and have already donated $100 or more, PLEASE just send me your name and business information, and I will assemble an ad for you for your approval before insertion.  You may also scan your business card and send me the jpg for insertion.  This Biltmore Update features an ad of long-time Belleview Biltmore Hotel supporter Ellen Raymond, an attorney in Chicago, Illinois.  Her web site indicates her area of knowledge as:  election law, real estate law, zoning/land use litigation/TIF law, Civic Advocacy, FOIA/OMA/SLAPP Suit Defense. If you need expert attorney services in any of these areas, please contact her because of her experience plus she wants the Biltmore saved!

To purchase your own the beautiful 8 x 10 vintage red roof print of the Biltmore, click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BiltmoreArtandPhotos.htm  The original color of the Belleview Biltmore roof was red!  This vintage photo is from around 1917.  The golf course is an original Donald Ross design and is available for purchase for you to hang in your home or office to bring back the wonderful historic era of years gone by.   We are running a special time period for purchase, from Tuesday, January 27 through Tuesday, February 9, 2015 only!!  The frame and matt are NOT included. (It will ONLY BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE UNTIL TUESDAY FEBRUARY 9!!!!  Then unavailable for sale until further notice!)  So purchase it TODAY!

 
  

GENERAL DONATIONS: If you have not already done so, please make a general donation towards saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel from demolition. Just click on the and you can donate any amount you wish or there are specific donation buttons of $25, $50, $100, $250, $350 and so forth up to $10,000. Your total donation will go towards funding the lawsuit that Save the Biltmore Preservationists filed January 7, 2015 because Belleair town officials broke their major law, their Comprehensive Plan of Belleair in which it states the Belleview Biltmore Hotel is to be preserved. The lawsuit will take one to two years so please donate now! Thank YOU! http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm  Or donate right on Facebook under Social Direct.

Please donate now to fund our lawsuit and save the Biltmore from demolition!

 

 DONATE BY CHECK VIA U.S. MAIL AT OUR MAILBOX:
 Make your check payable to Save the Biltmore Preservationists.
 
 Save the Biltmore Preservationists, Inc.
 c/o Diane Hein, President
 30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
 Palm Harbor, Florida 34684-4410
 

Remember, bid now for our online auction!  http://savethebiltmore.com/RedRosesSilentAuction.htm

Sincerely,

 
Diane Hein

President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists

http://www.savethebiltmore.com  

 
  "Like" us on Facebook!  Remember that the BEST way to receive ALL my Biltmore Updates is through our mailing list!  NOT Facebook who arbritrarily decides on who shall receive them, often based on how many "friends" you have!!!
 
 

  

Monday, February 2, 2015

 
Biltmore Update
 
OUR KISSES FOR THE BILTMORE CONTEST END TONIGHT!   ENTER NOW AND WIN!  WIN either a $25 Amazon Gift Card or POUNDS of Hershey's chocolate candy kisses for a loved one or yourself or anyone!
 
 
All the Hershey candy kisses in the clear vase, the chocolate red rose and box of Whitman's chocolates are now ready to be shipped to the top winner if he/she chooses that for their lst place prize!!!
 
 
SO VOTE AND ENTER TODAY! ONE guess for just $5! Guess the number of candy kisses in the glass vase and which are now packed in a lovely red Valentine's Day box ready for YOU to win!   You may also enter the contest as many times as you want for just $5 a guess!
 
There will be ONE First Place Winner and Five Runner Up Winners. Delicious prizes for every winner!

Get your children, grandchildren and teens involved, they'll love guessing and trying to win! You can teach them about the importance of saving the 1897 Victorian Belleview Biltmore Hotel.
 
We are raising money to save the Biltmore from demolition through our lawsuit.

 
It is a very colorful Valentine's Day website page so be sure to visit it AND ENTER NOW to win!

 
Vote NOW at http://savethebiltmore.com/KissesContest.htm  

Or click the red heart to enter contest

  

 
 
ROSES ONLINE AUCTION GOING ON!  MORE PRIZES TO THE WINNER!  Remember that the live red rose and vintage Czech vase silent auction is going on also until next Wednesday Feb 11.  To sweeten the prize, we are also going to add two more gifts!  So the total package includes:
 
1.  One dozen beautiful RED Roses
2.  Czech vintage vase  (top two prizes donated by Renee Burrell owner of Arbor Elle in Antique Alley, Belleair Bluffs, Florida.

Arbor Elle
Suite #4
596 N. Indian Rocks Road
Belleair Bluffs, FL 33770  

3.  Our beautiful Red Roof Biltmore print (worth $75!!!) (see below for print)
4.  Two lovely hand-painted wine/champagne glasses by local artist Kim Kenney.  They are clear glasses, and Kim has painted red hearts on them. 
 
4.  Belleview Biltmore Hotel 2015 one-page calendar and bookmark.
 
The total auction prize will make a lovely centerpiece for a very romantic Valentine's Day dinner or gift.  It is only a $5 DONATION to bid on the prize!  All funds will be used to save the Biltmore from demolition via our lawsuit!   The retail value is a little over $200 with the red roses, vintage vase, Biltmore red roof print (see below for photo) and Kim's hand-painted glass! 
 
 
 
 

 

To purchase on your own the beautiful 8 x 10 vintage red roof print of the Biltmore, click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BiltmoreArtandPhotos.htm   (It will ONLY BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE UNTIL TUESDAY FEBRUARY 9!!!!  Then unavailable for sale until further notice!)
 
  
 
 
GENERAL DONATIONS: If you have not already done so, please make a general donation towards saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel from demolition. Just click on the and you can donate any amount you wish or there are specific donation buttons of $25, $50, $100, $250, $350 and so forth up to $10,000. Your total donation will go towards funding the lawsuit that Save the Biltmore Preservationists filed January 7, 2015 because Belleair town officials broke their major law, their Comprehensive Plan of Belleair in which it states the Belleview Biltmore Hotel is to be preserved. The lawsuit will take one to two years so please donate now! Thank YOU! http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm  Or donate right on Facebook under Social Direct.
 
Please donate now to fund our lawsuit and save the Biltmore from demolition!

 
 DONATE BY CHECK VIA U.S. MAIL AT OUR MAILBOX:
 Make your check payable to Save the Biltmore Preservationists.
 
 Save the Biltmore Preservationists, Inc.
 c/o Diane Hein, President
 30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
 Palm Harbor, Florida 34684-4410
 

So guess and guess again the number of kisses in the red box...

YOU may win all of the delicious HERSHEY CANDY KISSES IN THE BOX SHOWN TODAY or CHOOSE A $25 Amazon gift card!
 
Sincerely,
 
 

Diane Hein

President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists

http://www.savethebiltmore.com/

 
 
 

Biltmore Update  Thursday, January 29, 2015

 
Dear Biltmore supporters and News Media and others:
 
 
VICTORIAN FLOWERS:  With Valentine's Day coming up soon in a few weeks, I thought I would share some interesting facts about the importance of Victorian flowers through this modern times.  The language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, is a means of cryptological communication through the use or arrangement of flowers. Meaning has been attributed to flowers for thousands of years, and some form of floriography has been practiced in traditional cultures throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. 
Interest in floriography soared in Victorian England and in the United States during the 19th century. Gifts of blooms, plants, and specific floral arrangements were used to send a coded message to the recipient, allowing the sender to express feelings which could not be spoken aloud in Victorian society. Armed with floral dictionaries, Victorians often exchanged small "talking bouquets," called nosegays or tussie-mussies, which could be worn or carried as a fashion accessory.

The Victorian use of flowers as a means of covert communication bloomed alongside a growing interest in botany.   

People in the Victorian era took the language of flowers very seriously. Due to the repressive atmosphere of the times, flowers became the means by which women communicated with their suitors. The distinct scent of a particular flower or the grouping of flowers in a bouquet conveyed unique messages.

Often, these botanical gifts demonstrated feelings and emotions nobody dared say out loud in public. Even the way flowers were given to someone had its own hidden message. For instance, if a man handed a woman an upright bouquet of flowers, he had something happy and positive to tell her. An upside-down bouquet, on the other hand, meant he was bringing her some dark news. Handing a man a flower with the right hand indicates that she is agreeable to his proposal, while presenting the flower with the left hand often means that she is declining his offer.

It was important for those in the Victorian age to know what each flower meant so that they would send the right message to their lovers or anyone else. Entire dictionaries were written and published to explain this mysterious language to everyone. However, it was fairly common for mixed message nightmares to occur when two people had conflicting version of the "language of flowers dictionary."

Information comes from wikipedia and Timothy Spencer, from the web site Ignite Point. 

The red rose symbolized love, respect and beauty.  Which leads me to proudly announce our:

Red Rose Silent Auction! 

Bid now at our first online silent auction! Win a stunning Victorian Valentine's Day arrangement of a dozen beautiful red roses in a vintage Czechoslovakia crystal vase that can later be used as a candleholder!  Sample photo of twelve roses in this Update and the actual stunning vase that you can win! 

The retail value is approximately $125.  

We have a starting minimum bid of $30 after you donate just $5 to participate in our online auction.

The red roses and Czech glass vase are being donated by long time Belleview Biltmore Hotel supporter, Renee Burrell.  Her store is: Arbor Elle, Antique Alley, Belleair Bluffs, Florida.  If you are the winner, you may pick up her arrangement at her store or we offer a delivery service to the local Tampa Bay area, but you will need to pay for delivery costs. Floral stores will not ship her arrangement because we are not using her beautiful vintage Czech glass.

We realize that out of towners will not be able to participate in this fun auction, however, we have so many local supporters, that we want to have the auction for them at this time.

Remember that our nonprofit Save the Biltmore Preservationists is trying to stop the demolition of the historic 1897 Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Belleair, Florida.  All funds collected in this silent auction will be used towards the costs and expenses of the lawsuit we filed January 7, 2015 against the town of Belleair because they violated and broke their major law, the Comprehensive Plan.

BID NOW AND WIN!  Our Silent Rose Auction ends Wednesday. February 11, 2015

Your credit card will only be charged a $5 donation to enter the auction ONE TIME!  After you click the red heart, enter a minimum bid of $30.00 OR MORE.  You will NOT be charged for your bid below unless you are the winner!!  REPEAT:  Only a $5 DONATION to enter the auction ONE TIME!   You will NOT be charged for your bid below unless you are the winner!   After the silent auction closes, whoever has the highest bid for the roses wins.   If you are the winner, we will set up an invoice for you to pay your winning bid right after the auction ends before the roses AND vase can be picked up.   http://savethebiltmore.com/RedRosesSilentAuction.htm

   

ONE WINNER RECEIVES WITH HIGHEST BID

1.  One dozen red roses with baby's breath flowers and greenery

2.  Beautiful vintage Czechoslovakia crystal vase

3.  2015 one-page Biltmore calendar--perfect to hang on refrig. with tape or a magnet. Sent via U.S. mail.

4.  One Biltmore bookmark  Sent via U. S. mail

 

AUCTION RULES

1.   You can enter our auction as many times as you want!  Just $5 donation per each entry.  Anyone can enter!  Share this contest with everyone you know!  Tell them it is for a wonderful cause.  It's wonderful to give from the heart for a Valentine's Day online silent auction!   It's for a GREAT cause to Save the Biltmore!

2.  Silent auction ends Wednesday, Feb 11, 2015. 

3. Winner can pick up his or her beautiful bouquet prize and Czechoslovakia crystal vase during regular store hours at Renee Burrell's store at Antique Alley, Belleair Bluffs, Florida AFTER we receive payment from you.  You will LOVE shopping there for antiques and vintage treasures!   Note, the Czech crystal vase may also later on be used for a candleholder after Valentine's Day!  Her phone number will be given to the winner after payment.  Earliest day for pickup or delivery can be Thursday, February 12, 2015

Arbor Elle
Suite #4
596 N. Indian Rocks Road
Belleair Bluffs, FL 33770  

4.  You will be notified by email if you are the winner.

5.  If you are the winner, we will set up an invoice for you to pay for your roses and crystal vase.

6. If there is a tie, the person entering the most times will win, or if the winners only enter once, the person entering the auction first will win.

7.  Payment must be received as soon as possible before the roses and vase will be given or shipped to you!!!

9.  Note:  Actual arrangement or roses will be similar to the one depicted.  The vintage crystal vase IS the one that will be won. 

10.  If you are unable to pick up your prize at Renee Burrell's Elle Arbor store, you may have a one-day delivery service of the flowers, and you can pay for the cost when paying for flowers on line.   Around $20 to $40 delivery to your door in Pinellas County. More for Hillsborough or Pasco County deliveries.

11 The winner's name will be announced on our next Facebook post and Biltmore Update, our FREE e newsletter unless the winner prefers to be anonymous.

12. You can simply donate $5 without entering the contest!  Any donations are always accepted $5 and up...of course!  Just click on the bid now button below and donate $5!  Remember all that gas money you saved, donate $5 to save the Biltmore from demolition!  Or donate $5 or more below with our blue buttons.

FUTURE AUCTIONS TO SAVE THE BILTMORE FROM DEMOLITION: If you would like to donate a prize like a spa day, beauty treatment, antiques, hair salon styling, dinner for two, golf outing, merchandise, flowers/bouquets, vacation packages, cruises, weekend trips and hotel/air packages etc., and the retail cost is at least $75 or more, and wish to have an online auction like this with SaveTheBiltmore.com, please contact us!  If you live out of town, we could still publicize it, if you have a Facebook following you could share the contest post with.  We would give free publicity to the retail store, restaurant or company who donates the prize of course!

A BIG THANK YOU:  I want to personally thank Carol Kuzmiak, our nonprofit V.P. and Doug Mann, our Secy/Treas for all the support and help over the past month they gave me especially in getting our donation page up, our contest going and just being there to discuss everything including the lawsuit in such detail for hours on end.  They are both unpaid volunteers like myself, and work very hard behind the scenes to save the Biltmore with me.  I could never do any of this without their help and support.  So a hearty thank you Carol and Doug! :)
 
ANOTHER THANK YOU:  A BIG BIG thank you to all who have recently donated or participated in our Kisses for the Biltmore Contest, which is still going on.  YOU CAN STILL ENTER AND WIN!   Win either all the candy kisses in the vase OR a $25 Amazon gift certificate.  That's $25 money to use as you wish on anything Amazon offers!  Fun to shop!  Contest ends soon Feb. 2! THIS MONDAY!!  Five runner ups too, each winner wins $8 worth of candy kisses and Biltmore items!
 
 
Guess and enter NOW at http://savethebiltmore.com/KissesContest.htm  
 
All funds collected will go towards our lawsuit against the town of Belleair to save this magnificent historic building:  The Belleview Biltmore Hotel!
 
GENERAL DONATIONS:   Please make a general donation towards saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel from demolition. Just click on the DONATE NOW button, and you can donate any amount you wish or there are specific donation buttons of $25, $50, $100, $250, $350 and so forth up to $10,000.  Your total donation will go towards funding the lawsuit that Save the Biltmore Preservationists filed January 7, 2015 because Belleair town officials broke their major law, their Comprehensive Plan of Belleair in which it states the Belleview Biltmore Hotel is to be preserved.  The lawsuit will take one to two years so please donate now! Thank YOU!
 
http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm  Or donate on Facebook at Social Direct.  Please donate now!
 

 

 DONATE BY CHECK VIA U.S. MAIL AT OUR MAILBOX:
 Make your check payable to Save the Biltmore Preservationists.
 
 Save the Biltmore Preservationists, Inc.
 c/o Diane Hein, President
 30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
 Palm Harbor, Florida 34684-4410
 
GAS MONEY: I will be mentioning this many times, donate your extra gas money you save to help stop the demolition through our lawsuit 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists

http://www.savethebiltmore.com

 
Enter our first online auction and win a dozen beautiful red roses and a vintage Czech crystal vase! 
 
 
 
 

As noted above the prize item up for auction is by Renee Burrell who owns a store at the Antique Alley.

Arbor Elle
Suite #4
596 N. Indian Rocks Road
Belleair Bluffs, FL 33770  

Biltmore Update Tuesday, January 20, 2015

 

 

 

KISSES FOR THE BILTMORE CONTEST! 
 
You can have sweet fun while saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, Belleair, Florida from demolition!  It's wonderful to give from the heart for a Valentine's Day contest!  And WIN all the Hershey chocolate kisses in the glass vase!
 
Contest starts TODAY Tuesday, January 20, 2015 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, February 2, 2015 
 
SO VOTE AND ENTER TODAY! ONE guess for just $5! Guess the number of candy kisses in the glass vase. The red foil-wrapped chocolate rose in the photo does NOT count in the contest, only the number of candy kisses. You may also enter the contest as many times as you want for just $5 a guess!  (Or donate $5 without entering contest!)
There will be ONE First Place Winner and Five Runner Up Winners.  Delicious prizes for every winner!

Get your children, grandchildren and teens involved, they'll love guessing and trying to win!  You can teach them about the importance of saving American history with the 1897 Belleview Biltmore Hotel.  Make a club announcement about the contest to your readers and members!

We are raising money to save the Biltmore from demolition through our lawsuit.

Click the red heart to enter contest!

            

 
ONE FIRST PLACE - 5 prizes!
  
 
1.  All of the wrapped kisses you see in the glass vase!  Obviously we do not want to give the exact weight, but the vase contains pounds of delicious chocolate yummy chocolate kisses! They will be packaged in a lovely red Valentine's Day box and shipped to you directly. Perfect for giving to your wife, husband, partner, your loved one, family, friends, school, community center, your office or condo or just yourself! ;-)
2.  One red foil-wrapped chocolate rose. (see photo of rose above)

3.  Small box of chocolate hearts.

4.  2015 Biltmore one-page calendar, perfect for attaching to the refrig with magnets or tape!

5.  Biltmore bookmark.  

Five Runner Up Winners 

(Each of the five runner ups will receive 3 prizes each

1.  Lucky 13 delicious Hershey candy kisses in a decorative Valentine's Day box.   

       

2.  2015 Biltmore one-page calendar.   (photo above)           

3.  Biltmore bookmark.    (photo above) 

Click the red heart to enter contest: 

       

Contest Rules

1.  You can enter as many times as you wish!  But only ONE VOTE per $5 entry.  We are raising money to save the Biltmore from demolition!  Get your children, grandchildren and teens involved, they'll love guessing and trying to win!  You can teach them about the importance of saving American history with the 1897 Belleview Biltmore Hotel.  Make a club announcement about the contest to your readers and members!

2.  The person guessing the closest to the number of kisses (and NOT over that amount) will win.

3.  If there is a tie, the person entering the most times will win.

4.  You can simply donate $5 without entering the contest!  Any donations are always accepted $5 and up...of course! Just click on the red button below and buy/donate $5!  Remember all that gas money you saved, donate $5 to save the Biltmore!

5.  Contest starts on Tuesday, January 20 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, February 2.

6.  Anyone can enter!  Share this contest with everyone you know!  Tell them how it is for a wonderful cause.  It's wonderful to give from the heart for a Valentine's Day contest!

7.  Winners will be announced the first week of February via email, and prizes sent to them in time for Valentine's Day.

So join the fun, donate from your HEART, and win pounds of chocolate candy kisses!  You can help us save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel!  You can make a difference!  All funds collected from the contest will be used towards the lawsuit designed to Save the Biltmore from demolition!

KISSES FOR THE BILTMORE CONTEST FLYER:   PLEASE print our Kisses for the Biltmore Contest flyer to post around your neighborhood such as:  office, library, retail stores, condo, apartment, coffee shops, beauty salons, nail salons, barber shops, flea markets, gas stations, and to hand out and so forth.  This will help us many times over!  KissesfortheBiltmoreContestFlyer.pdf 

You can enter to win at the top of this page or below and as many times as you want!  One guess for each $5.  Guess now!

Click the red heart to enter contest:

       

GENERAL DONATIONS:   Please make a general donation towards saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel from demolition. Just click on the DONATE NOW button, and you can donate any amount you wish or there are specific donation buttons of $25, $50, $100, $250, $350 and so forth up to $10,000.  Your total donation will go towards funding the lawsuit that Save the Biltmore Preservationists filed January 7, 2015 because Belleair town officials broke their major law, their Comprehensive Plan of Belleair in which it states the Belleview Biltmore Hotel is to be preserved.  The lawsuit will take one to two years so please donate now! Thank YOU!

 

 DONATE BY CHECK VIA U.S. MAIL AT OUR MAILBOX:
 Make your check payable to Save the Biltmore Preservationists.
 
 Save the Biltmore Preservationists, Inc.
 c/o Diane Hein, President
 30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
 Palm Harbor, Florida 34684-4410

DONATE BY WIRE TRANSFER OR TO FUND THE ENTIRE LAWSUIT:

To donate via wire transfer to Save the Biltmore Preservationists nonprofit bank account, or if you would like to sponsor the entire lawsuit, email us for information on how to do this.

THANK YOU:  Again many thanks to all who donated since my last thank you!  Your support is greatly appreciated. Remember that the lawsuit will take between one and two years, so we will be sponsoring many more online contests in the coming future to help raise funds for the lawsuit. The lawsuit will cost us in the thousands of dollars to help save the beautiful White Queen of the Gulf! You can sponsor an event or contest in YOUR home town and help raise funds for us!  We will post your photograph of the event after we receive $100.

GAS MONEY: I will be mentioning this many times, donate your extra gas money you save to help stop the demolition through our lawsuit!

Anyone can enter the Kisses for the Biltmore Contest without voting.  You can click on the RED HEART below and donate $5 so we want to encourage everyone to donate at least $5 to help save the Biltmore from demolition through our lawsuit!

So guess and guess again...

YOU may win all of the delicious HERSHEY CANDY KISSES IN THE VASE!

Sincerely,

Diane Hein

President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists

http://www.savethebiltmore.com

Vote NOW at http://savethebiltmore.com/KissesContest.htm  

Or click the red heart to enter contest

  

  Please "like" us on Facebook.  You may now donate online there under "Donate Social" at the top of the page.  Share this post with everyone you know to help us!
 

Biltmore Update Saturday January 17, 2015

 
Dear Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,

In the coming week, we will be announcing a  fun and DELICIOUS AND SWEET contest just in time for Valentine's Day!   So stay tuned to my Update and Facebook post!  You will have lots of FUN participating in it while helping us raise funds for the lawsuit to stop the demolition of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, Belleair, Florida!

We want to thank everyone who donated so generously this past week to help fund our lawsuit.  Your support has been crucial in helping to save the Biltmore from demolition.  Your passion to help us has been very heart warming to all of us so a big. big THANK YOU!

If you have not donated yet, please donate now by clicking button below.  You may donate any amount or in set denominations like $25, $50, $100, $250, $350, $500, $1,000 or $10,000.  If you choose ANY AMOUNT, you can also check a small box on your donation checkout to have the funds taken out of your credit card or Paypal account on a monthly basis to help fund the lawsuit.  The lawsuit could take one to two years so your contributing on a monthly basis will help immensely.  Give from the heart this Valentine's Day season!

All the gas money you have saved recently, contribute all or some of that to save the Biltmore from demolition!   

Please donate now!

NEW FACEBOOK DONATION LINK:  You may also easily donate on Facebook at any time at the top of the page under our oval-shaped logo:  DONATE SOCIAL.  Just click on those words, and you can donate any amount you wish.

BELLEAIR BEE ARTICLE:  NOTE:  I am only printing the quotes from our attorney Ralf Brookes from an article written by reporter Brian Goff of the Belleair Bee.  Brian interviewed Ralf after our lawsuit was filed by him.   I am not printing the opposing attorney's comments because they are untrue.  Belleair officials broke the law, Belleair's MAJOR LAW, the Comprehensive Plan. in which it specifically states that the Biltmore is to be preserved. 

Lawsuit aims to stop hotel demolition  (edited for Ralf Brookes comments only)

 
By Brian Goff

Article published on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 Belleair Bee Newspaper

BELLEAIR – A lawsuit aimed at stopping the demolition of the Belleview Biltmore hotel was filed Jan. 7 in Pinellas County Circuit Court.

The suit contends that by allowing the demolition of the hotel, the Belleair Town Commission is going against its own comprehensive plan.

Cape Coral attorney Ralf Brookes filed the suit on behalf of the Save the Biltmore Preservationists, its President Diane Hein and Belleair resident T.C. Hayes.

“There is a very specific requirement in the town of Belleair Comprehensive Plan,” said Brookes. “This is goal number 1 on page 1 of a very long document. The goal of the town should be the preservation of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel in the town of Belleair.”

Brookes said not enough has been done to save the hotel.  “The hotel was built in 1897, it is of Victorian Architecture and has been the cornerstone of the Belleair Community ever since. All development shall be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan; we’re bringing this case to enforce the Comprehensive Plan,” he said.

“There are practical ways to preserve the hotel,” he said. “This is a piece of Florida and the whole state if not the whole country should get behind and preserve it.”  Brookes, who specializes in environmental and land use issues, opened a window into their case.

“We will have experts in historic preservation that we will present to the court at trial. I’ve worked with a great deal of architects and builders in historic preservation. All it takes is money and time,” he said.   During the years of debate on the future of the hotel, no one ever doubted that with enough money and time the hotel could be saved. But where would the money come from?   “If there is not money in the private sector then perhaps there is money at the public sector level in the form of grants,” he said. “Some developers would enjoy preserving history.”

The case is likely to find its way into court quickly. The town has 30 days to file a response to the suit. Ottinger said putting that response together has already begun.  “We intend to try to move this along as expeditiously as possible,” he said. “It is costing the town money, jeopardizing the development plans and we want to limit whatever damage the town is occurring.”

Brookes said the fight is not over.

“People have fought for over a decade to preserve the hotel and we’re not giving up,” he said.

###

FINAL THOUGHTS: 

Thank you Ralf Brookes for standing up for us to save the Biltmore from demolition!

Our precious Biltmore supporter -- YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! 

Please donate now to fund our lawsuit and save the Biltmore from demolition!

Sincerely,

 

Diane Hein

President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists

http://www.savethebiltmore.com

           
 
 
 
 
OR DONATE BY CHECK VIA U.S. MAIL AT OUR MAILBOX:
Make your check payable to Save the Biltmore Preservationists.

Save the Biltmore Preservationists, Inc.
c/o Diane Hein, President
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, Florida 34684-4410

 

DONATE BY WIRE TRANSFER OR TO FUND THE ENTIRE LAWSUIT:

To donate via wire transfer to Save the Biltmore Preservationists nonprofit bank account, or if you would like to sponsor the entire lawsuit, email me for information on how to do this.

Please like us on Facebook and share this Update with everyone you know! 

 
   

NEW FACEBOOK DONATION:  You may also easily donate on Facebook at any time at the top of the page under our oval-shaped logo:  DONATE SOCIAL.  Just click on those words, and you can donate any amount you wish.

Biltmore Update Thursday, January 8, 2015 

Save the Biltmore Preservationists filed a lawsuit Wednesday, January 7, 2015 against the Town of Belleair!

 

 
 
Biltmore Update Thursday, January 8, 2015
 

We are very pleased to announce: 

Save the Biltmore Preservationists filed a lawsuit Wednesday, January 7, 2015 against the Town of Belleair!

Here is our Press Release, for Immediate Release

Two historic preservation advocates and a nonprofit organization are fighting to save the historic 1897 Belleview Biltmore Hotel from demolition and have filed a lawsuit to block its sale and demolition.

Save the Biltmore Preservationists and Diane Hein, president of the nonprofit organization joined with Belleair resident T.C. Hayes as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Town of Belleair in the 6th Circuit Court in Pinellas.  Filing date was January 7, 2015.

The suit accuses the town of Belleair, Florida of approving a rezoning and issuing a SCOA (Special Certificate of Appropriateness) for demolition of the historic 1897 Belleview Biltmore Hotel that is inconsistent with Goal 1 of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan that specifically and expressly requires “preservation of the historic 1897 Belleview Biltmore Resort Hotel” and specifically references the hotel and notes "The town has a grand landmark – the historic Belleview Biltmore Resort Hotel – which, at the turn of the century, was a playground for the leaders of American industry and society." 

Town of Belleair Comprehensive Plan:
"Future Land Use Goal 1: Ensure that the park-like, residential/family character of the Town of Belleair is maintained and protected while supporting the continued economic viability of local resorts and the preservation of the Belleview Biltmore Resort Hotel."

Information is available, and donations to help fund this lawsuit are being accepted now, at http://www.savethebiltmore.com

Plaintiffs are represented by Attorney Ralf Brookes, (239) 910-5464 Ralf@RalfBrookesAttorney.com a Florida board certified attorney in City, County and Local Government Law. His website is www.RalfBrookesAttorney.com

In their request for relief plaintiffs are asking the Court to enjoin demolition of historic 1897 Belleview Biltmore Hotel.

End of press release

Background Information:   Biltmore Hotel owners from KAWA, Raphael and Daniel Ades, have a contract to sell the Biltmore to St. Petersburg developer Mike Cheezem the end of January.  Mr. Cheezem intends to demolish most of the structure and save only a small 5 to 10% of the original hotel. The demolition of the hotel would be most likely in March 2015 unless YOU our Biltmore supporter help us!

You must help us STOP THIS!

Belleair does NOT need Cheezem's monolith monsters!  It could take six to seven years before all these tall concrete monsters are constructed, Only one condo tower will be built, then sold, then another and so forth.  This long ordeal would make a mess of dust and dirt and debris for all the condominium owners who live right by the Biltmore.  I hope Belleair condominium owners start banding together to help us save the Biltmore!

As stated above, our attorney is Ralf Brookes, land use attorney, Cape Coral, Florida.

Ed Armstrong by the way is the attorney for KAWA who currently owns the Biltmore and is also the attorney for Mike Cheezem who wants to purchase the Biltmore the end of January.  How convenient don't you think!

YOUR DONATION GIFT WILL HELP FUND OUR LAWSUIT:

Your donation gift will be used entirely to help fund this lawsuit to defeat the Town of Belleair and to stop the demolition of the beautiful Victorian 1897 Belleview Biltmore Hotel.  All donations whether using your credit card, PayPal, check, wire will be anonymous and kept confidential.  We will NOT be doing a crowd funding web site for this reason.   Your contribution will not only help save the White Queen of the Gulf, but by saving the hotel, once it is purchased and restored, you will be able to visit the hotel, bring your families there, get married in the hotel, have conferences etc., and you will also help create 800 jobs in the local community.   Saving the Biltmore has always been about working together as a team, and now you can help us even further by stopping the demolition of the Biltmore!

YOU can help in its future with your donation gift, large or small to come and visit the Queen again and again!  You may donate any amount of money you wish, but we do provide buttons at the link below to make it easier for your.  These range from:  Any  Dollar Amount, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, $10,000 and $50,000.

DONATE NOW!  http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm 

OR DONATE BY CHECK VIA U.S. MAIL AT OUR MAILBOX:
Make your check payable to Save the Biltmore Preservationists.

Save the Biltmore Preservationists, Inc.
c/o Diane Hein, President
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, Florida 34684-4410

 

DONATE BY WIRE TRANSFER OR TO FUND THE ENTIRE LAWSUIT:

To donate via wire transfer to Save the Biltmore Preservationists nonprofit bank account, or if you would like to sponsor the entire lawsuit, email me for information on how to do this.

DO PRIVATE FUND RAISING IN YOUR TOWN!
If you have fund-raising ideas that I can post to Facebook and in my next Biltmore Update as to how Biltmore supporters ACROSS THE COUNTRY can raise money by themselves for the lawsuit, PLEASE email them to me IMMEDIATELY! And I will post them to my Updates and Facebook for other supporters to read and use.  We need to get everyone involved in raising money, from forwarding this email to everyone you know, or sending the Facebook posts out, to your private donation, to fund-raising events around the country! 

The Biltmore needs NATIONAL EXPOSURE!!  

So get involved, have fun telling others about the Biltmore, ask them to donate, form your own fund-raising event in your town wherever you live!  Then donate these funds for the lawsuit via our donation page or you can mail a check to us.

You can also start your own private fund-raising events and donate these monies to us for the lawsuit.  That is have a garage sale, treasures and trash or junk and jewels as they are called, or a club project to raise money with local events; wine-tasting parties, bake sales, bowling events, car washes, guessing the number of pennies in a jar, golf events, or simply emailing your neighbors and friends via email or Facebook to donate etc.  The ideas are endless for you to have fund-raising events in your local neighborhood or community!  Have FUN meeting new people while telling them about the Biltmore and helping save her!

At your fund-raising event in your town, U.S.A., have supporters donate directly to our donation page http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm  with your tablet or lap top computer.  They will be donating to a nonprofit organization.  We have been registered as a nonprofit organization in the State of Florida on sunbiz.org for the past ten years.   Our online donation page is safe and secure, and supporters may use their PayPal account OR credit cards right in front of you on your tablet or laptop.  Accepting donations is easy and quick and secure!

Anyone raising $100 or more at a fund-raising event in your town, if you take photos at your event, I will post them with your permission only, on my Biltmore Update and Facebook page once we receive the monies. If you raise money through your organization, we will mention your organization's name of course if you want us to!   We would of course like you to print out a photo of the the Biltmore (from the donation page) and post it at your event.  The Biltmore photo will bring awareness to the hotel and will increase donations. We will accept fund-raising event monies by check in the mail, address below, or online donation at the link below.  We will do the same on Facebook.

 

DONATE NOW!  http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm 

BUSINESS ADS:
If your business donates $100 or more to our campaign, I will insert a business card size ad, via jpg to me for a one-time insertion into 1.  My Biltmore Update AND 2.  Our Save the Biltmore Facebook page.   You will reach thousands of people for just $100 plus you will help fund the lawsuit!  If you donate $100 every month, then that would be another ad inserted into BOTH my Biltmore Update AND our Facebook page.  Once you donate the $100 from your business, just email me your jpg for your business card jpg insertion.

LAWSUIT FEES:
Lawsuits cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, so please donate NOW!    The kinds of fees that will be incurred in this lawsuit are:  $400 filing fee for the lawsuit, reduced nonprofit rate and his fees to attorney Ralf Brookes, Cape Coral, Florida, expert testimony fees, other court fees, and court reporting fees (around $60 an hour).  The fees will be mounting quickly over the course of this coming year and maybe next year, so please donate throughout the year and also start your own fund-raising event in your town!  You will have a lot of fun meeting new people, and you can help save the Biltmore!

DONATE NOW!  http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm 

RECENT DONATIONS:
A most generous Belleair resident anonymously donated $2,000 to start our fund-raising campaign, and we are very grateful to this citizen!   Our Save the Biltmore Preservationist organization kicked in another $1,000 also.  These monies were enough to start the lawsuit, but I need YOU, our devoted supporter, to help us raise the rest of the money through private donations or fund-raising events in YOUR town across the country or with our upcoming online fund-raising events.  YOU can help us save the Biltmore from demolition!

FACEBOOK:
We are also going to be starting posting regularly on Facebook to raise funds through donations and fund-raising events, so please "like" us on Facebook or if you have not signed up on it, simply go to Facebook and sign up.  You do NOT have to post your photo or post any personal information!  But once you "like" Save the Biltmore Preservationists, you will receive notifications of all my posts.  We will still be emailing our Biltmore Updates, so please sign up here, they are free of course.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Remember:  YOU can make a difference! 

1.  You can personally donate on our donation web page.  Donate Now http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm

2.  You can purchase a business card sized jpg advertisement for just $100 for insertion in my Biltmore Updates AND Facebook.

2.  You can send your fund-raising ideas to me, and I will post them to Facebook and my Biltmore Updates for others to see and use.

4.   You can do fund-raising events in your town, USA and send or donate the monies to us via our donation web page.   http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm

5.  You can forward this Biltmore Update to as many people you know and ask them to give to the cause so they can help too!

6.  Share my Facebook posts with friends and family.

Let's all work together ACROSS THE COUNTRY, you and our nonprofit organization, let's build a strong team TOGETHER, let's show Belleair that the Biltmore MUST BE SAVED by winning the lawsuit against them!  Belleair broke the law; YOU can help assure the hotel is saved with winning this lawsuit through your donations and fund-raising events across the country!

Power up people!   Get going today by donating and fund raising in your town!

STOP THE DEMOLITION!     LET'S WIN TOGETHER!

DONATE NOW! 

http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm

Sincerely,

 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

 

DONATE NOW! 

http://savethebiltmore.com/SaveTheBiltmoreDonateNow.htm  

OR DONATE BY CHECK VIA U.S. MAIL AT OUR MAILBOX:
Make your check payable to Save the Biltmore Preservationists.

Save the Biltmore Preservationists, Inc.
c/o Diane Hein, President
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, Florida 34684-4410

 

DONATE BY WIRE TRANSFER OR TO FUND THE ENTIRE LAWSUIT:

To donate via wire transfer to Save the Biltmore Preservationists nonprofit bank account, or if you would like to sponsor the entire lawsuit, email me for information on how to do this.

 

 

Why there is a Biltmore lawsuit filed against the Town of Belleair:  January 5, 2015

 

Corruption, collusion and breaking of Belleair town laws prevailed among the rich and powerful members of the Belleair County Club, of which the developer Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities is a member of as well as his and the hotel's owner KAWA, attorney Ed Armstrong and Belleair politicians and appointed Historic Preservation Board members.

 
Also please note that Belleair Commissioners Kevin Picaretto and Steven Fowler are BOTH members of the Belleair Country Club, of which Mike Cheezem the developer is also, and that Belleair Commissioner Tom Shelly and Historic Preservation Board head member David Hutcheson ARE realtors.  The last two could make a small fortune selling Cheezem's condos to the public.  Where in the world would these four people have any motivation to REALLY save the Biltmore anyway in the end!?
In Belleair, officials, whether elected or appointed, just never felt enough love for historic preservation; if they did, they would have passed a historic preservation ordinance long ago in 2004 and 2005 to save the Biltmore.  But they failed on this terribly when the Biltmore was first faced with demolition.  Shame on them!

Politicians who break our precious laws MUST BE SUED!  We as Americans have to take a stand against corruption and how these politicians want to destroy the White Queen of the Gulf's future!   The 2005 Preservation Ordinance was broken, with "demolition by neglect" and also failure to follow Belleair's Comprehensive Plan to preserve the Biltmore and failure to uphold the CLG agreement of 2014.  So laws were broken; unfortunately in our crazy and outdated legal system, it costs money to get justice when it comes to political issues.   No wonder why politicians are distrusted so much in our country.  It all starts at the local level. 

In Belleair, officials, whether elected or appointed, just never felt enough love for historic preservation; if they did, they would have passed a historic preservation ordinance long ago in 2004 and 2005 to save the Biltmore.  But they failed on this terribly when the Biltmore was first faced with demolition.  Shame on them!

 

 

Biltmore Update MEETING RESULTS  Thursday, December 11, 2014
 
Dear Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
 
Unfortunately both the Historic Preservation Board and the Belleair Mayor and Commissioners voted YES to unanimously approve the SCOA, thus paving the way for the demolition of 95% of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel most likely in March, 2015.
 
 
The vote for the SCOA thus paving the way for demolition was:
7-0 for the Historic Board
5-0 for the Mayor and Commissioners
 
So corruption, collusion and breaking of Belleair town laws prevailed among the rich and powerful members of the Belleair County Club, of which the developer Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities is a member of as well as his and the hotel's owner KAWA, attorney Ed Armstrong and Belleair politicians and appointed Historic Preservation Board members.
 
Also please note that Belleair Commissioners Kevin Picaretto and Steven Fowler are BOTH members of the Belleair Country Club, of which Mike Cheezem the developer is also, and that Belleair Commissioner Tom Shelly and Historic Preservation Board head member David Hutcheson ARE realtors.  The last two could make a small fortune selling Cheezem's condos to the public.  Where in the world would these four people have any motivation to REALLY save the Biltmore anyway in the end!?
 
I often wonder whether the members of the Historic Preservation Board ever spent any time like we did and others to find investors to purchase the Biltmore, since KAWA hired a worthless realtor to do so once Legg Mason gave up after the recession hit??
 
 
On a positive note, we certainly appreciate all the support from you our precious, devoted Biltmore followers whether it be email or postings or coming to meetings throughout the past years. And thank you for the thank you letters for our persistence in trying to Save the Biltmore for ten years!  They are very uplifting to me and our other two directors, Carol Kuzmiak, V.P. and Doug Mann, Secy/Treas. 
 
And remember that the Biltmore was saved in 2007, but many factors including lawsuits filed by Belleair residents (of all people!) the Great Recession contributed it to being on the market again.
 
One of the reasons the officials gave for their ignorant vote is that 5% will be saved.  A MEASLY 5%!  This hardly justifies near total demolition!  95% will be destroyed including the beautiful Tiffany ballroom among many other historic rooms etc.
 
Rick Gonzalez, an architect, known for his historic renovation, recently sent an email to preservationists: 
 
"That small wing will not survive a rotation and a relocation. It will most likely collapse and eventually a small replica of a building will be built and after a few years of losing money it will be converted into a clubhouse for the condos.  I don't see a five story building rotation and 550 ft moving working."
 
So this measely 5% was saved only to possibly collapse, but enough for votes to go through for demolition!  Pretty sneaky ploy by Mike Cheezem who will now buy the Biltmore. 
 
Well if all this proves to be true, then Belleair officials have been duped royally by JMC Communities and Mike Cheezem and Ed Armstrong!
 
I hope that you send emails to the following people, Historic Preservation Board, care of the town manager, Mayor Katica, Belleair Commissioners, Pinellas County Commissioners who have participated to demolish the Biltmore showing your protests, your opinions and obviously your ANGER!  Included in this list is also Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities, the ultimate historic hotel destroyer who contributed to breaking laws in Belleair.
      
mmaxwell@townofbelleair.net, DCarlen@townofbelleair.net, gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net, tshelly@townofbelleair.net,kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net, mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,JanetCLong@pinellascounty.org,pgerard@pinellascounty.org,
cjustice@pinellascounty.org,deggers@pinellascounty.org,
kseel@pinellascounty.org,jmorroni@pinellascounty.org,kwelch@pinellascounty.org, home@jmccommunities.com
 
 
 home@jmccommunities.com    Phone: 800-741-4106

 Mike Cheezem, CEO
 
 JMC Communities
 2201 4th St N
 Suite 200
 Saint Petersburg, FL 33704

Some people in Belleair might be filing a lawsuit to stop the demolition, and we would be offering to help fund it through you our precious Biltmore supporters.  I have received emails from many supporters saying we need to sue Belleair for breaking their laws.  Politicians who break our precious laws MUST BE SUED! We as Americans have to take a stand against corruption and how these politicians want to destroy the White Queen of the Gulf's future!   The 2005 Preservation Ordinance was broken, with "demolition by neglect" and also failure to follow Belleair's Comprehensive Plan to preserve the Biltmore and failure to uphold the CLG agreement of 2014.  So laws were broken; unfortunately in our crazy and outdated legal system, it costs money to get justice when it comes to political issues.   No wonder why politicians are distrusted so much in our country.  It all starts at the local level.  But more on the lawsuit later.
 
FINAL THOUGHTS:  The lesson learned from the past ten-year fight is to encourage your children and grandchildren to develop an interest in historic preservation.  Take them to historical museums, historic hotels, historic homes, historic locations and so forth. Create loving memories with them of the present with the past.  It will build a powerful interest to save historical buildings in the future.  Remember that some of the children of today will become politicians and developers in the future, and we must entrust in them the love of historic preservation so more historic buildings will be saved in the world. 
 
In Belleair, officials, whether elected or appointed, just never felt enough love for historic preservation; if they did, they would have passed a historic preservation ordinance long ago in 2004 and 2005 to save the Biltmore.  But they failed on this terribly when the Biltmore was first faced with demolition.  Shame on them!
 
As I wrote in my last Biltmore Update, EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION is the key for saving historic buildings and locations and artifacts by developing and teaching a love for it early on with our children and grandchildren. 
 
So to end on a positive note, remember that a successful lawsuit can still save the Biltmore.
 
And get going, make a plan for 2015 to instill the love of historic preservation in everyone!
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
Note:  I often send out information to Facebook BEFORE sending out Updates.  So if you wish to receive the latest on the Biltmore, sign up for Facebook.  You do not have to post any personal information, just sign up.
 
  
 
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 ho
urs.

 

Biltmore Update Sunday, December 7, 2014
 

URGENT and NEW PHOTO LINK! 

 
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT BELLEAIR TOWN HALL MEETINGS THIS COMING WEEK:

1.  HISTORIC BOARD MEETING TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9 AT 4:00 P.M. AND THEN

2.  THE COMMISSION MEETING FOLLOWING RIGHT AFTER AT 5:30 P.M.

901 Ponce De Leon Blvd. Belleair, Florida (south of Gulf to Bay Blvd--Route 60.) 
Map to Belleair is at the BOTTOM of this Update
Please come to BOTH meetings and speak out for saving the hotel, otherwise 95% of the Biltmore will be demolished!  LAST CHANCE TO SAVE THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL!  Anyone who lives in Belleair or outside of Belleair is welcome to speak for up to 3 minutes as to why the hotel should be saved.  

REPEAT!  ANYONE LIVING IN OR OUTSIDE OF BELLEAIR MAY SPEAK TO SAVE THE BILTMORE!  

ENCOURAGE VOTE NO TO THE SCOA WHICH WOULD ALLOW THE BILTMORE TO BE DEMOLISHED!

BEFORE AND AFTER RENOVATION PHOTOS OF THE GALION HOTEL, OHIO:   See how this was BEAUTIFULLY done in Ohio at the Galion Hotel.  The Galion Hotel was in MUCH MUCH MUCH worse condition that the Belleview Biltmore, and you can see how it was restored for occupancy! 

For those supporters who attend Tuesday's meeting, PLEASE print out a photo of the before and after picture of the Galion Hotel below.  At Tuesday's meeting, show the crowd how restoration is possible in the worse possible condition with holes in the roof, falling down walls and so forth with the Galion Hotel photo!  Hold the photo in your lap so if a naysayer sits next to you they will see what is truly possible!! Even if one speaker shows the photos, show them again and again!  A picture is worth a thousand words!  Wave these photos in the air during the meeting so all the naysayers can be properly educated about the  possibilities!    If you are good with Photoshop, make the photo as large as you can and glue to cardboard or poster board.  Spread the word the Biltmore can be renovated though this before and after photo!

To make it easier to print for you simply print the Galion photo from this link and take to Tuesday's meeting: 

http://savethebiltmore.com/GalionHotelBeforeAndAfterPhotos.htm

Naysayers, condo board leaders and members of the Belleair County Club who know nothing about the possibilities of renovation need to be EDUCATED!  They must know the TRUTH that the Belleview Biltmore can be restored successfully

We must STOP THE LIES that the developer, his attorney, the current owner and the buyer are spreading!  The Biltmore can be successfully restored!  

The media also MUST see that it is possible to take a terribly run down delapidated hotel like the Galion and turn it around successfully.   I hope the media covers this very important photo and shows it to the public who needs to KNOW THE TRUTH!

 

I need to reemphasize this over and over again in large bold letters because I still get Biltmore supporters writing me on this.  The media unfortunately only shows current Biltmore photos, they never talk about the fact that the hotel CAN BE RESTORED!  That is not their job unfortunately, so it is up to supporters to realize and look beyond the scope of reporters' jobs.   If you go on YouTube, you will find videos on how to remove mold for example.
 
1.  Roofs can be repaired or completely replaced.
2.  Walls torn down if need be and new walls put up.  
3.  Plaster can be repaired.
4.  Mold can be removed.
5.  Walls and exteriors can be repainted for goodness sake!  
 
You don't think Belleview Biltmore Partners or the hotel company, who recently sent thousands of postcards to Belleair residents, would spend millions of dollars if they could not repair the hotel, do you?   It will take approximately three years to restore the hotel, in case I have not mentioned this in the recent past.  But the Biltmore CAN BE RESTORED!
 
I published this photo below before but apparently and sadly some people just do not understand how the hotel CAN BE RESTORED!  If you note, the roof of the house has been repaired and the exterior obviously restored.  Anyone who has ever watched restoration home projects on TV would realize that walls could be torn down to make a bedroom larger for example!
 
 

THE BELLEAIR COUNTY CLUB EMAIL: The exclusive Belleair Country Club (right next to the Biltmore) who sadly wants the hotel demolished (yes shocking isn't this, but they stand to gain if the hotel is demolished) has sent an email to hundreds of their members urging them to come to these meetings, thus encouraging the demolition of the White Queen of the Gulf!  Most do NOT even live in Belleair!  The Belleair Country Club would be purchasing 3.2 acres if the hotel is demolished.  This is just one reason they want the hotel down.  Once the developer builds condos and townhomes right next to the country club, it's very likely that a good portion of them would join the country club. Increased memberships EQUALS increased revenue for the country club. Bottom line:  SELF-SERVING GREED.  On the other hand, if the hotel were restored, the only increase in the club's revenue would be if they reinstated the Bernie Powell (former Biltmore owner) agreement, which allowed hotel guests to play on the golf courses for a fee.

To all Belleair residents who are not members of the Belleair County Club, do you really want the Country Club to run Belleair even more!?  It is imperative that you our Biltmore supporter stand up to these self-serving people at these two meetings!

And did you know that golf country clubs are on the decline in this country!  Yes according to Forbes.com online magazine.  "Still, even the country-club set is growing a little nervous about its future prospects, especially with its traditional population base (and corporate support of individual memberships) in decline."  So this is why the Belleair Country Club is so very desperate to get members, willing to sacrifice the beautiful White Queen of the Gulf for self-serving greedy interests! 

Biltmore supporters need to be outraged at this meeting!

The fact that the executives of the Country Club emailed their members to "Come Support Your Club!" is like asking their members to stop thinking and to follow like a group of sheep. 

1.  How many CC members  really know all the details since many do NOT live in Belleair? 

2.  How many of the CC members really know that over 800 jobs will be created for the community! 

3.  How many CC members really know that restoration of the hotel IS possible!? 

4.  How many CC members really know that the Country Club wants to help break Belleair's Comprehensive Plan LAW and the Historic Preservation Ordinance!?  And the CGL agreement?

5.  How many CC members know that this past week, a restored, successful historic hotel sent a large 8.5 x 11 inch postcard to EVERY Belleair resident saying their hotel can restore and successfully run the Biltmore through convention space.  They spent THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS with this postcard to some 3,400 Belleair residents! AMAZING EFFORT! We applaud them!  And now to bury their efforts to save the hotel, a threatening lawsuit has been sent to this hotel by the current hotel owner, KAWA, and his attorney, see below for more info.

6.  How many CC members know that the a restored Biltmore Hotel will be a 4 or 5 star hotel, the only one in Pinellas County, something to be immensely proud of that will be a huge tourist draw! And oh yes, bring in some wealthy clientele, some of whom may move to Belleair and THEN could join the CC club, and still have the Biltmore to dine at in luxury!!!

 

Why the State Historic Preservation Office and State's Attorney who have an obligation to enforce the CLG Agreement with the town have failed to take action yet is a mystery.  One can only speculate about the politics involved. 

The Belleair County Club is making a mockery of Belleair by asking its members to band and stand together and support their little membership-only "city."  If CC members do not support the leaders efforts, they face being ostracized and criticized on their golf course or clubhouse. There are some members of the CC who do support the hotel, but at one of the earlier meetings this year after a memo to their members, some 100 of them attended a town hall meeting, again banding together like sheep in order to please the executives of the Country Club otherwise face displeasure from them.

I find it utterly amazing that Belleair County Club members have achieved the American dream, become financially independent, am able to join a country club, and then they have to stop thinking for themselves in order to "support the club" with executives suggestions, the pack leader, otherwise face being ostracized by them.

So for those who aspire to join a country club, you may be eventually asked to stop thinking for yourself and just to follow the leader ship otherwise face being shunned and criticized by club leaders!

Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seel last month sent an email to one of our Biltmore supporters.  Commissioner Seel has totally washed her hands on helping to save the hotel and will do nothing. She has copped out on the "matter" as she calls it completely with one short email. What is most unfortunate about Commissioner Seel is that in 2009 she participated in a Pinellas County interview that included former Belleair Commissioner Stephanie Oddo and our former vice President of Save the Biltmore Preservationists Ed Jameson (now my late husband who died in 2010) to show the importance of saving the Biltmore for Belleair and Pinellas County.  Now she lives in Belleair and has done absolutely nothing recently to promote saving the Biltmore even though she is a resident of Belleair since 2013!!!  So who funds her campaign, that is the question!?  Could it be the specific Belleair people who want the hotel demolished!!??  I wonder!

The Belleair Commissioners have said that they would like the hotel saved and that it is not economically feasible. Yet the Commission has an office of Economic Development which is responsible for job creations.  So why didn't the county step in and help to save the hotel, which would also be a major job and tax generator?

 

We hope that the Historic Preservation Board, the Belleair mayor and commissioners will stand up to the Belleair Country Club finally and the misinformed condo leaders and uphold their Comprehensive Plan, the CLG agreement and the Historic Preservation Ordinance.

Then there are the political leaders in Belleair who are under extreme pressure from the
Country Club to do what CC wants them to do and under pressure from the misinformed condo leaders, otherwise they may never receive campaign donations for their next re election, some due as early as 2015!

Does American pride still exist with Belleair politicians?  To honor laws, to preserve a historic hotel, to bring jobs and tourism to the area?  I hope they do Tuesday night and vote NO to the SCOA.

 

EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION!

WHAT TO SPEAK ABOUT AND DO AT THE MEETING:  Here some points you can talk about on Tuesday, expand on a few or include all, whatever you feel comfortable with.  When you speak at the meeting, simply turn around and be sure to show the before and after photo of the restored Galion Hotel so the naysayers can see this photo over and over again!

1.  That over 800 jobs will be created for the community, a plus for Belleair and Pinellas County and the State of Florida once the Biltmore is restored.  We CAN and should invest in historic preservation to improve our quality of life and as a basis for the area's economic development, job creation and tax purposes. 

2.  That Belleair needs to stop breaking their laws.  They are in violation of their own Historic Preservation Ordinance (demolition by neglect) put on the books in 2005, their Comprehensive Plan and their CLG agreement with the state from August of 2014.

3.  That historical hotels are valuable financially successful tourist attractions all over the country.

4.  That a restored Biltmore will become a 4 or 5 star hotel, the ONLY one in Pinellas County. The only one in the entire greater Tampa Bay Area.  The closest 4 star according to Forbes (formerly Mobil) is  the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota.  We need a 4 or 5 star right here in Pinellas County!

5.  That the Biltmore will succeed financially because of new large convention space being built.  As Gary Rosenberg of Belleview Biltmore Partners (wish to purchase and renovate the Biltmore) said "There is a market for non-waterfront grand hotels that have meeting capacity for large groups. The West Coast of Florida is underserved in this area. The Biltmore will serve this market in a large way. New and younger markets will come. They will bring their families again and again. They will create new family traditions at the hotel and generations will return again and again. In addition, the hotel will quickly become a wedding destination venue that will be extremely successful."

6.  That the current owner KAWA and Ed Armstrong (representing the developer Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities threatened lawsuits against a historic hotel company who could save the Biltmore! Just late this week, threatening lawsuit letters were sent to the historic hotel who spent THOUSANDS of dollars sending postcards to Belleair residents stating that the Biltmore can be saved and managed by them.   These threatening letters were an attempt to cover up and hide from YOU the supporter the fact that the hotel still can be saved and that a respected and well-known historic hotel could do it!  As a result this hotel company has pulled out under these vicious threats unfortunately.  You our supporter need to speak out to show your support that a large historic hotel said the Biltmore was still viable!

7.  According to the town of Belleair web site:  Structures at least 50 years old are considered to have historical value and significance."   Vote NO on the SCOA.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  
1.  PLEASE COME to both meetings on Tuesday, December 9, starting at 4 p.m. for the Historic Board Meeting and 5:30 p.m. for the Commission Meeting.  Speak for up to 3 minutes. A final decision will be made by the Commission officials at the 5:30 meeting on whether to issue a SCOA that if passed will lead to 95% of the hotel being demolished!  And the troubling fact is that we have absolutely NO guarantee whether the developer will keep his promise to save a miniscule 5% of the Biltmore anyway.  It could be just a ploy to say he's saving part of it.  He could change his mind later on if a decision is made in his favor!  So encourage Belleair officials to VOTE NO ON THE SCOA TUESDAY NIGHT!!
 
2. Bring photos of the before and after restoration of the Galion Hotel, wave and show to the crowd, prove that forgotten, deteriorated hotels can be saved and renovated successfully!
 
3.  SPEAK UP AND STAND UP!  SAVE THE BILTMORE!
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
  
 
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
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©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm  

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 

 
 
 
 

 

Biltmore Update, Friday, November 28, 2014

 
Dear Biltmore Supporter, News Media and Others
 
COMMISSIONER STEVEN FOWLER:  Regarding the political leaders in Belleair, I wanted to clarify a matter.  Belleair Commissioner Steven Fowler has always supported saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, and we thank him for his ten year continued support.
 
THE CLG OR CERTIFIED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGREEMENT:   As previously written, Belleair, under pressure from others who stand to gain financially from the hotel's demolition, is violating it's own Historic Preservation Law and Comprehensive Plan.  In addition they are in breach of their CLG(Certified Local Government) agreement with the State which calls on them to designate and protect the historic resources in their town.  
 
“The Town of Belleair has taken an important step in the preservation of its historic resources by seeking designation as a Certified Local Government” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “As a Certified Local Government, the town will create a process for the survey, designation, and protection of its historic resources, and will join a network of 64 other Certified Local Governments around Florida which have made historic preservation a public policy priority.” 
 
For the full press release from the State describing that responsibility from August of this year:
 
 
It is pure mockery that Belleair officials had this agreement with the State and are breaching it!  And in THIS year:   2014!!!
 
Does the Historic Preservation Board and elected officials really want their town
to be known for:   BELLEAIR: TOWN OF BROKEN LAWS.  No arrests will be made, but if you and I ever broke a law, well you know what would happen.
 
JOB CREATION:  Martin Smith who once managed the hotel pointed out to Biltmore supporter, Jason Aquilar, that a fully restored hotel with the golf club and spa would have resulted in 800 new jobs based on the prior restoration and operating plan originally proposed by Legg Mason in 2008.  This is the same plan proposed by Belleview Biltmore Partners who wish to purchase and renovate the Biltmore. Also Peabody Hotels wants to purchase and restore the hotel as mentioned previously.  We hope the Historic Board and elected Belleair officials realize this is BEST for Belleair, not the private wishes of a few naysayers who will gain privately with the hotel down.  These naysayers have no concept of the financial value that saving the hotel will bring to many people both in and out of Belleair, let alone the historical value.  It always shocks me that these supposedly smart, educated, "well-to-do" naysayers continually fail to see the financial and historical benefits will be for Belleair and Pinellas County if the hotel is saved.
  
NEW BELLEVIEW BILTMORE VIDEO: 
Here is a WONDERFUL video link below of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel  This outstanding video is a very poignant reminder of what is to be lost forever if the town of Belleair continues to completely ignore its own Comprehensive Plan and Historic Preservation Ordinance and recently the Certified Local Government agreement, put in place specifically to protect the hotel.
 
As for the developer who wishes to destroy 95% of Pinellas County's and Belleair's famous iconic hotel.....Working towards demolition of one of the most significant historic structures in the state does NOT make you a good citizen, sir.  It only shows your collusion with uncaring naysayers while you dishonor Belleair's history, its citizens and side with breaking their law:  "demolition by neglect."  It always amazes me that the naysayers who give reasons the hotel will not succeed are in their own "clique."  They fail to see how historic preservation can benefit Belleair because they have their own personal agenda and it is NOT for the citizens who live around them in their own community.   So much for community support in Belleair!?
 
This video was filmed at Biltmore supporter Jason Aquilar's request on 11/15/14.  The video itself was produced by Wayne Cathel, a respected local, professional photographer.

Take two minutes of your day and watch this video, and you'll understand why so many of us have fought relentlessly to save this historic hotel which is currently listed with the National Register for Historic Places. This majestic structure constructed using old heart Florida pine is in absolutely no danger of falling over, as some would have you believe.  As architects have already testified, it can be renovated and restored!

Please share this anywhere you like!

We hope you look at it IMMEDIATELY!
 
 
FINAL THOUGHTS:  In this Thanksgiving week, let's all be thankful that the Belleview Biltmore is still standing after this ten-year battle!  On behalf of our two other directors, Carol Kuzmiak, V.P. and Doug Mann, Secy/Treas. and myself, we are very thankful for your support and dedication for all these years, the meetings you have attended and letters/emails sent to help save the Biltmore.
 
As the Belleair web site indicated: "Structures at least 50 years old are considered to have historical value and significance"   We hope the Historic Preservation Board and Belleair Mayor and Commissioners uphold their laws on December 9 and save their BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL. 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
 
 
 
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.
©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm  

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 

 

 

Biltmore Update Thursday, November 20, 2014

 
 
Dear Biltmore Supporter, News Media and Others:
 
ONE LAST CHANCE FOR YOU TO SAVE THE BILTMORE UNTIL 95% IS TOTALLY DESTROYED!!!
 
New fast ONE-MINUTE EMAIL CAMPAIGN below or PHONE CALL CAMPAIGN, keep reading!
 
 
We are encouraging people to write and especially call the Belleair Historic Preservation Board IMMEDIATELY to have them REFUSE to issue a Special Certificate of Appropriateness (SCOA) at the December 9 meeting. 4 p.m. Once they refuse to issue this SCOA, their recommendations will be given to Belleair Mayor and Commission at another meeting at 5:30 p.m. the SAME DAY for their consideration who will make the final decision.  
 
We know that the Mayor of Belleair and three commissioners "say" they want to save the hotel, but have made no effort the past few months to do so; so we hope the Historic Preservation Board of Belleair, of all Boards, can see the value in saving the hotel and convince them the necessity.  KAWA the current owner has let the hotel run down without repairs and insulted Belleair's Mayor, the Commissioners and the Historic Preservation Board over and over again and again by failure to repair the hotel.  These officials need to change their minds and stand up to KAWA!  I certainly was absolutely shocked that of all Boards, the Historic Preservation Board initially voted to favor demolition of the Biltmore in September 30!!!  I thought that they were on the side of the hotel through thick and thin!  There is much new information in this Update that I hope the Historic Board takes into consideration in their decision this time that they did not have before.
 
If the Historic Preservation Board issues a SCOA UNFORTUNATELY, the developer, JMC Communities via Mike Cheezem, who has a contract to purchase the Biltmore will demolish 95% of the historic hotel.  And these unfortunately include the beautiful and historic ballrooms like the Tiffany!
 
To meet the historic recognition component of the new zoning category, JMC Communities had planned to build a new inn that incorporated the overall look of the Belleview Biltmore style and contained a few structural elements, salvaged from the old hotel. The new plan they hatched just before a prior Commission meeting calls for moving the old lobby entrance, along with guest rooms above it and the rounded, enclosed porch, to a new location, to be used as the basis of the new inn.
 
This section represents approximately ONLY 5% of the total square footage of the hotel and still does NOT save any of the historic Ballrooms, Promenade, restaurant, tunnels, or the covered carriage porch in front of the old lobby. They will move the veranda from the front of the old lobby around to the back of the small building.   This is an outrageous plan for the White Queen when at least 90% can still be saved!  The fact that the historic and gorgeous Tiffany ballroom and other historic rooms will be destroyed by Mr. Cheezem is outlandish!
 
 
The Historic Board initially had a vote of 5-1 UNFORTUNATELY to push the SCOA through way back in September, but because Mr. Cheezem changed his design to save 5% of the hotel and demolish 95%, the entire issue again must be presented to the Belleair Historic Preservation Board on December 9. 
 
So this is why the hotel STILL CAN BE SAVED!!
 
The Historic Board did NOT have all the facts at their last meeting (like the fact they were NOT told there are TWO BUYERS for the property ...who would restore it, or the fact that the damaged areas are the guest rooms, not the historic ballrooms, promenade and tunnels, etc.) Now that they have this information, it is totally INAPPROPRIATE to issue a SCOA. Also, instead of focusing on the 5% of the property that the Demolition Triad is now willing to save, we want the Historic Board to focus on the 95% they want to demolish. 

There are currently two groups of investors who want to buy the contract from the developer and restore the Belleview Biltmore hotel instead of demolishing it:  Belleview Biltmore Partners and Peabody Hotels.  (Peabody Hotels, famous for their live "Duck Walks" in Memphis, Tennessee and Orlando, HUGE HUGE tourist draws for Peabody!  
Could ducks save the Biltmore in the long run with huge tourism draws!?

The Biltmore has only been closed for five years, and yet the Vinoy in St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg was closed for EIGHTEEN years before it was renovated!  Please take note Historic Board:  EIGHTEEN YEARS THE VINOY WAS CLOSED BEFORE IT WAS ULTIMATELY SAVED! The Biltmore in Coral Gables/Miami Florida was closed for ten years before it was saved!  Please note Historic Board:  These two other hotels were extremely dilapidated and yet were SAVED! 

Now that there are TWO BUYERS who wish to purchase and renovate the hotel, why in the world would the Historic Preservation Board not want to save their iconic building!   This totally baffles me, and I hope that with all this new information, they REFUSE TO ISSUE A SCOA and then the Mayor and commissioners need to REFUSE TO ISSUE A SCOA also the SAME NIGHT!  The Belleair Country Club and condo board leaders have much to do with the Demolition Plan with KAWA, Belleair officials and Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities, the latter wants to demolish 95% of the hotel.  The people living in the condos have written me that many new nothing of voting possibilities for them, meetings were never announced properly, information was not given correctly or not given at all about the 80 foot condo towers by Cheezem and voting was never done responsibly in each and every building; it was all a haphazard approach to our democratic system, all pushed through by the condo leaders to demolish the hotel.  I hope the "condo people" start rising up and insist that the Biltmore be saved with two buyers on the horizon!  They have totally been blind-sided by their condo leaders!  If you live in one of the Biltmore condos, start sending this email to all the other condo people!  YOUR voice needs to count, NOT just the leaders!
 
Belleair's Historic Preservation Board can keep this wonderful uniqueness of the Victorian Belleview Biltmore, make their town very special by saving their hotel by voting NO to the SCOA!!
 
Did you know that there is an entire web site devoted to traveling to historic hotels!?  It is called http://www.historichotels.org, and is a program sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.   These historic hotels (about 250 of them) have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 46 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. 
 
The historic and iconic 1897 HISTORIC Victorian Belleview Biltmore in Belleair, Florida deserves to be saved and put on this list!   The Historic Preservation Board of Belleair can help with this!
 
How in the world can Belleair's Historic PRESERVATION Board honor KAWA's wish to sell and ultimately destroy the hotel when it was KAWA who let the hotel deteriorate!  KAWA has made total fools of the Historic Preservation Board, the Mayor and Town commissioners by letting the hotel be exposed to the rain and wind without repairing damages.  KAWA broke Belleair's Preservation Law of "Demolition by Neglect." 
 
Why in the world would the Historic Board reward KAWA for their terribly bad behavior! ??
 
The Historic Board should be standing up to KAWA and JMC and Mike Cheezem for even thinking of destroying their iconic hotel!  Belleair officials never enforced the blue tarps flapping in the wind to clean up KAWA's destructive attempts.  The Historic Board needs to realize that "demolition by neglect" was done on purpose and never enforced by the Belleair Mayor or town Commissioners!
 
From the Town of Belleair's web site it states:  "About the Historic Preservation Board This board was established for the purpose encouraging the preservation and restoration of the town's historic resources through public awareness and education. Structures at least 50 years old are considered to have historical value and significance."
 
How can the Historic Board no longer sees their iconic Belleview Biltmore Hotel as being significant or of having historical value!??  Historic buildings like their Belleview Biltmore are filled with significance and importance to the growth and development of not only Belleair but of Pinellas County.  The hotel can create economic growth in Belleair, bring in convention money, help create jobs and bring in more taxes for their town.  They need to know there are TWO COMPANIES who are quite aware of the Biltmore's condition, and yet still know they can renovate it!
 
Below is a quote by Richard Heisenbottle, head partner and preservation architect of Belleview Biltmore Partners who wishes to purchase the Biltmore and renovate it.  They have sought to purchase the hotel for a few years so I am quoting them first.     January 2014 "There is no question in my mind that this building is NOT in the state of deterioration where you can truly say that this building cannot be restored."  Heisenbottle said.  "It definitely can be restored."

The detailed commentary below about the feasibility of the Biltmore was written by Gary Rosenberg also a partner of Belleview Biltmore Partners.

"The hotel is not a hotel of the past as much as it is a hotel of the future. The hotel can be completely renovated. It is based purely on the financial condition of the owner. Physically, it needs to be stripped down to its basic core and rebuilt from the ground up including all infrastructure systems. This can be done. This is the opportunity going forward not the demise of the past.

"There is a market for the return of this grand ole lady. Having been involved in the restoration of other grand historic hotels such as The Homestead in Virginia and others, it is a fact that the market will return and the new markets will come. It is completely based on the new product and the marketing efforts. There is a market for non-waterfront grand hotels that have meeting capacity for large groups. The West Coast of Florida is underserved in this area. The Biltmore will serve this market in a large way. New and younger markets will come. They will bring their families again and again. They will create new family traditions at the hotel and generations will return again and again. In addition, the hotel will quickly become a wedding destination venue that will be extremely successful.  This is not hype. I have seen and experienced this exact same scenario at such wonderful and successful old hotels and destinations such as The Homestead, The Greenbrier, The Del Coronado, The Broadmoor, The Grove Park Inn, Pinehurst and there are several more.

"An additional huge benefit of the restoration of the hotel as a destination is the financial impact on the community of Belleair. Not only the creation of new employment but the hotel will once again become the supporter and partner in all community activities that require participation such as financial support, food and beverage involvement, meeting space, hotel rooms, etc..  The support the hotel will have in the community is almost unmeasurable. Its impact is huge.

Gary Rosenberg
Partner
Belleview Biltmore Partners LLC
 
 
Below is commentary also about the feasibility by Thierry G. Roch, Former Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and now  Development Consultant for Peabody Hotels & Resorts.  Peabody Hotels (known internationally for their famous Duck Walk in Orlando, Florida and Memphis, Tennessee desire to purchase and renovate the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.  I asked them for commentary and this is what Mr. Roch wrote:
 
"As the former executive director of an organization that advocated for, and marketed the relevancy of, our nation’s finest historic hotels (and buildings reconditioned as hotels), I have a unique perspective to share on the potential rehabilitation of the Belleview Biltmore despite the testimony of “experts” who maintain it cannot be saved and thus must be destroyed in the name of “progress”. 
I believe theirs is simply the opportunistic path of least resistance at a time when the local/regional economy and Tampa/Clearwater’s ranking as one of the top 10 hospitality growth markets in the country clearly support its profitable rehabilitation.  Detractors conveniently forget that Legg Mason, and other bidders, previously came forth to utilize the bulk of the current structure, but failed principally per the downturn in the economic cycle.  Perhaps MCA Communities didn’t act until recently themselves for this same reason?

"Further, there is no doubt in my mind that after personally witnessing countless dilapidated historic properties across the country labeled as “non salvageable” have now been magnificently restored into profitable operations, that the Biltmore can be restored by qualified preservation experts who have actually done this kind of work before.  My clients at Peabody Hotels & Resorts are among those that can assist in the redevelopment and raising of the capital required per their wildly successful operational experience in nearby Orlando away from Disney’s influence.  They further serve as experienced saviors of their flagship property in Memphis as it was once only a few votes away from being destroyed forever before an enlightened group of community and civic leaders refused to reduce their distinctive historic downtown to rubble. 

"It now comes down to whether local leaders will decide to preserve the historic facility and optimize the local economy’s tax base or decide to turn their back on a historic treasure that could be a source of local pride and inspiration for the community for generations to come.  I understand local residents are weary and feel that it’s time to turn the page.  In the name of South Beach, Pike Place Market, the Peabody, the Greenbrier and countless other historic communities that have lived the same dilemma, I say this…..give us a few months to prove to you that this can work and you will forget that you will have ever considered a pedestrian residential project as a significant successor to a historic treasure that made your community what it is today."    

Thierry G. Roch
Former Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America*
Development Consultant for Peabody Hotels & Resorts
* A program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation operated by Preferred Hotel Group

Here are Belleair Historic Preservation Board names:

  • Alex Chamberlain (was unable to attend historic board meeting in September 2014)
  • David Hutcheson
  • Kathy Gaston
  • Peter Marich  voted against the initial SCOA in September 2014, thank you for seeing the value of saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel!
  • Nancy Reardon
  • Donald White
  • Cliff Zurkan

What is terribly frightening about the Belleair Historic Preservation Board is that their "advisor" is one of Belleair's commissioners who wants the hotel destroyed and demolished!    There is no fair or balanced approached here!  This Commissioner is also a member of the Belleair Country Club who has no use for the hotel any more and also Mike Cheezem, the owner of JMC who wants the hotel destroyed also is a member of the Belleair Country Club!

But now the Historic Preservation Board's has a FINAL chance to help SAVE THE BILTMORE!  They have a great opportunity to save Belleair's historic icon THIS YEAR!  And uphold TWO IMPORTANT LAWS IN BELLEAIR, THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND THE PRESERVATION ORDINANCE.
 
I would like to quote from the Belleair Bee from October 1, 2014 (the meeting was the night before September 30)
 
Historic Preservation Board member Peter Marich said he would vote against the certificate that night.

“This is just another condo development,” he said. “It doesn’t feel comfortable to me. Maybe the hotel can be saved, demolish a couple of wings, perhaps remove a top floor. I’m going to vote against it.”

We hope that the other Historic Preservation Board members take issue with all the facts now, and DENY the SCOA on December 9.
 
Has anyone seen the TV segment recently of Mayor Bob Buckhorn of Tampa, Florida  proudly endorsing the saving of the historic Kress building into a hotel in Tampa?   He practically was jumping up and down with joy!   We wish Belleair officials would have the same enthusiasm for saving THEIR historic hotel now with two interested parties.  The Biltmore has only been closed for five years, KAWA the current owner purposely let the hotel start to be damaged so they could claim it was too late to restore the hotel which is totally UNTRUE!  KAWA also hired a worthless sales rep who did nothing to help sell the hotel but warned potential investors of possible downfalls and these were unproven!  KAWA's sales manager would have made money demolishing the hotel with townhome commission sales!  I had spoken to him directly on the phone, and he ran the hotel into the ground knowing full well he would make money from doing so!  How in the world could he ever sell it with that attitude!  Of course not, what a charade, and I hope the Historic Preservation Board of Belleair will see through KAWA's charade.
 
How many Sheratons and Holiday Inns can you stay in without feeling a little bored? Now and then you need to find a more interesting place to end your day. Here’s a suggestion: why not stay in a historic property?  Gery de Pierpont, a Belgian-based archaeologist and former curator of the Belgium History Museum has a passion for history.  I love his statement:  "Old buildings have a soul. They tell stories. That’s why I love them.   Staying in an old building will let you enjoy the aromas of history. Once in a while, if you are lucky, the colour, the scent and the flavour of the precious beverage will truly transport you to another dimension.   I’ve had the chance to stay in some historical sites that inspired this kind of deep emotion in me — feelings I’ll never forget. Not only because I’m an archaeologist, but simply because their classic settings were especially evocative.  Historic hotels, guest houses and rental properties are unique and therefore rare. There is a public that is ready to pay more for such exclusive venues (between $125 and $300, depending on the standing of the rooms).  My experience is that you sleep very quietly in such places. The thickness of the walls, the proven durability of the construction materials, the “get-away-from-it-all” state of mind usually make me sleep like a log.  I always expect to have “historical dreams” when I stay in an old monument, but I admit it doesn’t occur systematically. Nevertheless, the last hour before falling asleep, reading a historical novel or listening to period music in candlelight, is a unique moment."
 
Belleair's Historic Preservation Board can keep this wonderful uniqueness of the Victorian Belleview Biltmore, make their town very special by saving their hotel by voting NO to the SCOA!!
 
PHONE CAMPAIGN:
 
We have an easy PHONE CALL CAMPAIGN BELOW TO MAKE IT EASY FOR YOU TO CALL or THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION BOARD MEMBERS OR CALL BELLEAIR TOWN MAYOR KATICA OR COMMISSIONERS AND THE PINELLAS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS:
 
(727) 588-3769  Belleair Town Hall    Mayor Gary Katica, Commissioners Steven Fowler, Tom Shelly, Mike Wilkinson and Kevin Piccaretto 
 
(727) 588-3769  Belleair Town Hall  Historic Preservation Board Members: Alex Chamberlain (was unable to attend historic board meeting in September 2014). David Hutcheson
Kathy Gaston, Peter Marich (voted against the initial SCOA in September 2014) Nancy Reardon, Donald White, Cliff Zurkan
 
Board of Pinellas County Commissioners:  Janet Long, Pat Gerard, Charlie Justice, Dave Eggers, Karen Seel, John Morroni and Kenneth Welch.
315 Court Street
Clearwater, FL  33756
(727) 464-3614 Tel
(727) 464-3022 Fax
 
Five years ago, the hotel closed for a total renovation, that the economy tanked and investors could not borrow the money necessary to finance the renovation. That was then; this is now. The economy has improved, and now two groups of investors are in the wings, ready to buy-out the developers contract on the property and restore the historic hotel.  Show your support and CALL them to keep the hotel under the protection of the Historic Preservation Ordinance. Tell them it would be TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE to issue a SCOA. They need to vote NO on this SCOA certificate! Thank you!

 
 
This is NOT just a Belleair issue. 
 
The success of the Biltmore influences the huge Pinellas County tourism industry and economy.  A tiny hotel in Belleair by Cheezem will never have the economic impact that a restored, and large convention capacity the Belleview Biltmore Hotel will have.  The Pinellas County Commissioners need to get involved NOW!   There is NEW Commissioner leadership in Pinellas County since the November election.  We hope they can step up to the plate and encourage Belleair to save Pinellas County's Belleview Biltmore, which helped establish Pinellas County!
 
ONE-MINUTE EMAIL CAMPAIGN
 
PLEASE PLEASE send e-mails to the Historic Preservation Board, care of the Town Manager, Mayor Katica and Belleair Commissioners and Pinellas County Commissioners at these email addresses in Belleair and Pinellas County.    Or of course feel free to write your own email to them. 
  
 
 
Dear Historic Preservation Board:  You have a second chance and opportunity to save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel on December 9 by voting NO to the Special Certificate of Appropriateness.  The hotel has only been closed for five years and because economic conditions have greatly improved since then, there are TWO buyers, Belleview Biltmore Partners and Peabody Hotels, who are interested in purchasing the hotel and restoring it.  You have a chance to uphold the historic preservation ordinance AND Belleair's Comprehensive Plan and the Historic Board's objectives as outlined on the town of Belleair web site.  Belleair needs to enforce its own preservation law to protect itself and its hotel from demolition through devious means by "demolition of neglect."  Belleair officials never truly enforced "demolition by neglect" law and now is the chance for you to uphold your laws.  The 1897 Belleview Biltmore Hotel cannot be rebuilt once the history and aura are gone.  We CAN and should invest in historic preservation to improve our quality of life and as a basis for the area's economic development, job creation and tax purposes.  Baby boomers are now retiring and are looking for historic hotels to plan their vacations thus increasing the value of the Biltmore's economic future.  There has been tremendous community support to save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel over the past ten years.  Remember that over 500 people showed up in 2005 to save the Biltmore!  These people and supporters around the world including myself know that it is up to you to leave a legacy of historic preservation for Belleair and Pinellas County.     Uphold your precious laws and the goals of the Historic Preservation Board, "This board was established for the purpose of encouraging the preservation and restoration of the town's historic resources through public awareness and education. Structures at least 50 years old are considered to have historical value and significance.".   Vote NO on the SCOA.
 
 
FINAL THOUGHTS:   So Biltmore supporter, help SAVE THE BILTMORE with this ONE-MINUTE MAIL CAMPAIGN!  OR WRITE YOUR OWN EMAIL TO THEM. OR CALL THEM! And come to the December 9th meeting at 4 p.m.  Make a difference this holiday season, get involved, help save the White Queen of the Gulf so many of you love!   It certainly would seem that the Historic Preservation Board should do EVERYTHING in its power to save Belleair's historic icon!  
 
Let the Historic Preservation Board know that they can and must STOP uncaring politicians and destructive developers who break Belleair laws, insult Belleair's integrity thus making fools of the Historic Preservation, Mayor and Commissioners.  They need to carry out their mission and goals of saving "Structures at least 50 years old are considered to have historical value and significance"  THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
 
 
 
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.
©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm  

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

Biltmore Update Monday, October 27, 2014

 
 
 
Dear Biltmore Supporter, News Media and Others:
 
 
URGENT! URGENT! URGENT! URGENT! URGENT TODAY!

If you support saving and restoring the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, please take meaningful action right now. If you procrastinate, it might be too late.

Currently the 20 acres of property on which the 1897 hotel sits is under contract to JMC Communities, but the purchase is not final. The sale will only go through if the town first agrees to change the zo
ning on the property from H (hotel) to PMU (planned mixed use) so that JMC Communities can demolish the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and replace it with a collection of town homes, condos and a small inn.

JMC, as well as the neighboring Belleair Country Club and the current owners (KAWA of Miami), have formed a ‘Demolition Triad’, bent on demolishing the hotel. This Demolition Triad stands to profit a great deal from the destruction of the hotel, so they hired an expert land use attorney (Ed Armstrong), to represent their interests. They have been pouring a tremendous amount of time and money into convincing everyone that no one else would buy the historic hotel, and even if they did, it couldn’t be saved. This is simply not true! In fact, there are currently two groups of investors who want to buy the hotel and restore it for future generations to enjoy.

Please join the fight against the Demolition Triad – don’t let them tear down this fantastic hotel in order to line their own pockets. Please encourage the Town of Belleair Commission to refuse to change the zoning on the hotel property, so that JMC Communities will abandon their claim on the property. Also encourage them to support investors who are willing to purchase and restore the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.


PLEASE ACT TODAY! OCTOBER 27th! Here is what you can do to help right now:
1) If you’re local, please attend the Special Town Commission Meeting at 5:30 pm on October 27th TODAY  (Town Hall, 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Belleair, FL 33756.) If you are able to stand and speak on behalf of the hotel, please do so. If not, please cheer for those who do! We know it’s a lot to ask you to give up a precious evening, but Commission decisions usually favor those who care enough about an issue to show up. The developers know this, so they are going to try to fill the room with people who support demolishing the hotel.
2) Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know, Repost it on your Facebook Timeline, Tweet about it, and notify any historic conservation groups you might be in contact with.

3) Send an e-mail to the Town of Belleair Government, 
 

gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net,tshelly@townofbelleair.net,kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net, mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,mimaxwel@tampabay.rr.com

 
asking them to please support those who would restore the hotel by refusing to rezone the hotel property. Remind them that the hotel is protected by the Historic Preservation Ordinance and that future generations deserve the opportunity to visit the iconic hotel. Tell them Belleair is entrusted with the responsibility to protect this hotel, for the enjoyment of the entire world. Tell them about your personal love of historic hotels and what the Belleview Biltmore means to you.
4) Write letters to local media – if you know someone in the media, call them.
5) DO NOT GIVE UP BUT KEEP PRESSING FORWARD!
 
 
 
 
HOWEVER ALL LOCAL SUPPORTERS PLEASE ATTEND, WE NEED OUTWARD PUBLIC SUPPORT IN FRONT OF BELLEAIR OFFICIALS, THIS CAN NOT BE OVER EMPHASIZED!!
 
 
Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

 

Map to Belleair available on http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreUpdates.htm

FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 

 
 
 

Biltmore Update Friday, April 18, 2014

 
 
Dear Biltmore Supporter, News Media and Others:
 
A BIG THANK YOU:  First of all, a big thank you to all our Biltmore supporters who wrote letters to officials and who came to the meeting on Tuesday, April 15 to ask Belleair officials to vote NO on RM-10.  We know many of you have come over and over to these meetings, or wrote letters and spoke out on issues favoring saving of the hotel, we are truly grateful for all your efforts.  We had one supporter who with his son drive 90 miles on Tuesday to help support a NO vote on RM-10 so we are grateful for his long distance effort!
 
 
BELLEAIR:  TOWN OF BROKEN LAWS:  The result of the April 15 meeting was that the Town of Belleair voted 4-1 to approve RM-10 despite our concerns and objections.  What this means, is that the RM-10 zoning issue has passed, and the zoning will be changed that would allow condo development should a developer request it.  However, there is still hope of course!  The battle has just begun!  Realize of course that the Comprehensive Plan and the historic preservation ordinance protect the hotel, so it will NOT be an easy task for these four officials to demolish the hotel!  By the way, the lawful way to demolish the hotel would be to try to change these two laws first and then change the zoning to RM-10.  Both are still very difficult to do.  But these four officials are trying to push the demolition of the hotel I guess as fast as they can it seems by breaking laws and working backwards.
 
Mayor Katica yes

Commissioner Shelly yes

Commissioner Piccaretto  yes

Commissioner Wilkinson yes

Commissioner Fowler  NO!

 
As I said in an earlier update, RM-10 zoning is INCONSISTENT with Belleair's Comprehensive Law, and yet it was pushed through without hesitation Tuesday night.  It was all orchestrated it seems ahead of time by these four men, the Mayor and three commissioners.   One proof for this is that this week two of our Biltmore supporters talked with two commissioners about the RM-10 issue.  Both supporters were met with rather curt phone conversation, One commissioner in fact hung up while our supporter was still speaking so you see the die was cast before the meeting.
 
However, let's all thank Commissioner Fowler who has supported saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel all these years and voted NO to RM-10.
 
If you note that even though their vote was unlawful, there were no police officers to arrest them at the end of the meeting.  No, sadly, that is not how local government is run for these types of town laws.  It was not a criminal act, so no arrests, tickets or even a citation.  But these four men can get easily away with breaking their own Comprehensive Plan major law like breaking a piece of bread.   The average citizen must obey the law otherwise he/she will receive a ticket, citation or get arrested etc.  The Mayor and three commissioners just breezed through the meeting like no one was there or that their Comprehensive Plan did not even exist, and they approved the zoning.   The only thing that can stop them is having Belleview Biltmore Partners buy the contract from Mr. Cheezem thus saving the hotel.  Or a lawsuit, with expert legal advice, which we feel would be won, and this would completely negate this UNLAWFUL vote.
 
There were about 100 people attending, both supporters and naysayers.  There were more Biltmore supporters who spoke out at the meeting than against.  However, perhaps we would have needed hundreds of angry supporters out at the meeting in order to stop RM-10.  Or better yet, we needed hundreds of angry residents from Belleair threatening to never vote for them again and that if RM-10 were passed, a recall effort would start.  That's how local government works in Belleair, no rhyme or reason, but peer pressure does work on them.   Just like in February, one hundred very angry RPD or "condo" people turned out to try to reverse the delaying of RM-10 just passed a few weeks before.   These RPD people were misinformed about the implications of RM-10!  Yet out they come under the misguided direction of the heads of the seven Belleair condos which surround the Biltmore.
 
But you see how a small group of powerful and angry people including some members of the Belleair Country Club  or the RPD can easily influence the Mayor and Commissioners.  Then they do a slam dunk vote to push the RM-10 through and never get arrested, receive a ticket or even a citation for breaking their own laws!  Pretty slick operation don't you think?
 
We all know the average citizen must obey local laws, otherwise you will be..... you know the answer! What a different world of law politicians live in from their citizens.
 
We wish that Mr. Cheezem and his attorney Ed Armstrong would realize that saving the Biltmore is the best possible use for that land in Belleair, but unfortunately all they care about is their profit.  The majority of people who live in Belleair were never polled on the matter of whether they want the hotel saved.  And the RPD citizens were misled.  But we know both men realize they are contributing to breaking Belleair's law, and yet so far don't give a &*!#!&*.  It's all about the money per usual in development of property.   They too never will receive any kind of arrest in contributing to breaking Belleair's law.  How different life is for politicians and developers who just get around this type of law so easily with absolutely no punishment whatsoever!  Unless of course expert legal action wins the case.
 
Perhaps this quote from a Belleair resident sums it all up:  "Some say the town should tear down the current Town Hall Building (and make that property parking for the Dimmitt Community Center), and move the Town Hall Offices to the Belleair Country Club, because that's who really runs this town."
 
Here is some commentary by a Biltmore supporter who attended the meeting and wrote me:
"Piccaretto asked Charles Kropke of Belleview Biltmore Partners "at least" five times, how the RM10 would in anyway affect the Partnership. Charles asked Piccaretto if he was being disingenuous and Piccaretto stumbled to come up with the word "genuine"( no wonder) saying that he was genuine. Charles kept responding, not in so many words: that the RM10 intent is to make way for the hotel's demolition which affects the prospect of getting a deal to restore the Biltmore (not rocket science). Piccaretto was like a pit bull (sorry Pit Bulls everywhere) in his pursuit, continuing to tell Charles that he still had not answered his question.... My comment is it is so difficult to believe that educated people like Commissiner Picarretto act in such a way, hell it would be difficult to think uneducated people would act this way. Thinking that Commissioner Piccaretto's law degree would provide some measure analytical thinking, well a mystery  indeed."   Biltmore supporter
 
SOME GREAT NEWS THOUGH!  The great news is that Belleview Biltmore Partners still wish to purchase the hotel, and they assure us they will continue to pursue efforts to buy it.  Two of the partners, Charles Kropke and Gary Rosenberg were there at the meeting and spoke on behalf of BBP.   The third partner Richard Heisenbottle, architect, was not able to attend.  We continue to wish them success in their efforts to purchase the hotel.  We all need to be extremely grateful for their continuing pursuit of buying and restoring the hotel. 
 
BELLEAIR EMAIL ADDRESSES:  If you wish to write the Mayor and commissioners, here are their eaddresses.  Again please if you write them and voice your thoughts and dismay about the vote, be sure to thank JUST Commissioner Fowler for his NO vote!
 
Mayor Gary Katica, Commissioners Stephen Fowler, Tom Shelly, Kevin Piccarreto and Michael Wilkinson and Town Manager, Micah Maxwell

gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net,tshelly@townofbelleair.net,kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,mimaxwel@tampabay.rr.com 

SAM CASELLA:   Sam Casella, from Belleair, unfortunately passed away this year.  He was a former Belleair commissioner and also a very well-respected town planner.  He helped us greatly since 2005 in his analysis of Belleair's Comprehensive Plan in which he summarized that the demolition permit applied for was NOT consistent with Belleair's Comprehensive Plan.  Therefore it would be unlawful to demolish the hotel then.  Belleair's Comprehensive Plan has NOT changed, therefore the law remains the same and protects the Belleview Biltmore Hotel!  As I wrote in my Sunday Biltmore Update, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that zoning changes MUST BE CONSISTENT with a town's comprehensive plan!  The passing of RM-10 was unlawful and pushed through. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:  So to leave everyone with hope for the Biltmore, I would like to quote information from the Comprehensive Plan by Sam Casella in 2005.  It still applies today.

Evidence from the Town of Belleair Comprehensive Plan

http://www.savethebiltmore.com/Analysis_May_12_2005.htm

 Comprehensive Plan Executive Summary

    1. "The town has a grand landmark – the historic Belleview Biltmore Resort Hotel – which, at the turn of the century, was a playground for the leaders of American industry and society." (Page ES-3, dated 2/16/99)
  1. Comprehensive Plan Goals, Objectives, and Policies
    1. "Future Land Use Goal 1: Ensure that the park-like, residential/family character of the Town of Belleair is maintained and protected while supporting the continued economic viability of local resorts and the preservation of the Belleview Biltmore Resort Hotel." (Page Comp. Plan - 1, dated 2/16/99)
    2. "Objective 1.6: Historic Preservation
      "Development activities, as defined in the town land development regulations, shall ensure the protection of historic and architecturally significant resources." (Page Comp. Plan - 5, dated 2/16/99)
    3. "Policy 1.6.1: The town shall continue to identify historic and architecturally significant resources to be protected by their designation as historic sites by the federal government, the State of Florida, or Pinellas County. (Page Comp. Plan - 5, dated 2/16/99)

We will continue to fight to save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and ensure that Belleair's Comprehensive Plan is upheld!

Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 

 
 
 

Biltmore Update Tuesday, April 15, 2014
 
 
Dear Biltmore Supporter, News Media and Others:
 
URGENT REMINDER OF MEETING TONIGHT, TUESDAY, APRIL 15!
 
BELLEAR TOWN HALL  (Town Hall map is below)
Tuesday, April 15, 2014   
Time:  6:30 P.M. 
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Belleair, Florida
 

 
ASK THE COMMISSIONERS TO VOTE "NO!" ON RM-10 TONIGHT! 


Map to Belleair town hall:

 
 
 
 
Here are some applicable sections for objections you can use tonight from the Town of Belleair Code, and Land Development Code (LDC).
 
Even though Belleair's Code allows for ex parte disclosures the Jennings/Dade case may give rise to a constitutional challenge to a rezoning if too many ex parte communications between individual commissioners/council persons and the applicant or applicant's lobbyists or representatives have occurred - 
 
Also most codes have a set of criteria or standards that are used for rezonings such as 1) is it compatible with surrounding existing uses, etc.
 
In regards to the above, we have heard that one of the commissioners helped broker the deal with Cheezem so why is this commissioner being allowed to vote tonight?
 
And remember from my last Biltmore Update, the RM-10 zoning is NOT consistent with Belleair's Comprehensive whatsoever!  It needs to be DENIED TONIGHT BASED ON THIS ALONE!
 
 
FROM A NORTH CAROLINA SUPPORTER:  We recently received an order for our Biltmore cookies from North Carolina.  The Biltmore supporter wrote that she is going to distribute them to her book club members at her next gathering!  What a wonderful idea and DELICIOUS way to talk about the Biltmore but through our cookies!  This supporter said that since the age of one and every year after through her adulthood, her family made trips to the Biltmore.  What a treasure full of memories she has! 
 
 
BELLEVIEW BILTMORE COOKIES AND GREETING CARD 
 
I have received many emails over the years from adults who spent many years coming back again and again with their parents to the Biltmore.  Just think of the precious history that we can teach our children by having them stay at the Biltmore, walk the hallowed historic halls, tell about Henry B. Plant, his drive, his success, how the Biltmore helped establish Pinellas County and Belleair, and all the dignitaries or celebrities like President George Bush, President Jimmy Carter, President Gerald Ford, President Obama before he became President, the former King of England, (the Duke of Windsor) the Vanderbilts, the Pew family of Sun Oil, the Studebakers, the DuPonts, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Lady Margaret Thatcher, baseball legends Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and entertainers Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan and Carol Channing.  
 
From what people tell me, history is not taught as much in schools as when I was growing up, and saving historical buildings like the Belleview Biltmore are a rich way to continue the importance of history in our lives.  Yes the community center in Belleair is a wonderful place for children, but having the addition of a historic building like the Belleview Biltmore brings an additional depth of education and richness no center can provide for our young who can learn the importance of saving history.  For those Belleair commissioners who have children or grandchildren, think of the wealth of historical information you can teach them right in the Belleview Biltmore Hotel once restored.
 
"History teaches us lessons, so the mistakes are not performed again and great work encourage us. History also teaches you where your ancestors came from. It shows patterns in human nature. It teaches you how to predict the future with current events. By knowing history you know what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to politics." http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_history_teaches_us
 
"The way each city and countryside developed, how neighborhoods and business centers and farmsteads grew up, what their people were like at various periods, where they came from, how they lived, worked, worshiped, and had fun; this is the stuff of history that embraces all social and economic classes, finds meaning in the ideals, folkways, and manner of life of all regional or ethnic groups, and treats every individual life as an important moment in the story of the human race. All this is imbedded in buildings approached with an open mind and studied with the proper tools.

"Uncovering the pieces of history hidden in each building's story can be as exciting as a treasure hunt. In fact it adds a layer of suspense and surprise, for the aim is not to find something we already know but to lay bare facts and associations that may be utterly lost to current record or memory. As in an archaeological dig, we can only make educated guesses about the nature or the significance of what we will find; the actual discovery may lead us somewhere else altogether. Being open to where the discoveries about a building and its history might lead is essential to the study of local architecture. We might think we are researching a site of early black settlement, only to find that the extant structure was built by a white merchant who eradicated all traces of his predecessor's occupancy. Or in looking into the chain of occupancy of a sophisticated Federal Period store we find that it originated as a furniture factory powered by horses. Those are the sorts of discoveries that change the way we look at things."  http://www.lib.niu.edu/1998/iht529825.html

 
The Belleview Biltmore, was the heart beat of Biltmore for over 100 years forming its history and providing wonderful vacations, weddings, conferences for thousands of people over the years both in and out of Belleair. And now it's under a stress test by Cheezem and some Belleair officials who are no longer patient and only because it has been closed for five years; part of that closure because of law suits stalling renovation. This crazy treadmill of ups and downs for ten years can end, if only TWO Belleair officials decide they want to uphold the preservation ordinance and Comprehensive Plan.  Only TWO officials must have the fortitude to withstand critiques from the others.  Only TWO officials are needed to vote NO tonight to RM-10 to help save the Biltmore.    Only TWO officials are needed to go against the ridiculous undemocratic "vote" that the board directors of the condos forced on their residents.  Only TWO officials are needed to restore their precious historic pulse of Belleair so the Biltmore can again be a thriving hotel again, generating income for their tax base.
 
BELLEVIEW BILTMORE RENOVATION:   I need to reemphasize this over and over again in large bold letters because I still get Biltmore supporters writing me on this.  The media unfortunately only shows current Biltmore photos, they never talk about the fact that the hotel CAN BE RESTORED!  That is not their job unfortunately, so it is up to supporters to realize and look beyond the scope of reporters' jobs.   If you go on YouTube, you will find videos on how to remove mold for example.
 
1.  Roofs can be repaired or completely replaced.
2.  Walls torn down if need be and new walls put up.  
3.  Plaster can be repaired.
4.  Mold can be removed.
5.  Walls and exteriors can be repainted for goodness sake!  
 
You don't think Belleview Biltmore Partners would spend millions of dollars if they could not repair the hotel do you?   It will take approximately three years to restore the hotel, in case I have not mentioned this in the recent past.  But the Biltmore CAN BE RESTORED!
 
I published this photo below before but apparently and sadly some people just do not understand how the hotel CAN BE RESTORED!  If you note, the roof of the house has been repaired and the exterior obviously restored.  Anyone who has ever watched restoration home projects on TV would realize that walls can be torn down to make a bedroom larger for example!
 
 

Photos from:  http://www.usmayors.org/brownfields/library/Revitalization_of_Vacant_Properties.pdf

IN ATTENDANCE TONIGHT:  Please note that two of the partners, of Belleview Biltmore Partners, Charles Kropke and Gary Rosenberg, will be at the meeting tonight, so please come and welcome them with open arms!  BBP has proved to Belleair officials they have the funding to buy and renovate the hotel, and presented their paperwork to Belleair officials April 1. 

EMAILS TO BELLEAIR OFFICIALS:  For anyone out of town or unable to come to the Tuesday meeting and wish to write letters to Belleair officials, see bottom of this Update for their eaddresses.  I know that so many of you write and want to help but live too far away to attend meetings.  So if you wish to write letters, feel free, Just remember that if you write a letter, please emphasize that the RM-10 is NOT even consistent with Belleair's Comprehensive Plan and MUST be denied TONIGHT Tuesday, April 15!  However, for the local community you need to come to this meeting and speak AGAINST the RM-10 zoning!
 
FINAL THOUGHTS:  Saving a historical building like the Belleview Biltmore Hotel usually boils down to taxes, profit and loss and who will profit the most by saving or demolishing the structure.  It has been said over and over again that the town of Belleair will profit most by saving the hotel through increased taxes.  Yet some officials still want the hotel down, so what other profit motive is being gained if they do not save the hotel, you will have to ask them tonight.
 
In the meantime, be sure to come to the meeting tonight and ask Belleair officials to vote NO on the RM-10!  By voting NO you will help ensure the saving of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.  Now is the time to do your part to save history and to save the hotel. 
 
Let's SAVE THE WHITE QUEEN OF THE GULF TONIGHT!  6:30 p.m. Belleair Town Hall
 
ASK THE COMMISSIONERS TO VOTE "NO!" ON RM-10 TONIGHT! 
 
Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 

 
  
 
 
 

 

 

 

Biltmore Update Sunday, April 13, 2014

 
Dear Biltmore Supporter, News Media and Others
 
URGENT REMINDER OF MEETING ON TUESDAY, APRIL 15!
 
BELLEAR TOWN HALL  (Town Hall map is below)
Tuesday, April 15, 2014   
Time:  6:30 P.M. 
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Belleair, Florida

A second reading and a final vote will be taken so PLEASE COME OUT TO DISCOURAGE THIS RM-10 zoning from being passed!  If approved this RM-10 zoning would allow the area of the hotel property to be rezoned for condominium development in the future if a developer requests it, thus setting the stage of the demolition of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel!  YOU our precious Biltmore supporter must not let this happen!  The hotel property is now zoned for a hotel!  This must be maintained!  By delaying or voting NO on the RM-10, it will show Mike Cheezem that officials want their hotel to be saved and that Cheezem needs to sell his contract on the hotel to Belleview Biltmore Partners.  BBP has proved in a private meeting to the Mayor and Commissioners that they have the funds/money to purchase and renovate the hotel!
 

From the Tampa Bay Times article Keyonna Summers wrote April 2, 2014: 

 
 (Belleair Commissioner Mike Wilkinson) "Wilkinson told the Tampa Bay Times he was satisfied with signed financials BBP produced during his private meeting."  With Belleview Biltmore Partners, April 1, 2014.

The Belleair Country Club's manager has just sent a memo to its members, interestingly his name and title were on this memo this time (!), encouraging them to come to the April 15 meeting.  So please be there to show your support for the Biltmore by having the RM-10 denied!

Map to Belleair town hall:

 
A NATION OF LAWS:  The United States is a Nation of Laws.  I have heard this expression many times in my lifetime.  On a local, state, and national level, tens of thousands of laws are passed each year.  The legal system is supposed to protect our liberties and guard against tyranny and corruption. Yet this imperfect legal system only works if laws are enforced.  Belleair's two important laws, the Comprehensive Plan and the Historic Preservation Ordinance are being disregarded at this point in regards to the Biltmore. We need Belleair Commissioners and the Mayor to bring these two laws back to life so they have meaning in them and then enforce them.  Then on April 15 Belleair can become A TOWN OF ENFORCED LAWS.
 
LEGAL CASES ON ZONING:
The information below has come to our attention, and Mayor Katica and Belleair Commissioners are on my Update mailing list so they will see this.  Remember Belleair's Comprehensive Plan specifically states that the Belleview Biltmore Hotel must be protected, and yet why is the zoning being questioned or possibly changed to RM-10 if it is not even consistent with their major law!?   How absurd! 
 
 
"There is a new standard of review for rezonings set forth by the Supreme Court in Brevard County v. Snyder, 627 So.2d 469 (Fla. 1993).  The Court in Snyder wrote:
“We hold that a landowner seeking to rezone property has the burden of proving that the proposal is consistent with the comprehensive plan and complies with all procedural requirements of the zoning ordinance.

At this point, the burden shifts to the governmental board to demonstrate that maintaining the existing zoning classification with respect to the property accomplishes a legitimate public purpose.” 

Also helpful is the Pinecrest Lakes, 2001 case: 

There are two separate ways to challenge a rezoning in court if approved:

1 - A rezoning that is not consistent with the Comp Plan is subject to a de novo challenge in circuit court under 163.3215, Florida Statutes that must be filed within 30 days of approval. Pinecrest case. 

2 - A rezoning that does not meet the LDC (or which violates procedural due process or lacks competent substantial evidence) is subject to a challenge via Petition for Writ of Certiorari also must be filed within 30 days of rendition of the approval and is based on the record transcript created at the rezoning hearing. 

So supporters, the RM-10 is NOT even consistent with Belleair's Comprehensive Plan and must be denied April 15, come to this meeting and say so!

Here is a quote from the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Margaret Cashill April 2, 2014 
“Our budget starts at minus $800,000 every year. This has gone on for five years,” Katica said. “That’s crazy. I would love to see this place restored. It’s beautiful. But I am interested in getting something done.”

Well Mayor Katica, something CAN be done and you can lead the way for your Commissioners! 
1.  You know now that Belleview Biltmore Partners has PROVEN to you and the Commissioners privately that BBP can purchase and renovate the hotel. 
2.  You know now that you can start earning $800,000 a year in tax dollars once the hotel is purchased and renovated. 
3.  You know now that you can uphold your preservation ordinance that you PERSONALLY supported back in 2005.
4.  You know now that you can uphold your Comprehensive Plan, Belleair's main law, and save the hotel. 
5.  You know you can save your legacy of a powerful leadership of saving Belleair's history for its citizens. 
 
YOU can save the hotel with just one other Commission vote!  It only takes two votes out of five to REJECT the RM-10. Four commissioners equal four votes and one mayor equals another vote for a total of FIVE votes, for our new readers.
 
And to our readers, if just TWO commissioners deny the RM-10 amendment, then also these two votes will count towards denying the RM-10! 
 
So TWO OUT OF FIVE VOTES will DENY the RM-10 zoning, which is NOT even consistent with Belleair's Comprehensive Plan!
 
The point is that the Mayor and Commissioners can EASILY SAVE THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL! 
 
Only two of them need to deny the RM-10 and the hotel is saved because no zoning will be allowed for a developer to build condos by destroying the Biltmore!
 
Back in January 2014, Commissioners Fowler, Shelly and Wilkinson ALL three voted to delay the RM-10 on the first reading.  It was a wonderful night for Biltmore supporters!  But in February they agreed to revisit the issue most unfortunately due to extreme pressure from the misinformed Resident Planning Development or people in the condos and around the hotel.  So we hope that again that these three Commissioners join together to vote against the RM-10.  The RM-10 is INCONSISTENT with their Comprehensive Plan!   By voting NO to the RM-10, this will show Mike Cheezem these Commissioners mean business to save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel!  By turning down the RM-10, Cheezem will NOT be allowed to build condos in place of the Biltmore.  Cheezem will have to let his contract expire or preferably sell to Belleview Biltmore Partners who now has the funding to purchase and renovate the hotel.
 
You can see why you MUST attend this meeting on Tuesday! 
 
IN SUMMARY: We need TWO votes out of FIVE VOTES to stop this RM-10 zoning change, ultimately saving the Biltmore!
 
 
JIM BETTS, BELLEAIR, HIS LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
Here is part of Mr. Betts's excellent letter to the editor to help explain RM-10 and its effect it would have on Belleair:
 
The controversial RM-10 proposal that was introduced for consideration by the Belleair Town Commission a few weeks ago was offered originally to protect the town from being overbuilt. (It would limit residential construction to 10 units per acre.) However, potential developers of the hotel property seized upon the height provision in RM-10 as the necessary authority to build 80-foot-tall condominium buildings — 40 feet above the tree canopy — to provide a view of the water and justify the high-end prices required to make the project profitable.  The developer (my note, the developer is Mike Cheezem) who currently has an option to buy the Biltmore property confirmed, following a recent Town Commission meeting, that he intended to build to the 80-foot height.
 
So, in the end, the choice for the town is relatively simple: a restored hotel or twin towers (to accommodate about 130 condominiums) reaching at least 40 feet above the tree line, shattering forever the park-like atmosphere of the Residential Planned Development.
"The addition of another 160 housing units — the developer plans to build approximately 130 condominiums and 32 townhouses — can only further depress property values in Belleair, certainly in the RPD, and probably in the rest of the town through a domino effect.  As the town's population ages, residents will look for opportunities to downsize in the new development, vacating single-family homes and creating another downward pressure on residential property prices. Adding more residential units to an already depressed market can only have a negative impact on real property values.

"As residents and taxpayers, we should have been more insistent that the town aggressively enforce the specific requirement of the town's Comprehensive Plan: "...to preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel." As our elected representatives, commission members should have been more mindful of that obligation.  In any event, our combined neglect and the present condition of the hotel should not be used as an excuse to avoid the town's duty to preserve the hotel. That obligation is undiminished and ongoing.

"With a fully restored hotel, no one gets hurt and the park-like atmosphere of the RPD would remain intact.

"In the last month, I have knocked on the doors or rung the doorbells of close to 300 Belleair residences and spoken with more than 100 residents. Only two openly opposed the restoration of the hotel. Some made no definitive comment, but a clear majority expressed their support for restoring the Biltmore.  I have not heard a single resident of Belleair express a preference for two high-rise condominium towers stretching well above the tree line on the highest point in the town, over a restored, historic Belleview Biltmore Hotel." 

Jim Betts, Belleair, Florida

BILTMORE SUPPORTER LETTER:  I received an interesting email from a supporter.  He said why not let BBP buy and restore the hotel.  He wrote that even if something falls though with them a few years down the line, the town can always go back and do other options.  But by giving BBP a shot, they will give it one last try with someone who has the money to buy the hotel and make a go of it.

Belleair officials need to say NO to the RM-10 or delay it again thereby encouraging Cheezem to sell to BBP so that the HISTORIC hotel can be saved!   As I wrote before:  Cheezem says he wants to continue his "vision."  Vision?  What vision?  Condo development is a vision?  Who is he kidding!  Since when!? Will history remember condos?  Are the seven condos already around the Biltmore a vision?  Does Belleair ever brag about those?  I never once noticed that.  Cheezem is asking Belleair officials to zone property that is NOT even consistent with its Comprehensive Plan!  He is a real estate developer; he should know better.
 
A restored Belleview Biltmore Hotel by BBP is a vision, that is VISION!  That has community pride! 
 
OLDSMAR, FLORIDA HISTORIC TOUR:  On the front page of the Clearwater and North Pinellas Times on Wednesday February 12, there was a wonderful article by Terri Bryce Reeves with many photos called:  "Tour to show off historic Oldsmar."  Oldsmar, Florida for those out of towners on my mailing list is a small town of around 13,600 people.  One of their City Council members Gabby McGee has purchased a historic 1918 Craftsman bungalow.  This 27-year-old fell in love with the history of the Oldsmar.  Take note Belleair Mayor and commissioners!  So an Oldsmar City Council member is going to conduct a small Oldsmar historic tour and Belleair officials want to destroy their outstanding history of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel!  Will Mayor Katica conduct a tour of their community center or condos to tourists?   I think not!  Congratulations to Oldsmar and Gabby McGee for realizing the importance of history to their town. 
HISTORIC PRESERVATION SUMMIT, PINELLAS COUNTY:  We certainly hope Mayor Katica and Belleair commissioners attended this summit on Wednesday, February 19!  It was at the Largo Historical Society in which Timothy McLendon of the University of Florida Center for Governmental Responsibility and talked about the ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION.  Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice was to provide an update on the County Historic Task Board and introduce the keynote speaker.   We certainly hope both men mentioned the plight of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and how they need to convince Belleair officials to save this hotel!  It seems a total mockery to have this summit in Pinellas County on historic preservation if the Biltmore is going to be destroyed by Belleair officials! 

BILTMORE SUPPORTERS, you can email PINELLAS COUNTY Commissioner Charlie Justice and ask him to speak out and save the Biltmore  cjustice@pinellascounty.org

EMAILS TO BELLEAIR OFFICIALS:  For anyone out of town or unable to come to the Tuesday meeting and wish to write letters to Belleair officials, see bottom of this Update for their eaddresses.  I know that so many of you write and want to help but live too far away to attend meetings.  So if you wish to write letters, feel free, Just remember that if you write a letter, please emphasize that the RM-10 is NOT even consistent with Belleair's Comprehensive Plan and MUST be denied Tuesday, April 15!  However, for the local community you need to come to this meeting and speak AGAINST the RM-10 zoning!

BELLEVIEW BILTMORE ARCHITECT: 

We recently received an email from a Jeffrey Bell.  Francis J. Kennard was the junior architect for the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and is the great grandfather of Mr. Bell, so we want to thank him for taking the time to write us: "Great buildings like this are rare in Florida and should be preserved." Mr. Kennard designed the original Pinellas County Courthouse as well as many other Florida buildings in the Tampa Bay area.  Michael J. Miller was the senior Biltmore architect.   What a wonderful legacy for his family if the Biltmore is saved and restored by another architect, Richard Heisenbottle of Belleview Biltmore Partners.

  Frances J. Kennard, one of two original Belleview Biltmore architects

 

http://savethebiltmore.com/SAVETHEBILTMOREFLYERApril2014.htm  Print and show to friends and neighbors and hang around town!

INFO ABOUT THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL LIEN AND THE BELLEAIR COUNTRY CLUB:  KAWA the Biltmore Hotel owner, wants the Town to release another 2.3 acres from the lien, so they can sell the property to the Belleair Country Club (BCC) to provide additional parking for its members, the majority of whom do not live in Belleair. It would be absurd for the Commission to agree to this demand without at least demanding a percentage equal of the current fine be paid.   

The current amount of the fines owed by KAWA is over $250,000. The 2.3 acres they want to sell to the BCC represents less than 10% of the total 20 acres of hotel property that is still bound by the lien. That means that KAWA should be required to pay money before the Town agrees to release the property from the lien. Until such time that this amount is paid, KAWA should NOT be allowed to sell any of the property to the BCC.

On the other hand, IF KAWA/Cheezem was willing to sell the property to the BBP with the condition that the hotel roof (as well as the rest of the hotel) would be restored, then the Town could be much more forgiving with regard to the lien and fines owed.

To read the entire post on liens and the Belleair Country Club click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BiltmoreUpdateInfoApril2014.htm
 

TUESDAY, APRIL 15.  6:30 P.M. Bring family and friends on April 15 because large numbers count! Organize your neighbors and friends and get going to attend in groups in car loads.   We appreciate anyone speaking out loud and clear at the meeting for up to three minutes on to save the Biltmore by voting no to the RM-10 zoning to help SAVE THE BILTMORE! 

ASK THE COMMISSIONERS ON APRIL 15 TO DENY RM-10 ZONING CHANGES AT THIS TIME!  

Remember that the RM-10 zoning amendment is NOT consistent with Belleair's Comprehensive Plan law!

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

FINAL THOUGHTS:

1.  The question remains now, can the commissioners finally and firmly withstand intense pressure from the condo board leaders and the Belleair Country Club to vote NO on the RM-10 zoning change?  (Remember that it was the condo board leaders who failed to tell their citizens that RM-10 would include 80 foot high condo towers)

2.  Can they do the "right thing" and realize that the RM-10 zoning is NOT even consistent with their Comprehensive Plan, per the Synder case quoted above, to Save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel? 

3.  Can they stand up and show their citizens and the world that they honor and respect all the work and support hundreds of citizens have given over the past ten years to save the hotel?

4.  Can they resist the crowd of nasty naysayers who might show up this April 15 or those working behind the scenes who for some reason want the hotel destroyed even though Belleview Biltmore Partners can now save it?  In other words, can they vote with their conscience and not out of fear this time like they did in February?

5.  Can they give Belleview Biltmore Partners a chance to buy and restore the Biltmore; they never gave up after four years!

6.  Can they, and most importantly, uphold the laws of the land in Belleair, their historic preservation ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan once and for all?

Can Belleair become a TOWN OF ENFORCED LAWS?

 

Sincerely,

 


Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

   

 

 
Biltmore Update Friday, April 4, 2014
 
Dear Biltmore Supporter, News Media and Others
 
While there was a 4-1 vote by the Belleair Mayor and Commissioners this past April 1 to reduce the Biltmore plot size the WONDERFUL news is that Belleview Biltmore Partners STILL want to purchase and renovate the Belleview Biltmore hotel!
 
Commissioner Stephen Fowler was the lone official who wanted the Biltmore property to remain as is, so we thank him for his vote!
 
Now we must turn our attention immediately to the April 15 meeting in which the RM-10 zoning MUST BE DENIED!   The RM-10 zoning would allow the Biltmore to be demolished if Cheezem continues with this contract to buy the hotel and destroy it; condominiums could be built as tall as 80 feet creating more obstructing views for the RPD.  THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN!
 
Please come to the April 15 meeting and ask Belleair officials to DENY the RM-10 zoning.  This is the final reading of this issue, and Belleair officials will take a vote.  What is also SO important is that Belleview Biltmore partners showed the proof of their funding/money to Belleair town officials in a private meeting on April 1, 2014 by showing the paperwork to them.  BBP wishes to purchase the hotel, but to make it possible, it is extremely important that the RM-10 zoning must be DENIED on April 15 by Belleair Commissioners!  So PLEASE come to the April 15 meeting at the town hall! 

So Mayor Katica, the preservationists by the name of Belleview Biltmore Partners HAVE come forward so they now can save Belleair's historic hotel.  You will get your needed tax dollars you want so badly!  So there is absolutely NO need to change to change any zoning at this time!  You can still save Belleair's history and economic growth!

Belleair officials have the authority to vote NO on the April 15 meeting and NOT approve any zoning changes thus saving the Biltmore!!  No matter what you recently read in the newspapers, the hotel can still be restored by Belleview Biltmore Partners!    Show your support and attend this IMPORTANT MEETING to Save the Biltmore.  LAST CHANCE TO SAVE THE BILTMORE! 

Show this flyer below to ten people or hang this flyer up around your community in condominiums, RPD area, retail stores, antique stores, malls, your office, libraries, events, gas stations, restaurants etc.  Bring family and friends!   BE THERE!  Urge and ask Belleair officials to vote "NO" to zoning changes! 

http://savethebiltmore.com/SAVETHEBILTMOREFLYERApril2014.htm

 
BELLEAIR COMMISSION MEETING:    (map below)
Where: Town Hall, 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd. Belleair, Florida,
Date:  Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Time: 6:30 P.M.   
Second reading and final vote of RM10 and discussion of mixed-use zoning option
What to speak about:  Ask officials to vote "NO" on any zoning changes! 

 
 
  
  
Here are some important newspaper quotes in the past from the Tampa Bay Times and the Belleair Bee:
 
Mayor Katica: January 2014
 “We want what is best for the town,” he said. “It would be best if the hotel was restored, .”  Katica
Mayor Katica:  April 2012:    “I am loaded with optimism,” he said. “Richard Heisenbottle is a terrific architect and we have to be 100 percent behind him.”
 
Commissioner Fowler:  January 2014:  “Belleair is not broken,” he said. “We don’t need new laws to fix what we have. I think the town should pursue an injunction to prevent anyone who wants to buy the property to build townhouses on it from doing so.”
 
Commissioner Shelly: 2012  "Then it was the commissioners turn to have their say before the vote. Commissioner Tom Shelly proposed the motion to support the ordinance and grant the tax exemption."  And in 2012 "Commissioner Tom Shelly said he also plans to support the extension because he thinks the majority of Belleair residents, about 90 percent, are in favor of preserving the Biltmore."   By the way Commissioner Shelly was married in the Biltmore, and I wrote him that one day I hope and his wife can celebrate a wedding anniversary at the renovated hotel! 
 
Commissioner Wilkinson:  February 2014 “I have lived here for 20 years, and I truly believe the hotel is what would be best for the town,” he said.  
 
Commissioner Piccaretto:  I could not find any specific comments by him in the newspaper media. If he suports the saving of the hotel, he is certainly welcome to write me, and I will quote him before the April 15 meeting.
 
Richard Heisenbottle of Belleview Biltmore Partners and preservation architect:  January 2014 “There’s no question in my mind that this building is not in the state of deterioration where you can truly say that this building cannot be restored,” Heisenbottle said. “It definitely can be restored.”
 
VCU STUDY FINDS HISTORIC PRESERVATION CONTRIBUTES TO VIRGINIA'S ECONOMY BY UPWARDS OF $3.9 BILLION.  A thank you to Jason Aquilar for this link:  preservationvirginia.org/press-room/release/vcu-study-finds-historic-preservation-contributes-to-virginias-economy-by-u 
EMAIL EXCHANGE
 
To clarify a matter:  I received an email from Tom duPont, Belleair resident, so I thank him for writing and clarifying matters. His online bio for the company where he is on the board of directors originally stated that he was president of the Belleair Country Club, which is where I had received my original information for my Update this past week. He emailed me that he changed his online bio to reflect that he is PAST president of the Belleair Country Club.   Mr. duPont also wrote me that he was not interested in Jim White's job so I want to mention that also.   Mr. duPont has unfortunately made many statements at the Commission meetings that he wants condos to be built and the Biltmore demolished.   These statements have been reported in the newspapers. The underlying reason overall was that he states was because the Biltmore not been repaired since it closed in 2009.  (The reason as we all know unfortunately  "demolition by neglect" has not been fully enforced.)  Mr. duPont writes he does not wish to run the town of Belleair, but let us all remember that he is a very influential man in this town wanting the demolition of the Belleview Biltmore!  He unfortunately speaks out at Commission meetings to this regard with passion. He cheered at the end of the April 1 meeting when the plot size of the Biltmore property took place so we know where he stands on this issue.  As I recently wrote, the board of the Belleair Country Club or perhaps the management of the Country Club sent out memos to their members.  These memos unfortunately had NO signature on them, and they encouraged the plot size reduction of the hotel property, which we did not want to see happen.
 
I do hope now that now after Belleview Biltmore Partners has showed their proof of funding to Belleair officials on April 1, that Mr. duPont will now support the SAVING of the historic Belleview Biltmore Hotel since as Mayor Katica has stated over and, this is the best choice for Belleair.
 
EMAILS TO THE MAYOR AND COMMISSIONERS:  I feel it is so important for people to ATTEND the commission meetings and express their support in place of emails.  If you live out of town and still wish to write them, however, a list of their e addresses are at the very bottom of this Update. 
 
MY EMAIL EXCHANGE WITH JIM WHITE, PRESIDENT OF THE RPD: (Condo area around the Biltmore)
Some Biltmore supporters who live in the RPD area have written me that
1.  Either they were not contacted personally through the mail about their opinions on the RM-10 matter or not even contacted at all in any manner whether the hotel should be saved or not, or
2. Some say that they were not informed that 80-foot tall condos could be built if the Biltmore were destroyed. 
3. Some never heard about Micah Maxwell's meetings for RPD members.
So a fair vote with an actual ballot was not done on EVERYONE in the RPD to see if they wanted the hotel to remain or not!   Then the board directors of the condos somehow miraculously came to the opinion and the vote that people in the RPD wanted the RM-10 zoning to take place, thus allowing Cheezem to destroy the hotel and build condos as tall as 80 feet!  Obstructing the RPD view even more.  
 
I emailed Jim White if he could take charge of polling EVERYONE in the condos and RPD because
1.  Either no one or very few citizens were told that 80-foot tall obstructing condos could be built 
2.  Belleview Biltmore Partners NOW have the proper funding and PROOF that they have the money to buy and renovate the hotel!  These two factors COMPLETELY change everything!  The RPD residents should ALL be allowed to vote in a proper DEMOCRATIC MANNER.  However the board of directors of the RPD were not interested in doing this!  I find it shameful that the other directors do not want to be bothered redoing a more accurate vote.  So many RPD people have expressed the fact that they were not properly heard and are quite angry but do not know how to change the situation which is a sad commentary of how the RPD is governed. Mr. White wrote me this today:
 
Diane,
   With 90% responses in.  No Board Member, thus far, wants to have a Special Meeting to reconsider the Board's Position on RM-10.
 
Jim White
 
Here is my letter back to Mr. White:
 
Hi Jim,
 
I am sorry to hear this, and I would think you are terribly disappointed also to not have all RPD citizens recontacted on all this new information they did not have in the first place. 
 
I keep seeing democracy being chipped away more and more in Belleair, and it is a frightening commentary on the way local government operates. 
 
With a restored Biltmore, the RPD would have wonderful places to go right in their own gated community, restaurants they could dine at, shops to go to, gardens to walk through, hold parties and weddings and events there, and have their friends and relatives stay at the Biltmore if they come to visit.  All this would be taken away from all these RPD people if condos were built, and they would have to mainly go outside Belleair to do all these things.   It just makes more sense to keep all this wonderful activity inside your gated community for social and economic reasons.   And of course the Mayor and Commissioners would have a show piece where they can bring guests, hold meetings, dinners etc. rather than have other people's money go outside of Belleair.
 
You probably know a lot of RPD people (obviously!) and for those who support the hotel, I hope you encourage them to attend the April 15 meeting, where then and there they can be truly be heard.
 
Thanks again.
 
Diane
 
I would like to add readers that Jim White was originally for the saving of the hotel, but delays caused him to change his mind.  With all this new information, and the fact that BBP has proven their financial paperwork to Belleair officials, I hope that he personally can again throw his support behind the saving of the hotel and the denial of RM-10 on April 15.
 
RESTORATION OF THE BILTMORE
We are concerned over the naysayers saying inaccurate things like the hotel can not be restored.  The people who generally say this are only influenced by the tragic media photos that are sensationalizing the plight of the Biltmore over and over and over again.  As a result citizens think the worse.  Also people shockingly have no idea it seems that a roof can be replaced or fences repaired or grass cut or mold cleaned away!!  Are some of these people not homeowners who are faced with home repairs over the years who have to take care of many of these conditions over time!
 
ANOTHER RENDITION OF THE FUTURE SWIMMING POOL OF THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE:
 
For those of you who like myself and my late husband and vice president of our nonprofit, Ed Jameson, were able to dine in the beautiful area in front of the swimming pool, I hope this rendition brings back wonderful memories for you.  With this area open to the public, the RPD, all of Belleair, tourists and foreigners can enjoy this special historic atmosphere in the fresh air and have a delightful dining experience once the hotel is purchased and renovated.  
 
FINAL THOUGHTS
Print out the flyer, hang it everywhere, hand to everyone!  Get out and Save the Biltmore by asking the Commissioners to vote NO on the RM-10 zoning issue!  Plan ahead and be there on April 15!
 
Let's SAVE THE QUEEN and treasure her history and magnificence forever!
 
ASK THE COMMISSIONERS ON APRIL 15 TO DENY ANY ZONING CHANGES AT THIS TIME!
 
Sincerely,

 


Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 
 
Mayor Gary Katica, Commissioners Stephen Fowler, Tom Shelly, Kevin Piccarreto and Michael Wilkinson and Town Manager, Micah Maxwell

gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net,tshelly@townofbelleair.net,kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,mimaxwel@tampabay.rr.com 

 

 
 
 
Biltmore Update Tuesday, April 1, 2014
 
Dear Biltmore Supporter, News Media and Others:
 
This is a just an urgent and friendly reminder to PLEASE attend the workshop commission meeting TONIGHT AT 5:30 p.m.
 
Even with the good news that Belleview Biltmore Partners has succeeded in finding funding for the purchase and renovation of the Biltmore, Mike Cheezem still has a contract out on the hotel to purchase and destroy it!  He "says" he will save part, but from what Belleair citizens write me, he keeps changing his mind about what he will save, so there is no trust here on what he says at all!  I keep hearing that he will tear it all down, and we MUST NOT let that happen to the historic Queen! 
 
Thank you for all your emails you wrote recently.  One question I received over and over are what are the names of the three partners in BBP. Here they are:  Richard Heisenbottle (preservation architect), Gary Rosenberg, partner and Charles Kropke, partner.  It is Mr. Heisenbottle's beautiful drawings in the last Update showing his renovation plans for the Biltmore.  They are the same ones when Legg Mason had hired him back in 2007.
 
There is a correction from my Sunday Update.  Chris Renfro is the President of the Belleair Country Club.   I will give other information about Tom duPont in another Update.  I also be discussing how the RM-10 voting by the RPD came out and what Belleair residents feel about this so stay tuned!
 
Please note that NONE of the recent emails sent out by the Belleair Country Club say who wrote them most unfortunately.   A mystery writer perhaps!?   Please note that when the Country Club sent out recent notices for their members, it certainly seems it has "board" approval for doing so.  Unless I hear from them, from now on I will say the board of the Belleair Country Club sends out these emails since I like to think there is board approval on them!  They are welcome to write me if some other entity sends them out! 
 
For the record, I will always give my name, Diane Hein, and title, President of Save the Biltmore Preservationists, on my Biltmore Updates at the end!  Why can't they?
 
By the way, I looked around the Belleair Country Club's online web site, and no where could I find the president's name or other board members!  At least as of today, perhaps they may add them after this Update?  Only staff names are listed.
 
Also on the history of the Belleair Country Club on its history of the golf course, they do mention Henry B. Plant's name (he built the Biltmore back in 1896) but NOWHERE does it include the Belleview Biltmore Hotel name which is PART of the history of the Belleair Country Club's golf course!   Perhaps this explains why they (the board) do not care ripping up part of the Biltmore property.   It is as if they want to make the hotel invisible on their web site to others around the country like it did not exist!  When Henry B. Plant built the Biltmore he built TWO golf courses!  One eventually was named the Pelican or Belleview Biltmore Golf Club and the other the Belleair Country Club.  So to deny the Biltmore as part of its history is a most unfortunate commentary on the club, which is LOCATION IN Belleair right by the Biltmore!
 
BELLEAR TOWN HALL  (Town Hall map is below)
Tuesday, April 1, 2014     TONIGHT!!
Time:  5:30 P.M.  
A second reading for reduction of plot size of the Belleview Biltmore property
A final vote will be taken UNLESS YOU COME OUT TO DISCOURAGE THIS REDUCTION!
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Belleair, Florida
Map to Belleair town hall:
 
 
FINAL THOUGHTS:
Please attend the Belleair town hall meeting on April 1st 
TONIGHT at 5:30 p.m. and speak out to discourage the Biltmore plot size reduction   The beautiful green space MUST be preserved for the hotel restoration, not a Country Club parking lot! 

Bring family and friends because as you can see by the February 4 meeting, large numbers count! Organize your neighbors and friends and get going to attend in groups in car loads.   We appreciate anyone speaking out loud and clear at the meeting for up to three minutes to avoid plot size reduction to keep the beauty around the hotel for BBP's renovation plans. 

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! 

Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FACEBOOK:     Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  3468
 

If for any reason you wish to email the Mayor and Commissioners, here are their eaddresses.  But it is more important to attend the meetings rather than send support letters any more!

gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net,tshelly@townofbelleair.net,kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,mimaxwel@tampabay.rr.com 

 
 
 http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreMemberships.htm
 
 http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm
 
 http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreDonations.htm
 
 
 

EXCITING PRESS RELEASE AND BILTMORE UPDATE, Monday March 31, 2014

 
Press Release and Biltmore Update, Monday, March 31, 2014
 
Dear Biltmore Supporter, News Media and Others:
 
We have an EXCITING press release from Bay Proby who represents Belleview Biltmore Partners, the firm who has been trying to purchase and renovate the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.   For everyone who said it could not be done for BBP to raise the money to buy the hotel, THEY HAVE DONE IT! Please read the press release and remember to come to the April 1 tomorrow and April 15 meetings at the town hall! 
 
Dear Mayor Katica and Commissioners:  There is absolutely NO need to change reduce the plot size or change the zoning now!

 

13221 Southwest 69th Court, Suite 200, Miami, FL 33156

Telephone: (305) 251-3671 Cell (305) 613-4668

bp@probypr.com www.probypr.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT BAY PROBY

305-613-4668

bp@probypr.com

BELLEVIEW BILTMORE PARTNERS OBTAINS FUNDING

TO PURCHASE AND RESTORE THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE RESORT

Key Step Toward Restoration of Historic Hotel Property

BELLEAIR, FL – March 31, 2014 -- Belleview Biltmore Partners, LLC (BBP) today announced it has secured a funding commitment to purchase and renovate the historic Belleview Biltmore Resort and Spa, and purchase the Biltmore Golf Course currently owned by the Town of Belleair. 

"Restoration of one of America's landmark vintage resorts would be a great step forward for the entire community, and bring an end to the division among town residents that has lasted for too long," said Gary Rosenberg managing member of BBP. "Resolving the future of the Belleview Biltmore will also provide a clear path to the future for the Town of Belleair and help restore its tax base."

Rosenberg said the funding commitment from a private equity source would allow BBP to close on one or both transactions within 30 to 45 days, provided agreements can be reached with the Town of Belleair and St. Petersburg developer, Michael Cheezem, who currently holds a contract to purchase the hotel site. "We plan to reach out immediately to Mr. Cheezem and town officials to see if we can reach a win-win agreement for all parties," Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg, a veteran hospitality professional who has been involved with more than 25 hotel transactions, was instrumental in the direction and restoration of The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, a small community similar to the Town of Belleair. The significant impact and financial contributions to the Hot Springs community was immeasurable.

"When pioneer railroad magnate Henry Plant chose to build the Belleview Biltmore on this bluff in 1895, he laid the foundation for the Town of Belleair," said Rosenberg. "Since then, the hotel has been the centerpiece of the community, and we are dedicated to preserving the past in order to help secure the town's future.”   

In keeping with that commitment, Rosenberg said BBP will work with the town and Belleair Country Club to resolve the club's parking issue without subdividing the hotel property. "As a good neighbor, we will work closely with the club and the town to find the right solution," he added.

A RESTORED BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL, THAT is a VISION FOR BELLEAR!   That has community pride!

  

Here is a quote from the Tampa Bay Times from February 18th:

"Wilkinson echoed Mayor Gary Katica's statements that a full hotel restoration is preferred.  Even if the new zoning options pass, he noted, a preservationist could still come forward to purchase the hotel." 

Well Mayor Katica, the preservationists by the name of Belleview Biltmore Partners HAVE come forward so they now can save Belleair's historic hotel.  You will get your needed tax dollars you want so badly!  So there is absolutely NO need to change to change any zoning at this time!

BELLEAR TOWN HALL  (Town Hall map is below)
Tuesday, April 1, 2014    
Time:  5:30 P.M.  
A second reading for reduction of plot size of the Belleview Biltmore property
A final vote will be taken UNLESS YOU COME OUT TO DISCOURAGE THIS REDUCTION!
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Belleair, Florida

AND


Tuesday, April 15, 2014    
Time:  6:30 P.M.  
A second reading of RM-10 and discussion of mixed-use zoning option
A final vote will be taken UNLESS you come out to delay the RM-10 zoning for six months!
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Belleair, Florida

Map to Belleair town hall:

 
 
FINAL THOUGHTS:
Even with this absolutely wonderful news that BBP has the funding to purchase the Biltmore, the only thing that matters NOW is for
all of the local community to attend the Belleair town hall meeting on April 1st  in mass and discourage the Biltmore plot size reduction and delay the RM-10 zoning change for six months just like the January 21 vote.  The beautiful green space MUST be preserved for the hotel restoration, not a Country Club parking lot! 

Then come again on April 15 to be sure the zoning is NOT changed!  We must have Cheezem leave Belleair so BBP can save and renovate the Biltmore now that they have the funding!

Bring family and friends because as you can see by the February 4 meeting, large numbers count! Organize your neighbors and friends and get going to attend in groups in car loads.   We appreciate anyone speaking out loud and clear at the meeting for up to three minutes on these topics to save the Biltmore by delaying the RM-10 zoning for six months and avoiding plot size reduction to keep the beauty around the hotel. 

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! 

And now that BBP has obtained the funding, we can all help them save the hotel by showing our enthusiasm at the town council meetings for the beautiful and historic White Queen of the Gulf!  BE THERE!

CONVINCE THESE COMMISSIONERS TO NOT REDUCE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE PROPERTY!

CONVINCE THESE COMMISSIONERS TO KEEP THEIR WORD AND THEIR VOTE FROM JANUARY 21ST!

CONVINCE THE COMMISSIONERS TO DELAY THE RM-10 ZONING FOR SIX MONTHS!

 
Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreMemberships.htm

http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm

http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreDonations.htm

 

If for any reason you wish to email the Mayor and Commissioners, here are their eaddresses.  But it is more important to attend the meetings rather than send support letters any more!

gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net,tshelly@townofbelleair.net,kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,mimaxwel@tampabay.rr.com 

Urgent Meetings!  Biltmore Update, Sunday March 31, 2014

 
 
Biltmore Update, Sunday March 30, 2014

Dear News Media, Biltmore supporters and others:
 
There are two extremely important meetings THAT BILTMORE SUPPORTERS NEED TO ATTEND coming up in regards to the FUTURE OF THE Belleview Biltmore Hotel. 

This information is from Micah Maxwell, Town Manager of Belleair who wrote me on Friday March 28:
 
"The second reading of the ordinance on the hotel lot size is April 1, the second reading of the ordinance on RM-10 is April 15, the discussion of mixed use is April 15."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014    
Time:  5:30 P.M. 
Belleair Town Hall, 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Belleair

Tuesday, April 15, 2014    
Time:  6:30 P.M. 
Belleair Town Hall, 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Belleair

"The Belleview Biltmore is part of Belleair's identity and should be cherished." 
Quote by Gary Katica, February, 2005.  He ran on a platform stating he supports saving the Belleview Biltmore, as a candidate for Mayor of Belleair.   He wants the Biltmore demolished now, so why is he still Mayor?

To refresh everyone's memory, on January 21, 2014, when the RM-10 zoning was first discussed, approximately 200 people turned out most in support of the hotel, and the RPD (Residential Planned Development or "condo people" were NOT even there in force to hear the discussion. Then a vote of 3-2 was taken in favor of delaying the zoning change for six months. By voting to delay the RM-10 zoning, we had hoped Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities would change his mind on demolishing the Biltmore, building condos, and either let the contract expire or sell to someone else who would save the hotel:  the preservation architect who wants to STILL buy and renovate the Biltmore.
 
However this 3-2 vote on January 21 upset Belleair resident and Belleair Country Club president Tom duPont who then organized the RPD to protest in mass on February 4.  There never was any straw poll done of Belleair citizens or a referendum to see just how many people outside the RPD wanted the hotel to be saved.  The commissioners only changed their minds on the RM-10 zoning because approximately 100 RPD people organized by Tom duPont via RPD email lists and close contact with all the condos into a very intimidating group, filled with hostility and anger on February 4.      
 
The RPD intimidated the Mayor and four Commissioners when Tom duPont asked the RPD people to stand up when the meeting started, and they acted in a very angry manner. What is most unfortunate are that many of the RPD are "snowbirds" and do not even live in Belleair half the year and are not even registered to vote in Florida!  And yet some of them came to the meeting in protest. So the 3-2 vote to delay the RM-10 zoning from January 21 was reversed that night.

The zoning was reversed by a very undemocratic process on February 4:    through anger and intimidation!   

Commission meetings are not like court-room procedings where there is order and respect.  In Belleair and across the country, commission meetings are filled with anger, outbursts, belligerence, unfairness, rudeness and intimidation on many levels.  So this is how small town governments are run across America:  disorganized chaos.   All this was seen at the February 4 meeting, and yet with all this controversy over saving the hotel, Belleair officials refuse to take any kind of straw poll or referendum with its citizens on the hotel even after ten years!  Is democracy dead in Belleair in regards to the Biltmore?
 
Just recently on March 25th, the mayor and commissioners voted 4-1 at this first reading to allow the RM-10 zoning to proceed!!   The second reading will be April 15th.  A vote will be taken at that time unless YOU, our precious Biltmore supporter come to this meeting to stop this RM-10 zoning change and delay it for six months like the Commissioners originally voted January 21st!
 
Unfortunately on February 4, the commissioners yielded due to extreme pressure by this highly intimidating group that night.    It has been appalling that such unruliness was allowed by Belleair officials and by a group of people who never attended the January 21 meeting in the first place and who may not even live year round by the hotel!    Some supporters of the Belleview Biltmore were not even allowed to speak.  One was interrupted during her allowed time allotment and told to go sit down!
 
So the turn of events can be attributed to Tom duPont as well as Mayor Katica who failed to enforce the "demolition by neglect" aspect of the preservation ordinance.  The unfortunate situation is that this Tom duPont, also president of the Belleair Country Club, basically runs Belleair now!  He can organize masses of people quickly and can assemble people quickly.  They can attend the commission meetings, act intimidating and cause fear among Town Council about their future political careers by voting them out.   So instead of the Mayor and Commissioners standing STRONG and adhering to their oath of office, they are not in charge of Belleair anymore.  It appears that Tom duPont is the leader!   
 
Then compounding this issue is the Belleair Country Club led by this same man, Tom duPont, president, who with a flick of an email "send" button not only can contact the RPD condo people via RPD email lists but also mobilize his 400 members to come out in force to the commission meetings to break up two acreas of Belleview Biltmore property!   And many Country Club members are not even citizens of Belleair!   So they too are secondarily running Belleair now instead of the commissioners!  The Belleair Country Club wants to purchase a little over two acres of the Belleview Biltmore property for an unsightly parking lot even though they could do other construction.  By losing this acreage, the hotel will lose its ambiance.  A part of the historic hotel's draw is its ability to surround itself with gardens that shield it from surrounding buildings.  The area is better served as a garden, green space or other object of beauty.  The Country Club could instead build a second level parking  area on its existing parking lot.  Why are these options not considered seriously?  Because the Country Club led by Tom duPont rule Belleair now!
 
So you see, to the Mayor and Commissioners, it doesn't matter that HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of Biltmore supporters have come out over the past ten years or written dozens and dozens of  support letters for saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel the past ten years.  All that matters is how many people attend the town commission meetings, how angry they get and how they can influence the political futures of Belleair Commissioners. That is what Belleair officials are listening to and changing their vote and not enforcing their own historic preservation ordinance and Comprehensive Plan!
 
We have all heard the expression "the squeakiest wheel gets the oil."  Well in this case the more forceful and intimidating group led by Tom duPont gets their way:   the demolition of the beautiful and historic Belleview Biltmore Hotel.   Unless of course you stop him and come out on April 15 to the second reading of the RM-10 zoning and convince them otherwise!

There is also another important figure in all of this and that is Jim White who is president of the Residential Planned Development or Homeowners Association.  (condos and area around the Biltmore)  He complained over the years about the condition of the hotel, yet accomplished nothing to this regard but then eventually took a vote among the area he governs, and it was decided to vote FOR the RM-10 changes.   So he also speaks out at the meetings in favor of the RM-10 unfortunately.  He says he supports saving the hotel and yet does nothing to encourage saving it at this point by encouraging delaying the RM-10 vote for six months!  He cares about continuing to be RPD president, that is his concern now.  I have heard that Tom duPont would like to be RPD president again, so Jim White had better watch his back!

If you think there is a democracy left in Belleair, think again.   A straw poll or referendum was never taken to see what other citizens in Belleair wanted in regards to the Biltmore.  With all the controversy now after ten years of trying to save the hotel, town officials have made no attempt to ask everyone in Belleair what do do!  I guess that would take too much effort?   All that matters to town officials is the intimidation and fear factor at commission meetings and their future political careers.   And in Belleair so many people in the condos are snowbirds that do not live there full time and many members of the Country Club are not voting citizens. 
 
The results of the February 4 meeting showed that what matters to the Mayor and Commissioners is how many people turn out at a meeting and how intimidating and angry they can be.   

THE MAYOR AND COMMISSIONERS STILL HAVE THE POWER TO DENY ANY DEMOLITION PERMIT OF THE HOTEL.  BUT WILL THEY?  It is up to YOU, the Biltmore Supporter.  We need every one of YOU to attend the meeting on Tuesday April 1 and Tuesday, April 15th to show that all of you want the Biltmore SAVED by saying NO to plot size reduction and by delaying the RM-10 zoning like the commissioners did January 21.

It is important for town officials to follow the HISTORIC PRESERVATION ORDINANCE.  It could take up to two years to change Belleair's Comprehensive Plan.  This would allow public meetings with supporter’s viewpoints before any demolition can occur. The hotel can still be saved if the Mayor and Commissioners would enforce their own two laws which they have sworn to uphold when they took office, and if people continue to support the hotel.   The Biltmore has only been closed  five years, whereas, the Vinoy, St. Petersburg's iconic pink palace, was in horrible condition and was closed a long 18 years before it was restored successfully.    

Remember that Legg Mason bought the Biltmore back in 2007 with the full intention of restoring it.  That means they were going to spend about $200 million for restoration.  Because of frivolous lawsuits taken out by three Belleair residents compounded by the 2008 recession, they lost the mortgage.  The point I am making is that Legg Mason was going to spend this huge amount of money to restore the hotel.  Their architect who designed new renovation plans (shown below) stepped in to try to save it.  They have partnered with a new man to help raise money to purchase it so the town needs to allow them a little more time to do so.  That's why delaying the RM-10 zoning is so important.  With so much controversy over the hotel, the Mayor and Commissioners can not wait just another six months?  Surely something is wrong with this picture!  The problem are the new Belleair rulers: Tom duPont and Jim White!

We feel that Mayor Katica failed to uphold Belleair's HISTORIC PRESERVATION ORDINANCE in regards to the section on "demolition by neglect" because he did NOTHING to enforce it.  Then he says it's time to move on and it's too late, when it is not too late!   He is the one responsible for letting the hotel to deteriorate in the first place.  However, preservation developers have assured us over and over again that the hotel still can be restored and renovated.  We need to have citizens demanding of the Mayor and Commissioners that the hotel CAN be saved now and they should do something about this IMMEDIATELY!

All the commissioners need to do is delay any zoning changes on April 15th for six months and deny any demolition permit in the future.   This will discourage Mike Cheezem so he would sell his contract to preservation developers who will then purchase the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and save it. 
 
By the way only around 20 RPD people showed up at Mike Cheezem's presentation on Monday March 24 to answer questions and show his "vision"!  This is out of some 800 condo people. You can tell how UNEXCITED those people are about Cheezem's  condo development!  What a laughing stock of a turnout for condo development!   A total mockery of Cheezem's so-called "vision."   I was informed that he "tapped danced" around questions, so what was he hiding?

Our nonprofit organization and Belleair supporters have been working to save the hotel for ten years, and it is NOT possible to get 100 or 200 supporters out for every Biltmore meeting for this length of time.  We wish!  There is no way Mr. duPont would be able to mobilize his group for ten years either and get 100 people to turn out over and over and over again.  And yet Belleair town officials are bowing to him because of just a few emails he wrote to his members!!

Belleair officials need to IMMEDIATELY delay any zoning changes that would allow condo development!  They need to encourage Cheezem to sell to a preservation developer so that their HISTORIC hotel can be saved!   Cheezem says he wants to continue his "vision."  Vision?  What vision?  Condo development is a vision?  Who is he kidding!   Since when!? Will history remember condos?   Are the seven condos already around the Biltmore a vision?   Does Belleair ever brag about those ugly tall towers?   I never once heard that in the ten years I have been involved.   
 
A RESTORED BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL, THAT is a VISION!   That has community pride!

 
Will Belleair be hanging photos of new condos in their town hall meeting room and taking their photos of the Biltmore down?  Belleair does not even have photos of their seven ugly condos in their town hall meeting room!
 
We need Pinellas County Commissioners to urge Belleair officials to save the Biltmore.  Saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel is a COUNTY issue as well as a Belleair issue! But where are they?  Town officials are paid to enforce their laws! 

If zoning changes are allowed right now, Cheezem may wind up building tall 8 story 80 foot high condos in place of the Biltmore, through demolition of OUR beautiful hotel!  Then Belleair will turn into a retirement community instead of the family oriented lovely town it is today.  There will be over 900 condos and only 1363 family residences!  For those who live in the area, you can see what happened over in Clearwater Beach, a concrete condo canyon.

By the way, NONE of the Belleair officials live in the gated Biltmore community so why would they care what if 80 foot ugly tall condos are built there?

With all the issues lately surrounding the Biltmore, it is like a group of vultures are swooping down on our historic Queen and picking her apart, YOU must stop this feast of corruption!

Has ANYONE ever seen a history book honoring the memory of demolished condos!  Below is the condo "vision" thus far in Belleair and after that these are the beautiful renderings of a developer's vision of the Biltmore. Is there any comparison?

Currently seven ugly condo "vision" and Belleair officials want more of this?

 

Restoration of the Biltmore, Belleair needs THIS below!

 

 

RECALL/IMPEACHMENT:  If Belleair's elected officials do not enforce their laws, some Belleair citizens can start a recall (impeachment) process on them and then they should re-elect people who will enforce the historic preservation ordinance and Comprehensive Plan!

ED ARMSTRONG:  Here are some interesting facts about attorney ED ARMSTRONG
He is the attorney for  KAWA, THE HOTEL OWNER
He is the attorney for  MIKE CHEEZEM, THE DEVELOPER WHO WANTS TO DESTROY THE HOTEL
He is the attorney for  BELLEAIR COUNTRY CLUB WHO WANTS TO CHOP UP HOTEL PROPERTY (he is also is a Country Club member!)
He is the attorney for  SCIENTOLOGY.
He is the attorney for  TAMPA BAY TIMES who has published two editorials of theirs suggesting the Biltmore be demolished!  The Times could make more money with newspaper advertising by Cheezem.
He is the attorney who helped create the CONTROVERSIAL RM-10 ZONING which sets the stage for the demolition of the Biltmore!

A tangled web!

THANK YOU: I want to thank all those supporters who wrote letters to the Mayor and Commission recently and over the years.  They were wonderful to read, and I have posted them to our Message Board.  But if you live locally, PLEASE attend the meetings below to be heard!

IMPORTANT MEETINGS APRIL 1 AND APRIL 15

BELLEAR TOWN HALL  (Town Hall map is below)
Tuesday, April 1, 2014    
Time:  5:30 P.M.  
A second reading for reduction of plot size of the Belleview Biltmore property
A final vote will be taken UNLESS YOU COME OUT TO DISCOURAGE THIS REDUCTION!
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Belleair, Florida

AND


Tuesday, April 15, 2014    
Time:  6:30 P.M.  
A second reading of RM-10 and discussion of mixed-use zoning option
A final vote will be taken UNLESS you come out to delay the RM-10 zoning for six months!
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Belleair, Florida

Map to Belleair town hall:

FINAL THOUGHTS:
The only thing that matters NOW is for all of the local community to attend the Belleair town hall meeting on April 1st  and especially the April 15th meeting in mass and discourage the Biltmore plot size reduction and delay the RM-10 zoning change for six months just like the January 21 vote.  Bring family and friends because as you can see by the February 4 meeting, large numbers count! Organize your neighbors and friends and get going to attend in groups in car loads.   We appreciate anyone speaking out loud and clear at the meeting for up to three minutes on these topics to save the Biltmore by delaying the RM-10 zoning for six months and avoiding plot size reduction to keep the beauty around the hotel.  YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

CONVINCE THESE COMMISSIONERS TO NOT REDUCE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE PROPERTY!

CONVINCE THESE COMMISSIONERS TO KEEP THEIR WORD AND THEIR VOTE FROM JANUARY 21ST!

CONVINCE THE COMMISSIONERS TO DELAY THE RM-10 ZONING FOR SIX MONTHS!

Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 

If for any reason you wish to email the Mayor and Commissioners, here are their eaddresses.  But it is more important to attend the meetings rather than send support letters any more!

gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net,tshelly@townofbelleair.net,kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,mimaxwel@tampabay.rr.com 

 
 
 

Save the Biltmore Update, Sunday, February 16, 2014  (due to illness this Update was unfortunately never sent, but we wanted to include it for the reader to see.)

 
 

Save the Biltmore Update, Sunday, February 16, 2014

To Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others:

MEETING RESULTS:  To refresh everyone's memory, on January 21, Commissioners Steve Fowler, Tom Shelly, and Mike Wilkinson voted to DELAY the RM-10 zoning issue which would allow condos and townhomes to be built where the Biltmore now stands!   This was great news. However due to EXTREME pressure from the RPD (Residential Planned Development, which are the condos and homes around the Biltmore) in which about 100 RPD people stood up at the meeting, these three Commissioners failed to uphold this delay vote at the February 4th meeting!  Now the RM-10 issue or another mixed use zoning issue is again going to be brought up on February 18th!  

We obviously are extremely disappointed with this outrageous decision since the RPD represents such a SMALL area in Belleair.  But the RPD accomplished what they wanted through organization, size and physical intimidation!  I hope that everyone realizes that Belleair officials have honored these 100 sore losers who never showed up on January 21 in the first place.  Our Biltmore supporters should be outraged at their decision!

gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net,tshelly@townofbelleair.net kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net,mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,

So this is what it takes to change a vote in Belleair:  get an angry crowd together and instill physical intimidation into officials, maybe fearing for their safety, by these 100 angry "condo" people ALL standing up at the beginning of the meeting and there are only five officials sitting down!? 

Belleair officials by changing their minds at this meeting have just honored people who may not even be registered to vote in Florida.

Belleair officials have just honored these people who may live here only part of the year!

Belleair officials have just honored these people who never showed up at the January 21st meeting!

Belleair officials have just honored these people who are sore losers!

Would Belleair officials have continued with upholding their original January 21st decision to delay the RM-10 issue for six months had they had armed guards by their sides and been behind glass on February 4th?  Is this what it would take in Belleair for officials to peacefully to enforce their own Comprehensive Plan and historic preservation ordinance!?  They are reversing their January 21st decision because of these 100 angry standing, physically intimidating people!   

Is there a democracy in Belleair or is Belleair run now by angry people who represent such a small number in Belleair?  So many of these RPD residents are seasonal and are not even registered to vote in Florida, and yet they stand up for changing the zoning, which could result in the demolition of the Biltmore, when half the year they do not even live in Belleair!  Preposterous.

Belleair officials needed to stand up and refuse to change their January 21st vote because the RPD was NOT not even there during the first discussion! 

So are we as Biltmore supporters to come up with 101 angry people standing in front of these sitting officials and then we win to delay the zoning because we outnumber the bad guys by one standing person!?  How ridiculous but that is the interpretation Belleair officials are giving to the community! 

I am not sure what is worse, Belleair officials flip flopping on their vote or 100 pitiful sore losers.

And where were these people January 21 when the Mayor and Commissioners were listening to discussion and then taking a vote on the RM-10 zoning issue?  Why were they not attending then?  So they were sore losers and then had to round themselves up and come at a time when they knew supporters would not be there in mass?  And then physically intimidate the officials? 

Are Belleair officials going to do a head count as to which side has the most people Tuesday night?  What about the people who are unable to attend that night, where is their vote?  The whole idea is totally ridiculous!

See how ludicrous this gets considering that there are TWO LAWS in Belleair to protect the hotel!

These laws are designed to save the hotel and which the officials have taken an oath to uphold.  Yet because of this group of 100 standing angry people, the three commissioners reversed their vote to delay zoning changes as if their historic preservation ordinance and Comprehensive Plan do not even exist!  Obviously the RPD does not care that their officials could begin to break their law or simply are unaware of these two powerful Belleair laws.  Either way, the angry crowd ruled over elected officials February 4th by PHYSICAL INTIMIDATION!   Two of the three commissioners are up for re-election in 2015, so Belleair citizens must remember this when voting at that time!  If they fail to delay the zoning Tuesday night, VOTE THEM OUT!

Pinellas County commissioners are on this mailing list, help Belleair keep their hotel in a legal manner!

We urge EVERYONE both in and out of Belleair to attend this extremely CRITICAL meeting on February 18 to again ask the commission to DELAY the RM-10 or any rezoning issue for six months.  The idea is to stand firm on NO ZONING CHANGES now in order to force Mike Cheezem and JMC Communities to sell its contract to a preservation developer so the hotel can be saved!  If zoning changes are allowed right now, Cheezem may wind up building tall high-end condos in place of the Biltmore through demolition of this beautiful hotel!  Then Belleair will turn into a retirement community instead of the family oriented lovely town it is today.   There will be over 900 condos and only 1363  family units!  For those who live in the area, you can see what happened over in Clearwater Beach, a concrete condo canyon.

Belleair officials MUST resist this pressure from just a small part of their town!  They must stand up to them and enforce their own laws to SAVE THE BILTMORE!  Just because 100 people stand up acting angry as they did on February 4th, does not mean these people rule the town!  There are almost 4,000 people living in Belleair, and these people must be taken into consideration!  Is rule by the RPD overtaking Belleair, I hope not but it appears so!

The town officials MUST enforce their own historic preservation ordinance and Comprehensive Plan to save the Biltmore and allow a preservation type developer to purchase Cheezem's contract and save the Biltmore!

The Belleair Country Club just sent out a notice to THEIR members to urge them to come to the meeting to change the zoning so they can purchase two acres of the Biltmore Hotel property for parking space!  If two acres are chopped off Biltmore property, we believe that any reduction in the hotel's existing property would reduce the chance of someone being willing to purchase and restore the historic hotel.  

So dear Biltmore supporter, you MUST and I mean MUST attend this Tuesday meeting if you want the hotel saved!  You MUST speak out and demand that the hotel be saved with no zoning changes now!

BELLEAR TOWN HALL  (Town Hall map LINK is below)
Tuesday, February 18, 2014     
Time: 6:30 P.M.   
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.   
Belleair, Florida
 

BELLEAIR TOWN HALL MAP:   http://savethebiltmore.com/MapTownHallBelleair.htm

ATTEND THE FEBRUARY 18TH MEETING!  So it is IMPERATIVE that all Biltmore supporters who live in this area to come to this Tuesday meeting to show Belleair officials and Mike Cheezem of JMC that you want the hotel saved by turning out in mass and speak out that you want the RM-10 zoning issue DELAYED.  Demand that they keep their promise to DELAY any zoning changes!  Let the contract expire or let Cheezem sell it to a preservation developer!  Let JMC and Cheezem know that you will NOT tolerate demolition of the Biltmore and that you only want it saved. 

DO NOT LET THESE 100 SORE-LOSING CONDO PEOPLE WIN THIS WAR!

Back in 2005, hundreds of supporters came to the Belleair town meeting hall and their enthusiasm for saving the Biltmore resulted in the developers (DeBartolo) backing down and out!   We MUST do this again with all of your help!

By the way, JMC Communities is the group that DEMOLISHED the beautiful Clearwater Beach Hotel!  So for everyone, who loved that hotel as much as I did, JMC fails to see the value in historical or old hotels like you and me, which are treasures to the community.

No matter what article you have read recently, even though the hotel is under contract, the hotel STILL can be saved, so be there this Tuesday!  Motivate this townhouse/condo developer Mike Cheezem to give up!

AND CONVINCE THESE COMMISSIONERS TO NOT FLIP FLOP!

ONE-MINUTE EMAIL CAMPAIGN TO MIKE CHEEZEM AND JMC COMMUNITIES:   I want everyone to continue to send JMC Communities and Mike Cheezem emails from Belleair and across the country telling him he is NOT wanted in Belleair and to take his ugly condo development elsewhere!  Click this link below and copy and paste one of two sample letters to him and email, his e address is on link.  http://savethebiltmore.com/One-MinuteEmail-MikeCheezem.htm 

home@jmccommunities.com    Phone: 800-741-4106

Mike Cheezem, CEO

JMC Communities
2201 4th St N
Suite 200
Saint Petersburg, FL 33704

We must stop this man and his company from destroying Belleair and Pinellas Country history and the Biltmore!

OLDSMAR, FLORIDA HISTORIC TOUR:  On the front page of the Clearwater and North Pinellas Times on Wednesday February 12, there was a wonderful article by Terri Bryce Reeves with many photos called:  "Tour to show off historic Oldsmar."  Oldsmar, Florida for those out of towners on my mailing list is a small town of around 13,600 people.  One of their City Council members Gabby McGee has purchased a historic 1918 Craftsman bungalow.  This 27-year-old fell in love with the history of the Oldsmar.  Take note Belleair Mayor and commissioners!  So an Oldsmar City Council member is going to conduct a small Oldsmar historic tour and Belleair officials want to destroy their outstanding history of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel!  Will Mayor Katica conduct a tour of their community center to tourists?   I think not!  Congratulations to Oldsmar and Gabby McGee for realizing the importance of history to their town.  May Belleair officials RESIST THE RPD SORE LOSERS AND come to the same conclusion THIS Tuesday, February 18.

And why oh why are the condo people still complaining about the area around the Biltmore, why did they never do anything to protect the area, but just complain and complain.  If they had any sense, they would have demanded Belleair officials clean up the area or done it themselves!

HISTORIC PRESERVATION SUMMIT, PINELLAS COUNTY:  We certainly hope Mayor Katica and Belleair commissioners can attend this summit this coming Wednesday, February 19!  It is at the Largo Historical Society in which Timothy McLendon of the University of Florida Center for Governmental Responsibility will talk about the ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION.  Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice will provide an update on the County Historic Task Board and introduce the keynote speaker.   We certainly hope both men mention the plight of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and how they need to convince Belleair officials to save this hotel!  It seems a total mockery to have this summit in Pinellas County on historic preservation if the Biltmore is going to be destroyed by Belleair officials!  Email Commissioner Charlie Justice and ask him to come and speak out to save the Biltmore this Tuesday, February 18th!  cjustice@pinellascounty.org

ANTIQUE AUTOS:  Again, more historic preservation activities took place in downtown Clearwater Sunday night for antique autos and motorcycles. 

All these wonderful preservation activities were right here in Pinellas County, so take note Belleair officials, where do you fit in if you destroy your historic hotel!  Will you be showing off your community center at a historic preservation summit!  Hardly!

 BELLEVIEW BILTMORE ARCHITECT: 

We just received an email from a Jeffrey Bell.  Francis J.  Kennard was the junior architect for the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and is the great grandfather of Mr. Bell, so we want to thank him for taking the time to write us: "Great buildings like this are rare in Florida and should be preserved." Mr. Kennard designed the original Pinellas County Courthouse as well as many other Florida buildings in the Tampa Bay area.  Michael J. Miller was the senior Biltmore architect.

 

 Frances J. Kennard, one of two original Belleview Biltmore architects

 

STRAW POLL OR REFERENDUM:  The "condo people" or Residential Planned Development around the Biltmore is only a very small part of Belleair.  The rest of the Belleair residents MUST BE taken into consideration!  But why aren't they?  Someone needs to address this to the Commissioners and Mayor over and over at the February 18th meeting!  Perhaps a straw poll or referendum can be done in Belleair to see how the homeowners living outside the hotel property feel about saving the hotel!

RECALL/IMPEACHMENT:  If Belleair's elected officials do not enforce their laws Tuesday night, perhaps some Belleair citizens can start a recall (impeachment) process on them and then they should re-elect people who will enforce the historic preservation ordinance and Comprehensive Plan!

A thank you to Jason Aquilar for this link:  preservationvirginia.org/press-room/release/vcu-study-finds-historic-preservation-contributes-to-virginias-economy-by-u 

VCU STUDY FINDS HISTORIC PRESERVATION CONTRIBUTES TO VIRGINIA'S ECONOMY BY UPWARDS OF $3.9 BILLION.

 

REMEMBER:  Preservation developers can STILL restore the wonderful historic White Queen of the Gulf no matter what you recently read, heard or saw!

BE AT THIS MEETING ON TUESDAY AND SPEAK OUT! 

CONVINCE THESE COMMISSIONERS TO NOT FLIP FLOP! 

CONVINCE THESE COMMISSIONERS TO STOP REWARDING SORE LOSERS!

CONVINCE THESE COMMISSIONERS TO KEEP THEIR PROMISES FROM JANUARY 21ST!

CONVINCE THE COMMISSIONERS TO DELAY THE RM-10 ZONING FOR SIX MONTHS!

CONVINCE THE COMMISSIONERS TO DENY ANY ZONING CHANGES AT THIS TIME!

 
Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 

 

 

Save the Biltmore Update, Saturday, February 1, 2014

 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, media and others:
 
IMPORTANT MEETING:
BELLEAR TOWN HALL  (Town Hall map is at link below)
Tuesday, February 4, 2014     
Time: 5:30 P.M.    (note, this meeting is earlier at 5:30 p.m.)
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.   
Belleair, Florida

Map to Belleair Town Hall:  http://savethebiltmore.com/MapTownHallBelleair.htm

ANYONE in the Tampa Bay area or the country/world may come to the second and final hearing on February 4th meeting in Belleair at 5:30 p.m. and ask Belleair officials to continue to vote to DELAY the RM-10 zoning changes FOR SIX MONTHS and ask them to continue to SAVE THE BILTMORE!

We urge everyone to attend this second hearing of the issue of the RM-10 zoning, which was voted to be delayed for six months at the first hearing on January 21, 2014.  As you may recall, the three commissioners who voted to delay the zoning issue were:  Commissioner/Vice Mayor Stephen Fowler, Commissioner Tom Shelly and Commissioner Michael Wilkinson.  So we owe them a huge thank you for their voting to delay making any RM-10 zoning changes!   Mayor Katica and Commissioner Piccaretto did not want the zoning delayed and voted no.  While normally the voting would be the same at the second hearing, we always urge people to come out again in support of this vote to delay any RM-10 zoning changes.  And of course when you come, be sure to thank these three commissioners, they deserve a big thank you!

The Tampa Bay Times:  In an article in print on Wednesday, January 28 by Keyonna Summers called "Builder Mike Cheezem still has eye on Belleview Biltmore"  she reports that the developer who has a contract to purchase the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, Mike Cheezem of JMC communities, still is seeking to destroy it and to build condos and townhomes.  I was asked for my reaction to this and the quote in the newspaper was this:  "Diane Hein, president of Save the Biltmore Preservationists, a grassroots group of residents and hotel admirers fighting for the hotel's restoration, said in an emailed statement that two preservation architects have confirmed that renovation is possible. The Biltmore has been on the "11 Most Endangered" lists of both the national and Florida branches of the Trust for Historic Preservation.

"She pointed out that Belleair passed a historic preservation ordinance in 2005.

Ms. Summers explains further in the article the extremely lengthy process it would take to demolish the Blitmore:  "The ordinance says any developer who wants to raze a historic structure must appear for quasi-judicial hearings before the town's historic preservation board and town commissioners, and obtain a special certificate of appropriateness. The stringent demolition certificate criteria require commissioners to consider questions such as whether the structure is the last of its kind or its demolition would affect the character of the surrounding neighborhood.

"The ordinance also lets the commission approve a demolition permit but defer its effective date for a year while the commission "takes such steps as it deems necessary to preserve the structure," such as consulting with civic groups, interested citizens and public or private agencies.

"It was designed to protect the historic and iconic Belleview Biltmore so developers like Mr. Cheezem would not destroy this hotel as he wants to do," Hein wrote. "Belleair needs to enforce its own preservation law as well as its comprehensive plan to protect itself and its hotel from demolition."

TWO IMPORTANT FACTS:  1.  What is important to remember is that the hotel still can be saved from demolition because of the historic preservation ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan in Belleair.   2.  Also that the hotel can still be RENOVATED AND RESTORED according to TWO preservation architects.   So everyone, disregard any media photos that might make you think otherwise, the hotel still can be renovated and restored!


Belleair Bee: Brian Goff reports from article two years ago, February 8, 2012, but still pertinent today:

"Meeting Feb 3, 2012 A few dozen people gathered at Belleair Town Hall Feb. 3 to hear presentations on the future of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel. Those who were there to hear that the demolition of the hotel was going to be difficult or even impossible went away happy.  Sam Casella, a Belleair resident, former town commissioner and professional planner said “The hotel is protected by a strong historic preservation ordinance and by the town’s comprehensive plan. In fact the hotel is named in the comprehensive plan. You can’t get stronger than that in a comprehensive plan, and I know comprehensive plans,” he said.

"Sam McClelland, former Pinellas County assistant property appraiser and deputy tax collector. And what is really ignored is the Tangible Personal Property tax that the hotel, if functioning, would have to pay. “That tax is levied on such things as furniture, kitchen equipment, desks, side tables and cabinets.  That would amount to a considerable sum of money, money that would be lost if the hotel were torn down and replaced with housing,” he said. The tax does not apply to homes. Also lost, he said, would be the sales tax generated by the resort and tourist development tax. He warned the residents that without the Biltmore most of the tax burden in the town would fall on the shoulders of the homeowners.

"The final speaker was Frank Fage, a St. Petersburg Realtor who specializes in high-end homes and condominiums for Coldwell Banker.   He said he has heard that as many as 120 townhomes will be built on the site.  “I have serious reservations about that,” he said. “We are going through the toughest real estate market in our lifetime. Even now homes over $300,000 are on the market for seven or eight months before they sell. I don’t know how a new development will go.”   He noted that the townhomes on the Biltmore site would have to compete with others on the market with water views so they wouldn’t be as attractive.

LINK:  Thanks to Jason Aquilar for sending me this link:  http://blog.preservationleadershipforum.org/2014/01/22/old-places-matter-identity-2-2/#.UulUkXi9LCT  The title is "Why Do Old Places Matter, Civic, State, National and Universal Identity."  Someone be sure to EMAIL Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities the abovel link!  His email address is:    home@jmccommunities.com

LATEST NEWS:  Commissioner/Vice Mayor Stephen Fowler had asked for an injunction at the January 21 meeting to stop the sale of the hotel to JMC Communities based on the fact that the hotel is under Belleair's historic preservation ordinance.  However Belleair town attorney David Ottinger made the point that there is adequate protection as the hotel is protected by the historic preservation ordinance.  Mr. Ottinger is still researching for information regarding a demand that the current hotel owners repair the hotel for its "demolition by neglect."   Tampa Bay Times Article info, Keyonna Summers, January 31, 2014

HISTORIC COSBY HOTEL, KANSAS CITY: The upper floors of this historic 1881 building were closed in 1964, and the building was completely vacated when Lane Blueprint left in 1995.  With the west wall of the three-story, 15,000-square-foot Cosby Hotel building on the verge of collapse, the city had placed the structure on its dangerous buildings list and ordered emergency demolition. But after the “Save the Cosby Hotel” campaign, the city decided to temporarily shore up the building, allowing preservationists and building owner Rick Powell time to find a buyer willing to restore it. With less than 24 hours to spare — and thanks to efforts by the Downtown Council and the drive "Save the Cosby" — those officials called off the wrecking crew and agreed to spend the $4,000 necessary to "shore up" and keep the west wall from falling. But the building still needed new ownership.  Cosby's final developers, Booher and Swords, were awarded a 10-year property-tax abatement from the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority. Here's how the money breaks down: $493,025 in state historic tax credits; $335,498 in federal historic tax credits; $150,000 in developer equity; and a $1.9 million loan. (Removing lead-based paint and asbestos has already cost the developers around $130,000.)

Belleair take note:  Here was a town who spent $4,000 to save their historic hotel!

ONE-MINUTE EMAIL CAMPAIGN TO MIKE CHEEZEM AND JMC COMMUNITIES:   I want everyone to continue to send JMC Communities and Mike Cheezem emails from Belleair and across the country telling him he is NOT wanted in Belleair and to take his ugly condo development elsewhere!  Cliick this link below and copy and paste one of two sample letters to him and email, his e address is on link.  http://savethebiltmore.com/One-MinuteEmail-MikeCheezem.htm 

We must stop this man and his company from destroying Belleair and Pinellas Country history and the Biltmore!

FINAL THOUGHTS:  Please attend the February 4, 2014 meeting in Belleair at 5:30 p.m.  And again ask officials to DELAY the RM-10 zoning for six more months and of course to SAVE THE BILTMORE! 

Preservation minded journalists, such as New York Times' Ada Louise Huxtable, proved to be one of preservation's greatest allies during the fight to save the historic 1910 Penn Station10, New York City. In her 1963 editorial, "Farewell to Penn Station," she wrote, "Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately deserves.  And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed"

BE AT THIS MEETING ON TUESDAY!

 
Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com
©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 
 

FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook   

You can receive notifications of news I post on Facebook within 24 to 48 hours so join Facebook TODAY to receive immediate information about the Belleview Biltmore!

 

 
Save the Biltmore Update, Saturday, January 25, 2014
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, media and others:
 
WONDERFUL NEWS FROM THE BELLEAIR MEETING TUESDAY  NIGHT!
 
On Tuesday night, January 21, the commission agreed to table a vote on changing the zoning for another six months.  It was a 3-2 vote. The reasons are below so continue to read.  There were over 200 people attending and about 40 citizens spoke, most in favor of saving the Biltmore!  Remember however that JMC Communities with CEO Mike Cheezem have a CONTRACT on the Biltmore to purchase it and demolish it and build condos!!!  So the battle is NOT over yet at all! HOWEVER please note, there is NO approved demolition permit on the hotel, only a contract to purchase it.  The hotel still can be saved by either Belleair officials if they continue to enforce their own preservation ordinance which stops condo development there OR if Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities withdraws or lets the contract expire.  THEN there is the opportunity of other preservation type developers, of which there are two, to purchase the Biltmore and restore it! 
 
NOTE:  This was a preliminary vote on January 21, 2014, and the absolute final decision will be on February 4 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the second and last hearing on the matter.  So please plan on attending this meeting too!  Normally the vote on Jan 21 would be confirmed on the final hearing on February 4, but we ALWAYS encourage supporters to come out and make sure!

Commissioner/Vice Mayor Fowler:  voted YES to delay vote for another six months, thank you!

Commissioner Shelly:  voted YES to delay vote for another six months, thank you!

Commissioner Wilkinson:  voted YES to delay vote for another six months, thank you!

Mayor Katica:  unfortunately voted NO to delay the vote for six months

Commissioner Piccarreto:  unfortunately voted NO to delay the vote for six months

While obviously we had hoped Belleair officials would have completely denied any zoning changes, we are certainly happy for the delay vs changing the zoning!

If you ever wish to find out results of voting in Belleair or current events about the Biltmore, please visit our Facebook site or our web page http://www.savethebiltmore under "Today's Alerts" as I post info to them as soon as I know them.   When you sign up for Facebook, you will receive a message within 24 to 48 hours that I made a post.

Over 200 people came to this January 21st meeting!  Photo taken by:  Paul Mueller of BayNews9.com

As I wrote many times in some of my previous Save the Blitmore Updates, and especially my recent January 14, 2014 Update, the historic preservation ordinance passed in 2005 IS BELLEAIR LAW!  Belleair officials would be breaking the law if they do not enforce it or the Comprehensive Plan!  These two laws are CRUCIAL in saving the hotel as I reported many times before!

Keyonna Summers on January 22, 2014 wrote this in her article from the Tampa Bay Times:  "What  Will Happen to the Belleview Biltmore"  "Katica and Commissioner Kevin Piccarreto voted against the rezoning delay but were outnumbered.  Vice Mayor Stephen Fowler made the motion to delay, saying commissioners are sworn to uphold the historic preservation ordinance, which he said doesn't allow the Biltmore to be demolished to build something new.  "Our ordinance and law is very clear that we have to preserve the hotel. We really don't have an option," Fowler said Wednesday. Commissioners Tom Shelly and Mike Wilkinson supported the motion, citing concerns about height, unit size and density in the proposed ordinance."

Brian Goff wrote this January 22, 2014, in his article from the Belleair Bee  "Belleair delays Belleview Biltmore zoning"  and subtitle: "Belleair commissioners get earful at crowded meeting"

"Fowler, who had said he wasn’t comfortable with the new zoning proposal, indicated he wasn’t going to vote for it.  “Belleair is not broken,” he said. “We don’t need new laws to fix what we have. I think the town should pursue an injunction to prevent anyone who wants to buy the property to build townhouses on it from doing so.”  Then he proposed the motion delaying any decision on the new zoning for six months. Commissioner Michael Wilkinson seconded the motion and they were joined by Commissioner Tom Shelly in voting for the delay. Katica and Commissioner Kevin Piccarreto voted against the delay. 

"Following the meeting Cheezem, when asked what impact the delay would have on his plans to buy the hotel, said simply: “We’ll have to digest it and go from there.”

HISTORIC VINOY AND DON CESAR HOTELS:  From 1975 to 1990, 15 LONG years, the big Mediterranean Revival historic Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg stood vacant and vandalized, a symbol of the deterioration of downtown St. Petersburg.  I have found other reports saying that it was vacant for 18 years!   The Don Cesar Hotel on St. Petersburg Beach was covered with graffitti and vacant for a number of years before someone purchased and restored it.  The Biltmore has only been vacant since 2009 and has been unkept because the current KAWA owners have tried "demolition by neglect" and Belleair officials, led by Mayor Katica, has NOT and I repeat NOT enforced their 2005 preservation ordinance before KAWA found a legal maneuver to wipe out fines on the hotel for letting it deteriorate.  Remember though again and again, that the Belleview Biltmore Hotel CAN still be restored and renovated just like the Vinoy and Don Cesar hotels have been!

WEB SITE FOR REVITALIZATION OF VACANT PROPERTIES:  Above are before and after photos of a vacant, deteriorated home with its delapidated roof and how beautiful it looks renovated!  I so wish the news media would show what is possible  from a vacant abandoned property, before and after photos, to one restored to the general public!!http://www.usmayors.org/brownfields/library/Revitalization_of_Vacant_Properties.pdf  There is a wealth of information on this web site that may be quite useful for Belleair officials and for that matter Pinellas County Commissioners. 

The Belleview Biltmore's roof and other areas CAN BE RESTORED AND RENOVATED just like this home!!!

ONE-MINUTE THANK YOU EMAIL TO THREE COMMISSIONERS:  Feel free to send a very warm "Thank You" to Belleair Commissioners Fowler, Shelly and Wilkinson for delaying the vote for six months to change any zoning and continue to encourage them to SAVE THE BILTMORE!  Perhaps put THANK YOU AND SAVE THE BILTMORE! in the subject line.  They have been under tremendous pressure from many groups to make a decision on the hotel's future.

Mayor Gary Katica, Commissioners Stephen Fowler, Tom Shelly, Kevin Piccarreto and Michael Wilkinson and Town Manager, Micah Maxwell

gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net,tshelly@townofbelleair.net kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net,mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,mmaxwell@townofbelleair.net

To Commissioners Steve Fowler, Tom Shelly and Mike Wilkinson:

I would like to express my gratitude to the three of you for voting to delay any zoning changes for six months time.  I am sure it has been an extremely hectic time for you and making decisions as to what is the best course of action for the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and Belleair.  Hopefully you will continue to enforce your 2005 historic preservation ordinance by saving your White Queen of the Gulf who is loved both inside and out of Belleair by THOUSANDS of people.

If Americans did not value this landscape then millions would not travel to historic sites like MYSTIC SEAPORT, COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG, JAMESTOWN, KEY WEST, THE ALAMO, or MT. VERNON or the historic hotels, THE VINOY, DON CESAR, DEL CORONADO AND THE GRAND. Nor do we go just to look. We go to learn.   We can only learn if we have the sites and artifacts from which to learn.  And we will only, ever, have these sites and artifacts if we agree, as a society, to respect and preserve them.

Once again thank you, and I hope you continue to Save the Biltmore!

Regards,

 
ONE-MINUTE EMAIL CAMPAIGN TO MIKE CHEEZEM AND JMC COMMUNITIES:  I want everyone to CONTINUE TO BOMBARD MC Communities and Mike Cheezem with EMAILS ACROSS THE COUNTRY telling him he is NOT wanted in Belleair and take his ugly condo development elsewhere!  Below is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT email to him, so even if you have emailed him, email him THIS one!
 
We must stop this man and this company from destroying Belleair and Pinellas County history and the Biltmore!
 
 
KAWA and Mike Cheezem are giving FALSE information about the condition of the hotel and whether it can be restored or not! Please see quote below in my NEW ONE-MINUTE EMAIL campaign.  KAWA and Cheezem would make millions with the Biltmore not saved, why should they tell the truth!
 
There is still TIME TO RESTORE THE BEAUTIFUL BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL!
 
 
We need community support to drive Cheezem out like you successfully did with DeBartolo in 2005!
 
And now we also learn that JMC developer Mike Cheezem is a member of the Belleair Country Club, which will benefit with the demolition of the beautiful Belleview Biltmore Hotel by two more acres in their parking lot!  So Mr. Cheezem must back off from the purchase of the hotel!
 
 
RUN MIKE CHEEZEM OUT OF BELLEAIR AND SAVE THE BILTMORE!
 
 home@jmccommunities.com    Phone: 800-741-4106

 Mike Cheezem, CEO
 
 JMC Communities
 2201 4th St N
 Suite 200
 Saint Petersburg, FL 33704

To Mike Cheezem:

Belleair courageously and strategically passed their historic preservation ordinance in 2005. It was designed to protect the historic and iconic Belleview Biltmore so developers like you will not destroy the Belleview Biltmore Hotel as you wish to do. Belleair needs to enforce its own preservation law to protect itself and its hotel from demolition. You are spreading false information around that the hotel can not be renovated.  Here is a quote from Rick Gonzalez, president of Florida Trust, vice chair of the Florida Historical Commission and a practicing historic preservation architect with his own firm, REG Architects in West Palm Beach, Florida.  "I know a thing or two about preservation in Florida.  The Belleview Biltmore can be restored especially under the supervision of a preservation architect for the enjoyment of all Floridians and visitors for another 100 years. I hope the mayor and commission show leadership in helping this project move forward."    As a supporter of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, it is in the best interest of the community for you to withdraw from purchasing the hotel from KAWA.     The people who love the hotel need you to back down from purchasing the Biltmore. The 1897 Belleview Biltmore Hotel cannot be rebuilt once the history and aura are gone.  We CAN and should invest in historic preservation to improve our quality of life and as a basis for the area's economic development.   It is up to you to leave a legacy of historic preservation for Belleair and Pinellas County.

Regards,

A THANK YOU:  Again many thanks to Karmen Hayes of Belleair who works tirelessly for us, Save the Biltmore Preservationists, especially the last few weeks doing many TV interviews among other duties for us.  And her husband TC Hayes helping us. And thank you to local TV news who interviewed Karmen for Save the Biltmore Preservationist coverage:  NBC, Bay New 9, CBS and Fox.  And to Fox News reporter Alcides Segui who showed our full page color Tampa Bay Times Save the Biltmore newspaper advertisement for the meeting during his TV interview with Karmen! And of course MANY thanks to you our dedicated supporters who either attended Tuesday night's meeting or wrote letters and emails to Belleair town hall officials or printed and distributed out flyers.  A thank you to Jim Betts and his ad hoc committee of Belleair for working to help Save the Biltmore with their own flyers distributed to Belleair citizens last Saturday.  A thank you to Jason Aquilar, Laurie Adams, Linda Zamparelli, Elka Zwick; and a thank you to Annette Vedsegaard-Ross of HulaHula Productions who wrote a dynamic letter to her mailing list to encourage them to attend Tuesday nights meeting. She and her family also attended the meeting.   Also a thank you to Bay Proby, public relations in Miami but worked with us to get coverage on the meeting.  And a big thank you to Anne Peery, executive director of Florida Trust, who traveled to Belleair and spoke at the Belleair meeting on Tuesday night. And last but not least, thank you to our two directors, Doug Mann, sec'y/treas. and vice president Carol J. Kuzmiak for their hard work behind the scenes who have helped us make this all possible.   I know many more people helped with making this meeting filled with people!

FLORIDA TRUST LETTER:  To read Anne Peery's letter from Florida Trust to Belleair officials, click on our Message Board link and go to the very bottom of the page:  http://www.savethebiltmore.com/BiltmoreMessageBoard.htm

BILTMORE CONTRACT:  As long as there is a contract on the Biltmore by a developer,  I will be unable to name any companies or names (of which there are two) who wish to buy the Biltmore and RESTORE it.  Florida law has a law about interference with a contact so this is the reason why. 

BELLEAIR TOWN HALL - Meeting!   Tuesday, February 4, 2014

901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.   
Belleair, Florida
5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Map to Belleair Town Hall:  http://savethebiltmore.com/MapTownHallBelleair.htm

ANYONE in the Tampa Bay area or the country/world may come to the February 4th meeting in Belleair at 5:30 p.m. and ask Belleair officials to confirm during the SECOND HEARING to DELAY any decisions on zoning changes ask them to continue to SAVE THE BILTMORE! And of course ANYONE inside or outside of Belleair may send one of our ONE-MINUTE EMAILS or write his/her own email to Belleair officials or Mike Cheezem, CEO of JMC Communities.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  The wonderful historic White Queen of the Gulf can still be restored no matter what you recently read, heard or saw!  The hotel and its supporters just received a wonderful gift of hope from three Belleair commissioners that it can still be saved. Our lives are built around hope. The longevity of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel relies on the hope that enforcing Belleair laws will bring its future a magnificent day of restoration and renovation for us and future generations.  The hotel was and can again be a great source of community pride, tourism, financial benefit and real estate growth.

BE AT THIS MEETING ON TUESDAY!
 
Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com
©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook   

You can receive notifications of news I post on Facebook within 24 to 48 hours so join Facebook TODAY to receive immediate information about the Belleview Biltmore!  If Facebook logo does not work, use this:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756

 

Save the Biltmore Update, Tuesday, January 21, 2014   BELLEAIR HEARING MEETING TONIGHT!!!

 
 
Save the Biltmore Update and Corrections Tuesday, January 21, 2014
 
There is new AND very good information so please read carefully regarding speaking at the Belleair Town Hall meeting tonight.  You do NOT have to call in to speak, but get there early anyway!
 
Here are the instructions for who can speak at the meeting: 
People will be heard in the following order:
 

1. People of standing - (those who received public notices; ie. those people whose property is immediately affected by the development)
2. Belleair residents
3. Time permitting, the General Public - the general public will only be able to make comments and NOT cross-examine. It is best to come very early between 5:30 to 6 p.m. to be able to get a seat!

Three minutes is the longest you may speak.  You may read from notes of course.

 
COMMISSIONER KEVIN PICCARETTO AND THE BELLEAIR COUNTRY CLUB:  Commissioner Piccaretto unfortunately has not cared recently whether the Biltmore is saved or not!  We just learned that Commissioner Piccaretto is a member of the Belleair Country Club!  And remember that the Belleair Country Club wants the Biltmore demolished because it will be able to purchase two more acres to increase their parking lot and thus make more money with memberships!  So Commissioner Piccaretto will be voting tonight, and you need to ask him to vote NO to the RM-10 zoning changes because of this EXTREME CONFLICT OF INTEREST!!!

BELLEAIR COUNTRY CLUB AND MIKE CHEEZEM: We also have just heard some more shocking information and perhaps not so shocking information! As in my Sunday Biltmore Update, I discussed that the Belleview Biltmore Hotel was under a six month contract to be sold to JMC Communities. We just have heard through someone in Belleair in fact that the CEO, Mike Cheezem, of JMC Communities is a MEMBER of the Belleair Country Club!  The Belleair Country Club benefits by the demolition of the Biltmore hotel because they will get two more acres to their property thus enabling them to have more parking spaces and tennis space and recruit more members at a $5,000 initiation fee plus monthly fees.  THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!    People should start demanding that this developer step down from his trying to destroy our White Queen! 
 
Will Mike Cheezem get a special parking spot right in front of the Country Club if the hotel is demolished!?  Perhaps! 
 
Perhaps he will receive a special plaque in the CC restaurant in his honor for destroying the hotel and making the CC richer?   Perhaps!
 
Or how a few free steak dinners?  No wait, I know, lifetime free happy hours!
 
I want everyone to start bombarding JMC Communities and Mike Cheezem with EMAILS ACROSS THE COUNTRY telling him he is NOT wanted in Belleair and take his ugly condo development elsewhere.
 
We must stop this man and this company from destroying Belleair and Pinellas County history and the Biltmore!
 
Belleview Biltmore Partners was actually at the Biltmore Monday, January 20, examining the hotel in fact even though there is a contract by someone else!   Richard Heisenbottle, architect and lead partner for BBP, said the hotel STILL can be restored and renovated given the opportunity to purchase it.  It is NOT anywhere near demolition at all he told us Monday!  This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW THIS AND PLEASE IF YOU SPEAK AT THE  MEETING TONIGHT MENTION THAT THE HOTEL STILL CAN STILL BE RESTORED!
 
We know the some of the media and KAWA and Mike Cheezem are giving FALSE information about the condition of the hotel and whether it can be restored or not!  KAWA and Cheezem would make millions with the Biltmore not saved, why should they tell the truth!
 
There is still TIME TO RESTORE THE BEAUTIFUL BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL!
 
We hope all the media investigates this information further that Mike Cheezem is a member of the Belleair Country Club who wants the Biltmore demolished and reports it!  My concern frankly with some of the media is that they may benefit with the hotel demolished.  That is, if the hotel is not saved and Cheezem should buy it and build his ugly condos/townhomes, Cheezem could use the media to spend thousands of dollars for advertisements for his real estate endeavors like what he wants to do in Belleair!
 
So let's see, Mike Cheezem and his JMC is tied in with Belleair's Country Club, donating to politicians like Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seel and John Morroni who supposedly endorse saving the hotel and potentially the media!!   Nothing new about money, media, politics and country clubs is there!?  So you can understand why so many historic buildings get demolished!   We need community support to drive Cheezem out like you successfully did with DeBartolo in 2005!
 
We all remember the American Revolution where the community and farmers successfully fought off the English aristocracy. It's about time the communities get together and do the same with JMC! 
 
RUN MIKE CHEEZEM OUT OF BELLEAIR AND SAVE THE BILTMORE!
 
ONE-MINUTE EMAIL CAMPAIGN:  Because of this new information as to who the condo developer is, JMC Communities, Mike Cheezem, CEO, and now the fact that he is a member of the Belleair Country Club, we MUST focus our attention in getting these developers to back away from the Biltmore and let it stand for another 100 years.  It is MOST important now that you send a ONE-MINUTE email to JMC Community, either ours or your own.  You may call also of course phone or send a letter to them via U.S. mail.  This letter is slightly different than the one previously so feel free to send it again!

 home@jmccommunities.com    Phone: 800-741-4106

 Mike Cheezem, CEO
 
 JMC Communities
 2201 4th St N
 Suite 200
 Saint Petersburg, FL 33704

To Mike Cheezem:

You are spreading false information around that the hotel can not be renovated.  As a member of the Belleair Country Club, you would help them while destroying an icon, which STILL can be restored.   The hotel still can be saved no matter what you believe or say. New is NOT always better.  You destroyed the lovely Clearwater Beach Hotel whose citizens in the surrounding neighbors and tourists loved going there.  And now you want to destroy the Biltmore in Pinellas County where thousands of people have dined, married or stayed there who want it preserved. As a supporter of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, it is in the best interest of the community for you to withdraw from purchasing the hotel from KAWA.  Your condos and townhomes would deface Belleair's beauty turning that area into "Belleair's Concrete Condo Canyon" plus also defacing Pinellas County's history. The citizens of Belleair and Pinellas need this historical landmark.   Belleair's Comprehensive Plan includes saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, and yet you dare attempt destroy one of their beloved landmarks and history.  SHAMEFUL.  The people who love the hotel need you to back down from purchasing the Biltmore.   Right now your only legacy you will leave is destruction of a Pinellas landmark hotel.  Is this what you wish for your legacy, destruction?  

Listen to what the society around you has been saying for the past nine years, spare the Belleview Biltmore. If you participate in its destruction, you will participate in the willful destruction of your own heritage as well as that of the world around you.

Regards,

AN EXAMPLE OF MIKE CHEEZEM AND JMC'S "DEMOLITION HANDYWORK"  We MUST stop him for doing the same to the Biltmore!  Condos can be built, but a demolished Biltmore can NEVER be rebuilt!

      

Once It Stood

JMC and Mike Cheezem
Took this hotel's power
And its landmark title
And smashed it to the ground.
Gone are its walls
Its grace, its charm, its people.
How can we save our landmarks
In the war between
Developers, politicians, lawyers
And people who care? 

Let's continue to care everyone, attend the Belleair hearing tonight and support NO zoning changes at this time!

A THANK YOU:  A BIG thank you to Karmen Hayes of Belleair for her recent interviews for us with NBC and FOX TV news.

BELLEAIR TOWN HALL - EXTREMELY IMPORTANT MEETING THIS TUESDAY!  Be There!
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.   
Belleair, Florida
6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Map to Belleair Town Hall:  http://savethebiltmore.com/MapTownHallBelleair.htm

ANYONE in the Tampa Bay area or the country/world may come to the January 21st meeting in Belleair at 6:30 p.m. and ask Belleair officials to vote NO to the RM-10 zoning changes and ask them to continue to SAVE THE BILTMORE!

To view our color ad click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/AdvertisementJanuary21-2014.htm and then click on the link to the PDF file.  Send this link to everyone you know!

And if you received the Tampa Bay Times newspaper from Sunday, simply tear our full page Save the Biltmore advertisement out and bring it to the meeting and wave it!!!  Or cut off top half and glue to cardboard and wave it.   It makes a great sign!  Or simply hand to Belleair officials!

REMEMBER:  Belleview Biltmore Partners can STILL restore the wonderful historic White Queen of the Gulf no matter what you recently read, heard or saw!

BE AT THIS MEETING ON TUESDAY!

 
Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Biltmore-Preservationists/180572012028756
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 
 
 

 

Save the Biltmore Update, Monday, January 20, 2014

 

 
Save the Biltmore Update Monday January 20, 2014
 
PRESS RELEASE
 
This PRESS RELEASE is from Bay Proby, the public relations firm for Belleview Biltmore Partners who wish to purchase the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.  The hotel can STILL be renovated and restored no matter what you read or hear as of late!  

Belleview Biltmore Partners, LLC to Continue Efforts to
Purchase and Restore Historic Belleview Biltmore Hotel.

Belleview Biltmore Partners is the Only Potential Buyer with a Plan That Will Save the Entire Hotel.

BELLEAIR, FL (Jan. 20) – Belleview Biltmore Partners (BBP) today announced that it will continue to actively seek to purchase and restore the historic Belleview Biltmore Hotel. "We have a financing commitment and know exactly
what to do in order to secure the resort’s future success," saidRichard Heisenbottle, BBP partner. "The Belleair town commission should reject the false notion proffered by the local news media that the hotel is too far gone to be restored, and send a clear message that it expects a preservation solution that will restore the hotel to its former glory."

Heisenbottle noted that BBP partner Gary Rosenberg oversaw the restoration of The Homestead, a landmark resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. "The total cost of restoration is very similar to what we need to do for the Belleview Biltmore," said Rosenberg. "In both cases, a successful restoration will bring important and sustainable economic benefits to the local community."

For more than a year, BBP has been planning to purchase and restore the "White Queen of the Gulf" and redevelop the property in accordance with the town's previously approved development order.  "More than a dozen financing options were vetted and in early October, 2013 and we settled upon a financing commitment that made the project economically viable," said Rosenberg Since that time, BBP has been in private discussions with hotel owner Daniel Ades to purchase the property.  "Throughout that process, the primary stumbling block has been Mr. Ades' request for a 30-day closing period,” said Rosenberg.  "This was an unrealistically short time frame for BBP since we would be closing not only on the land purchase, but on tax credit equity, construction and long-term financing as well. At this time, only the tax credit investor equity needs to be concluded.

Rosenberg added that one of the critical requirements for BBP is ownership of the Belleview Biltmore Golf Course.  "We were extremely disappointed last month when our offer to purchase the Belleview Biltmore Golf Course from the town was rejected by the Town of Bellaire Commission in favor of a long-term lease with the course’s current operator," he said.

"We also learned that Mr. Ades has entered into a contract to purchase the property with JMC Communities – a group that plans to demolish the historic hotel and construct a residential condo development.  Moreover it has been reported that this contract contains a six-month due diligence period during which time the developer will decide what it is he actually wants to build."

“For more than a century, the Belleview Biltmore Hotel has represented the heart and the soul of the Town of Belleair and the hotel has defined the prestige and quality of life in the community,” added Heisenbottle. “Unfortunately, political actions speak louder than words and through the town’s actions and interest in rezoning the property to multi-family residential, it has sent the wrong message to Mr. Ades and JMC Communities. Perhaps unintentionally, the commission has sent a message that it is acceptable to demolish the hotel by condoning demolition by neglect and by intimating that the property can be rezoned for high density residential development.”

Adds Rosenberg, BBP remains poised to purchase and restore the hotel to its former glory, should JMC Communities not close on the property and provided it can get the cooperation of both the seller and the Town of Belleair.
 
BELLEAIR TOWN HALL - EXTREMELY IMPORTANT MEETING THIS TUESDAY!  Be There!
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.   
Belleair, Florida
6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Map to Belleair Town Hall:  http://savethebiltmore.com/MapTownHallBelleair.htm

ANYEONE in the Tampa Bay area or the country/world may come to the January 21st meeting in Belleair at 6:30 p.m. and ask Belleair officials to vote NO to the RM-10 zoning changes and ask them to continue to SAVE THE BILTMORE!

Here are the instructions for who can speak at the meeting:

People will be heard in the following order:
 

1. People of standing - (those who received public notices; ie. those people whose property is immediately affected by the development)
2. Belleair residents
3. Time permitting, the General Public - the general public will only be able to make comments and NOT cross-examine. It is best to come very early between 5:30 to 6 p.m. to make sure you get a seat!

Three minutes is the longest you may speak.  You may read from notes of course. 

To view our color ad click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/AdvertisementJanuary21-2014.htm and then click on the link to the PDF file.  Send this link to everyone you know!

And if you received the Tampa Bay Times newspaper from Sunday, simply tear our full page Save the Biltmore advertisement out and bring it to the meeting and wave it!!!  Or cut off top half and glue to cardboard and wave it.   It makes a great sign!  Or simply hand to Belleair officials!

REMEMBER:  Belleview Biltmore Partners can STILL restore the wonderful historic White Queen of the Gulf no matter what you recently read, heard or saw! BE AT THIS MEETING ON TUESDAY!

 
Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FORWARD THIS ENTIRE EMAIL RIGHT NOW TO BELLEAIR OFFICIALS OR WRITE YOUR OWN!

Mayor Gary Katica, Commissioners Stephen Fowler, Tom Shelly, Kevin Piccarreto and Michael Wilkinson and Town Manager, Micah Maxwell 

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 
 
PRESS RELEASE BY BAY PROBY
 

 

 

 

 

Save the Biltmore Update Sunday, January 19, 2014

 
 
Save the Biltmore Update Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dear Biltmore Supporters, news media and others,

The address of the Belleair town hall is on the flyer link but to clarify and make it easy to read here is the address in this Save the Biltmore Update.

BELLEAIR TOWN HALL - EXTREMELY IMPORTANT MEETING THIS WEEK!
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd. 
Belleair, Florida
6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Map to Belleair Town Hall:  http://savethebiltmore.com/MapTownHallBelleair.htm

Here are the instructions for who can speak at the meeting: 

People will be heard in the following order:

1. People of standing - (those who received public notices; ie. those people whose property is immediately affected by the development)
2. Belleair residents
3. Time permitting, the General Public - the general public will only be able to make comments and not cross-examine

You can sign immediately before the meeting but you will have to get there early because as soon as the meeting starts they will stop signing people in. Anyone who wishes to speak can call the Town Clerk - call 588-3769, ext. 312 - ahead of time. Of course, anyone can attend and hear the public hearing.  We recommend that you come by at least 5:30 to 6 p.m. to sign in if you do not call ahead of time!  There will be many people attending this meeting so come early if you are planning to speak!!  Three minutes is the longest you may speak.

Spend 30 minutes this Sunday and Monday posting some Save the Biltmore flyers around where you live or work, print and show your friends and neighbors this Update, but most importantly come to the January 21st meeting in Belleair at 6:30 p.m. and ask Belleair officials to vote NO to the RM-10 zoning changes and ask them to continue to SAVE THE BILTMORE!

FLYER:  http://savethebiltmore.com/SAVETHEBILTMOREFLYERJanuary2014.htm  

OUR FULL PAGE COLOR ADVERTISEMENT TO SAVE THE BILTMORE: Through the wonderful and most generous support of a few Biltmore supporters, they donated to our nonprofit organization Save the Blitmore Preservationists the funds to place a FULL PAGE color display advertisement, 11 inches by 21 inches, in the A section of the Tampa Bay Times! Their Sunday readership is over 900,000 people! This advertisement to Save the Biltmore will help us, and the Bltmore in so many many ways.  We certainly thank them for their most generous donation and for their time in designing the ad. Please do NOT write me on this, either for price of ad or their names.  Everything is ANONYMOUS per their request which of course we will honor.  Spend your time INSTEAD writing Belleair officials, Pinellas County officials or JMC Communities and Mike Cheezem as mentioned below!

To view our color ad click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/AdvertisementJanuary21-2014.htm and then click on the link to the PDF file.  Send this link to everyone you know!

Battle House Mobile Renaissance Resort and Spa in Mobile, Alabama:   Doug Mann, our Sec'y/Treas. gave me information about this lovely historic hotel WHICH WAS SAVED!   It was closed in 1974 and reopened after a $132 million investment in 2007! As you can see, it was closed a very long time before someone restored it!  It has 238 rooms including suites.  So congratulations to Mobile, Alabama, a most lovely town, who did NOT demolish their historic hotel!  So Belleair Mayor and Commissioners do the same for your historic Biltmore!
 
HOTEL CONTRACT:  Unfortunately there is a contract out by JMC Communities, Mike Cheezem CEO, to purchase the Biltmore.  JMC wants to demolish the wonderful White Queen of the Gulf and build townhomes/condos!   The contract is set for six months at which time they must buy the hotel or back out.  Obviously they can decide NOT to purchase the hotel themselves OR our BILTMORE SUPPORTERS can convince them via emails and letters and town hall meetings that these developers MUST back out from the contract thus SAVING THE BILTMORE!     So it is IMPERATIVE all supporters who live in this area to come to this Tuesday meeting to show JMC  and Mike Cheezem you want the hotel saved by turning out in mass which will motivate him to BACK DOWN AND OUT and let the contract expire!  Let him know that you will NOT tolerate demolition of the Biltmore and that you only want it saved.  Back in 2005, hundreds of supporters stormed the Belleair town meeting hall and their enthusiasm for saving the Biltmore resulted in the developers (DeBartolo) backing down and out!  
We MUST do this again with all of your help!

By the way, JMC Communities is the group that DEMOLISHED the beautiful Clearwater Beach Hotel that stood on our lovely Pinellas County beach for 80 years!  So for everyone who loved that hotel as much as I did, JMC and CEO Mike Cheezem fail to see the value in historical or old hotels like you and me which are treasures to the community. 

PINELLAS COUNTY COMMISSIONER KAREN SEEL AND MICHAEL CHEEZEM: In February 23, 2000, developer Mike Cheezem (CEO of JMC Communities) donated a check for $500 to Commissioner Karen Seel's Office : County Commissioner District 5!!  After the outcry about saving the Biltmore back in 2005, Commissioner Seel was appointed as Task Force Chairwoman of the Pinellas County History Preservation Committee!!  She has encouraged municipalities to adopt their own local historic preservation programs.  So should not Commissioner Seel, who supports historic preservation and the other Pinellas County commissioners, DEMAND that JMC and Mike Cheezem back away now from destroying the Biltmore!!!   And Mike Cheezem donated $100 back in 2002 to  Commissioner John Morroni.  Perhaps someone can further investigate other donations to these two Commissioners the past few years.  While of course these donations are perfectly legal, how much influence does these donations make when it comes time to Save the Biltmore or not!

I hope everyone sees the significance of this commissioner endorsing historic preservation while one of her donators wants to demolish the Biltmore!  Please email Commissioner Seel that she and the other Pinellas County Commissioners need to stand up for historic preservation by demanding that Mike Cheezem BACK OFF from buying the Biltmore and destroying it!  The question remains of course is whether Cheezem's donation of $500 (or maybe more later years) will result in her turning her cheek the other way in regards to the Biltmore?  Here are the seven Pinellas County Commissioners:  Commissioner Karen Seel and the other Commissioners, Janet Long, Norm Roche, Charlie Justice, Susan Latvala, John Morroni, Ken Welch plus the last name is Robert LaSala, County Administrator:  kseel@pinellascounty.org, JanetCLong@pinellascounty.org, nroche@pinellascounty.org, cjustice@pinellascounty.org, slatvala@pinellascounty.org,jmorroni@pinellascounty.org,kwelch@pinellascounty.org, rlasala@pinellascounty.org

Also in 2005 Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities was a steering committee member of the Pinellas County Redevelopment Board of which Commissioner Karen Seel headed the Economic Development and Redevelopment Plan for the Economic Development of Pinellas County!

We hope the news media interviews Commissioner Seel in regards to the above and what she is going to do to help JMC Communities and Mike Cheezem to back down from destroying the Biltmore.

Are we all getting the picture here of Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities and Commissioner Seel, redevelopment and the Biltmore and historic preservation and the extreme conflict going on!!? Developers and politicians--politicians and developers and campaign funding.  Get the picture?

Commissioner Seel may have just learned of the contract on the Biltmore with Mike Cheezem and his JMC Communities as it was reported just this weekend.  But now that she knows, it's time she and the other Pinellas County Commissioners who endorse the Belleview Biltmore DEMAND that Cheezem back down!

The information in italics is from the Pinellas County government web site about the benefits of historic preservation:

Historic preservation has tangible and intangible benefits to property owners and the greater community. Preserving historic building/sites gives a community a sense of identity, maintains a community’s heritage and improves the quality of life. Preservation activities also create jobs, promote tourism and in most instances increase property values

The benefits of historic preservation can be found at Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation published in 2010 by State of Florida, Division of Historical Resources.

In 2005 Pinellas County Commissioners wrote me personally that they endorse saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.  Okay then, Commissioners need to DEMAND that JMC Communities and its CEO Mike Cheezem back down from destroying Pinellas County history!!   These are our SEVEN elected County officials who say they endorse saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.  Wake them up by emailing them at the above e addresses and demand that they get JMC Communities to back away from the Biltmore!

No matter what article you have read recently, with the hotel being under contract, the hotel STILL can be saved, so be there this Tuesday!  Motivate this townhouse/condo developer to give up!

FLORIDA TRUST:  The Florida Trust continues to support all efforts to save the Belleview Biltmore and restore it as a heritage tourism site that would economically benefit the citizens of Belleair.  The Florida Trust has included the Belleview Biltmore in its Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites for several years.   www.floridatrust.org for info and membership. Anne Peery, Executive Director.

BRAND NEW ONE-MINUTE EMAIL CAMPAIGN:  Because of this new information as to who the demolition developer is, JMC Communities, Mike Cheezem, CEO, we must focus our attention in getting these developers to back away from the Biltmore and let it stand for another 100 years.  It is MOST important now that you send a DIFFERENT ONE MINUTE email to JMC Community, either ours or your own.  You may call also of course or send a letter to them via U.S. mail.

 home@jmccommunities.com    Phone: 800-741-4106

 Mike Cheezem, CEO
 
 JMC Communities
 2201 4th St N
 Suite 200
 Saint Petersburg, FL 33704

To Mike Cheezem:

As a supporter of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, it is in the best interest of the community for you to withdraw from purchasing the hotel from KAWA.  Your condos and townhomes condominiums would deface Belleair's beauty turning that area into "Belleair's Concrete Condo Canyon" plus also defacing Pinellas County's history.  You destroyed the lovely Clearwater Beach Hotel whose citizens in the surrounding neighbors and tourists loved going there.  And now you want to destroy the Biltmore in Pinellas County where thousands of people have dined, married or stayed there who want it preserved.  The hotel still can be restored no matter what you believe or say. The citizens of Belleair and Pinellas need this historical landmark.   Belleair's Comprehensive Plan includes saving the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, and yet you dare attempt destroy one of their beloved landmarks and history.  SHAMEFUL.  The people who love the hotel need you to back down from purchasing the Biltmore.   Right now your only legacy you will leave is destruction of a Pinellas landmark hotel.  Is this what you wish for your legacy, destruction? 

Listen to what the society around you has been saying for the past nine years, spare the Belleview Biltmore. If you participate in its destruction, you will participate in the willful destruction of your own heritage as well as that of the world around you.

Regards,

BELLEAIR OFFICIALS:   And of course like I mentioned in my last Save the Biltmore Update, the "Condo people" and Country Club in Belleair never complained once about the hotel, they pounded it into Mayor Katica's head.! So feel free to write Belleair officials AGAIN AND AGAIN for them to take action and vote NO this coming Tuesday to any RM-10 zoning changes!  You may use the email below or write your own. And be sure to come to the meeting on January 21 at 6:30 p.m.  Come EARLY if you intend to speak!   NUMBERS COUNT!

Mayor Gary Katica, Commissioners Stephen Fowler, Tom Shelly, Kevin Piccarreto and Michael Wilkinson and Town Manager, Micah Maxwell

gkatica@townofbelleair.net, sfowler@townofbelleair.nettshelly@townofbelleair.net kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net, mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net, mmaxwell@townofbelleair.net


Dear Mayor Katica and Belleair Commissioners,

Governments have given in to developers way too much in the past due to immense pressure from towns people like many of those in Belleair who are often unaware of all the destructive ramnifications of over development and losing a historic structure like the Biltmore. An excess of townhomes and or condos in place of the Belleview Biltmore will cause a surplus of these types of residences in Belleair and result in lower property values.  Belleair will become a wall of residences with no character or flavor any more. Now is the time for all five of you to vote NO on January 21 on the RM-10 zoning changes and finally be in charge of your town and the hotel. By voting NO you will send a clear message to the hotel owners or potential buyers that you will NOT allow demolition of the hotel and that they in turn will more likely sell to a developer of which there are two groups who presently have offered bids to buy the Belleview Biltmore.  Start standing up to impatient naysayers.

There is no reason to rush this zoning change at this point in time when there are two bids on the table right in front of KAWA.  The only reason of course is that you have caved in to saving the hotel due to pressure from certain uninformed and short-sighted townspeople and groups who are NOT knowledgeable enough of what over development and urban sprawl will bring.  I urge you to again be PATIENT and hold off on making any zoning changes at this time and let the process of an interested buyer save the hotel. Stand up at last to these impatient groups and enforce your own historic preservation ordinance and Comprehensive Plan!  By voting "NO" and holding off on these zoning changes, KAWA will have to sell to one of these two bidders when the other contract on the hotel expires because you will not allow them to ruin your reputation and to not save the hotel.

The Belleview Biltmore is a living legend and icon that brings happiness and memories to thousands who enjoy the ambiance of another era.  Another gated community will extinguish this invaluable asset for the city, country, state and nation.  Future generations will look back at your decision and either laud you for your vision or they will chastise you for your lack of courage and your short sightednedness.  Destruction of the Biltmore would erode the history and roots of the concept of your community.  Repairs and upkeep on the Belleview Biltmore have been strategically delayed.  This failure to maintain presumably was to support "demolition by neglect," discourage restoration and increase the cost of  historic preservation. Lack of concern for historic landmarks goes to the heart of the community’s identity and should be closely scrutinized before slash and burn techniques are used to maximize profits.  The immediate profit for one will diminish surrounding property valuations, increase density and remove the cachet of an area.  

What would happen if the Biltmore in Coral Gables was threatened with destruction?  Or the Grand Hotel in Makinaw Island, Michigan?   The residents in those places would NEVER let that happen however. Yet certain uninformed, impatient groups in Belleair are demanding demolition!  This is outrageous!  Only you have the leadership to save the hotel.   The Belleview Biltmore MUST be preserved and restored to its original glory for everyone including future generations to appreciate.  Thousands and thousands of people over the years have slept there, vacationed there, married there, danced there and dined there in historic glory, all because Belleair officials allowed this magnificent White Queen to continue to reign. This historic structure is one of a kind in the entire world. She is an ageless beauty and a priceless treasure and her charm cannot be experienced through photographs alone. We need to be able to walk down her two miles of halls to really experience the wonder of this glorious Grand old Dame. It is just as historically significant as structures such as Old Faithful Inn, Plant Hall, Ringling House, etc.  Once restored, the Biltmore will be a world-class resort and continue to keep Belleair on the map and glorify its visionary leaders.

Resist any ill-informed or shortsighted community pressure and vote "NO" on the RM-10 zoning and Save the Biltmore!

Sincerely,


Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

FORWARD THIS ENTIRE EMAIL RIGHT NOW TO BELLEAIR OFFICIALS OR WRITE YOUR OWN!

Mayor Gary Katica, Commissioners Stephen Fowler, Tom Shelly, Kevin Piccarreto and Michael Wilkinson and Town Manager, Micah Maxwell 

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                                                         

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 
 
 
 

Biltmore Update Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dear Biltmore Supporters, news media and others,

This Biltmore Update is a reminder to again ask you to print out the Save the Biltmore flyer and hang EVERY WHERE in your community or work place.  Then of course if you live in the area to PLEASE attend the January 21 meeting in Belleair at 6:30 p.m. to encourage the mayor and commissioners to vote NO on any RM-10 zoning changes.  Please speak out at the meeting to voice your opinion, you can simply say "Save the Biltmore and vote "NO" to the RM-10 zoning changes during that time or speak up to three minutes on the subject.   Bring "vote no" signs if you wish and wave them!  Just be there to show your support and love for the Biltmore!  It is extremely important to attend this meeting IN MASS! Bring your friends and neighbors! NUMBERS COUNT!

FLYER:  http://savethebiltmore.com/SAVETHEBILTMOREFLYERJanuary2014.htm

BELLEAIR CONDO CANYON:  Hotel owners (KAWA Capital) are looking to develop about 164 units, including 132 condo units and 32 townhomes. in place of the hotel.  If the RM-10 is approved, say good-bye to the Biltmore and say hello to overgrowth sprouting up like concrete weeds in Belleair.  And all the homeowners around the Biltmore area can look at more condos and the people buying the new condos can look at the massive seven condos surrounding and suffocating them.  Ah what a picture eh?  Who would want to buy into that ugly condo canyon anyway!    Instead of the Belleview Biltmore Homeowners' Association, if the hotel were demolished, they could call themselves Belleair's Condo Canyon Association!   Belleair will become a laughing stock of over development.  And so much for the Comprehensive Plan in which Belleair resident Laurie Adams wrote me:  "One goal of the Town's Comprehensive Plan is to "ensure that the park-like, residential/family character of the Town of Belleair is maintained and protected while supporting the continued economic viability of local resorts and the preservation of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel".   So not only is Belleair failing to enforce their own preservation ordinance, they are failing to uphold their town's Comprehensive Plan!  They would be breaking laws if they vote to demolish the Biltmore if a demolition permit would be approved!  They would have to completely UNDUE their own preservation ordinance AND their Comprehensive Plan to demolish the hotel!  

SAVE THE TIDES PEOPLE VICTORY!  An extremely important decision has been made as reported by the Seminole Beacon (TBNweekly.com).  The Tides Golf Course in South Pinellas was under threat of being developed and guess who was their attorney but Ed Armstrong, also the attorney for Biltmore Hotel owners KAWA!  The people living around the Tides got together and worked very hard to save their beautiful golf course from development.   Hear that all 4,000 Belleair citizens!  The good news is that because of their COMPREHENSIVE PLAN (!), the developers have backed off and the Tides Golf Course is saved all because of the POWER of Pinellas County's Comprehensive Plan which basically states "the proposed development was inconsistent with the Pinellas County Comprehensive Plan, particularly with the plan’s policies regarding open space."  From the Seminole Beacon also:  "The economic, environmental, and community (social and quality of life) consequences of conversion of open space to developed uses are at the center."  “Once that space is gone, it’s gone – and it’s not coming back,” said William Kimpton, the Dunedin-based attorney who represents Save the Tides, a group of citizens who were opposed to the proposed development.  But at the end of the day, [the County staff] stayed true to following the comprehensive plan and protecting green space.  Kimpton said he’s proposing that the County create a special district for the Tides’ land. He submitted a letter outlining his proposal and plans to meet with representatives from the County soon. His hopes are that the local community will be able to purchase the property from the bank, with the help of the County government, to preserve the green space."

So Belleair officials this comment to you:  Pinellas County will enforce their own
Comprehensive Plan but you will not!!??  Let's get serious about laws here!  They need to be enforced in Belleair also, not just in Pinellas County!  And Pinellas County, can you not convince Belleair officials to uphold their own Comprehensive Plan! 
Where is your power anyway!

MAJOR FORCES IN PLAY:  Mayor Katica and his four commissioners are receiving an extreme amount of pressure from certain groups right in Belleair who want the hotel demolished!  One of the main reasons is that many of the residents in the seven condos and nearby homes (Belleview Biltmore Homes Association) no longer want to look at the damaged Biltmore roof.  Oh woe is me!  And why would the Belleair Country Club, which is right by the Biltmore, want the hotel anyway, they were against Legg Mason's plan to restore it.  They have their own private restaurant and club anyway.  They unfortunately do not "need" the Biltmore! And changing the zoning will let the Country Club buy two more acres of parking space, improve their tennis courts and enable them to recruit more members.  The Belleair Country Club is one of Belleair's largest taxpayers, so says Mayor Katica, so connect the dots people!  Their membership is very small, only 400 members of which around 100 live in Belleair and yet they exert such powerful influence in Belleair.  So we now know two powerful groups who are influencing the demolition of the Biltmore!  By the way, the Belleair Country Club charges $5,000 initiation plus $415 a month for a full family golf membership. Must the rich always win or is there still some integrity left to save the hotel by the OTHER residents in Belleair and the nearby community?

So let's summarize, right now we can see that the Belleair Country Club, and the Belleview Biltmore Homeowners Association (which includes the "condo people") are basically in charge of Belleair and the fate of the Belleview Biltmore!  Will these groups run Belleair from now on too?  Sure seems that way doesn't it.  That's why it is time for all Biltmore supporters, both in and outside of Belleair to come out and demand that Belleair officials vote NO on the RM-10 zoning changes!

ZONING EXPLAINED:  The R-10 zoning designation overlaps the existing square footage requirements incorporated in the R-15 designation. That means that the developer can build homes exactly the size of those already existing in the RPD... they just couldn't build as many of them per acre as if they were zoned R-15. That means there is a strong possibility that the RPD homes would be devalued by the surplus of new construction. I don't think the current RPD owners understand this. Someone reading this tell them that!!!  The details of the zoning classification are complex and hard for them to follow. Also, the developer can get around a lot of the limits in the size/height building classification by having more open space, putting parking underground, etc. The people in the RPD probably don't understand that, either.  Someone tell them that too!

Putting the RM-10 zoning designation into place right now sends the message that the demolition of the hotel is inevitable and that message will be heard loud and strong by the hotel owners who are salivating over the Belleview Biltmore property.

If Belleair officials incorporate the foundation for new development on the hotel site by adding the potential for R-10 development, the current owners will not feel pressured to consider lower bids by groups hoping to purchase restore the hotel. Instead, they will continue to try to maximize their profit on the sale of the land to a developer who can wait-out the time necessary to go through the steps necessary to demolish the hotel and maximize their profit on the land/new development. We need to deprive the owners of hope that they will see several million more in profit by going through the process of demolition and development on the Belleview Biltmore property. Postponing the R-10 rezoning classification would go a long way in accomplishing this goal and giving the owners more motivation to sell the hotel to preservationists.

The restoration of the Belleview Biltmore is central to Belleair, not only as a hotel, but as the center of activities everyone in town can enjoy... not just those who live in the RPD or homes around the hotel. If we don't save and restore the hotel, we deprive Town residents (except those who can afford to belong to the Belleair Country Club) with local restaurants, meeting places, hotel rooms for out-of-town guests, a spa, and most importantly, a magnificent historic attraction that generates great income for the town. Thousands of people across the country have stayed at and loved the Biltmore, their voices need to be heard also.

I hope the rest of the Belleair's 4,000 residents STORM that January 21 meeting and demand that their voices be heard too to SAVE THE BILTMORE!

BELLEAR MAYOR GARY KATICA:  Many of you have written me that Mayor Katica is a lost cause in regards to saving the hotel. I feel that Mayor Katica has LOST HIS WAY of what is really important in Belleair. Along with Commissioner Kevin Piccaretto who is rushing and pushing to pass this ridiculous RM-10 zoning, so he obviously does NOT care about the hotel and does NOT care about putting pressure on KAWA either.  So he has lost his way also.  Commissioner Tom Shelly is actually the official who created the idea of RM-10 because he did not want to "get stuck with RM-15."  But we know Shelly loves the hotel and wishes it to be saved but I feel he does not realize the implications of changing the zoning. You can not just "suggest" to KAWA to save the hotel, one must vote NO on any zoning changes to makre sure they do NOT sell to a developer who will destroy the Biltmore!  I feel all three officials need to see the importance of putting more pressure on KAWA to ONLY sell to preservation-type developers. Belleair officials should be standing firm and have NO zoning changes, especially not now when there are two bids on the table to buy the Biltmore.  KAWA should be "forced" to sell the hotel at a fair price to one of these bidders by having officials REFUSE to change the zoning!  ALL commissioners and mayor need to enforce their 2005 preservation ordinance and their Comprehensive Plan!

Mayor Katica is under a tremendous amount of pressure from certain Belleair groups, so much so that now tragically he is bending and caving under the weight. It is up to you our precious Biltmore supporters to set him and the other commissioners straight.  Tell him and the commissioners that it is more important to have the Biltmore in their town versus having more towers of concrete condos and townhomes.  The Biltmore once restored would generate a huge amount of tax dollars for Belleair and also help the outside community financially as well. Mayor Katica used to be in favor of saving the Biltmore but you must convince him and the entire commission that NO zoning changes need to be made right now.  They need to give investors more time for them to come up with the money to restore the hotel. Only by the saying NO to zoning changes can we put pressure on the KAWA to sell to one of two hotel bidders. IT IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

You can see why Mayor Katica does NOT care if he "rewards KAWA for bad behavior" now with millions of dollars to KAWA for the demolishment of the hotel.  Instead with the demolition of the Biltmore, he would be rewarding the Belleair Country Club, the "condo people" which include the Belleview Biltmore Homeowners Association to get them off his back!  So if the Biltmore goes down, we all know whom to ultimately blame.  The buck stops with Mayor Katica.  Please Mr. Mayor find your way back to saving Belleair's Belleview Biltmore hotel.  That is the legacy you should leave for your family and all citizens, not demolition!

HOTEL CLEANUP:  Why didn't the condo people and the Country Club and any other naysayers along with Belleair government money made from the sale of the golf course all chip in and pursue a lawsuit AGAINST KAWA to enforce the historic preservation ordinance and make them repair the roof and other damage!  Where was their community spirit anyway to save THEIR hotel?  All these naysayers ever do is complain, lack civic pride and have failed to convince Belleair officials to pursue a lawsuit against KAWA.   Surely with the high membership prices the Country Club charges, who by the way wrote a letter to Mayor Katica complaining about the weeds and roof etc., could do something about cleaning up the hotel themselves since the Biltmore is right next to the club!

TOWN OF BELLEAIR:  Why are not ALL Belleair residents (approximately 4,000) consulted on the future of the hotel anyway? Per above, we know the reasons why!   Right now only the Belleview Biltmore Homeowners Association (RPD for short)  were consulted on the RM-10!! Do you all see how this is so very wrong!   Losing the Biltmore would affect ALL 4,000 residents in this town not just the "condo people" and people around the hotel or the Country Club.  Yet only the RPD was consulted recently!  The Country Club has always been against the hotel renovations planned by one investor.  Belleair officials did much to help the "golf course people" a few years ago.  Those who own property surrounding the Belleview Biltmore and everyone who lives in Belleair deserve the same consideration of quality of life and property values. The Belleview Biltmore used to provide ALL Belleair residents with restaurants, a spa, ballrooms/meeting rooms, historic tours, and hotel rooms for their out-of-town guests while generating good income for the Town. ANY Belleair resident could freely go into the Biltmore.  Only Belleair Country Club members can dine at their restaurant!  If restored, the hotel could do so again for ALL residents both in and out of Belleair. If the Commission stands firm and lets the current owner know that their plans to destroy the hotel and develop the property will never bear fruit, then KAWA would be more willing to negotiate a fair purchase price with those who want to restore the hotel rather than seeking top-dollar for the property like they now are at $8 million.  With the damage, they need to drop the price of the hotel to $6 milion, and Belleair officials can help do this by standing firm to them.  And to repeat, two architects have told me that the Biltmore can STILL be restored! 

IMPORTANT:  By the way, if the zoning is approved, KAWA is ready to sell to a townhome/condo developer, who will put in a permit to demolish the hotel, so listen up people, THIS IS IT, TO COME TO THE JANUARY 21 meeting and get Belleair officials to vote NO!  Urgency!  The Belleair Bee has an online article today that this developer (NOT preservationist) would sign a contract on January 24!  So you can see why it is EXTREMELY important you come to the January 21 meeting!  And anyone can send emails too!  With this news, it is mandatory that you come to this meeting if you care for the Biltmore at all.

A THANK YOU:  I want to take this time to give a BIG thank you to many Belleair residents for all their help and support as of late and in the past.  They dearly want to save their beloved Belleview Biltmore and are working very hard to save it.  Also a BIG thank you to any of you who sent your ONE-MINUTE EMAIL or wrote personalized emails to Belleair officials and all the other supporters who have voiced their opinions and ideas to me.  Please send this email to everyone you know so they can write the mayor and commissioners to SAVE THE BILTMORE and vote NO on RM-10 zoning changes!

EMAIL ADDRESSES OF BELLEAIR OFFICIALS:  Mayor Gary Katica, Commissioners Stephen Fowler, Tom Shelly, Kevin Piccarreto and Michael Wilkinson and Town Manager, Micah Maxwell 

gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net,tshelly@townofbelleair.net kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net,mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,mmaxwell@townofbelleair.net email@savethebiltmore.com if you wish to copy me

I encourage everyone to send an email to Belleair officials even if you have already done so. YOU DON'T THINK THE "CONDO PEOPLE" OR THE COUNTRY CLUB OR HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION ONLY COMPLAINED ONCE TO MAYOR KATICA DO YOU!?  They have been complaining for years!  We have to show officials that we all care and love the Biltmore, and there is no need whatsoever for officials to redo the zoning at this point in time.  They are supposed to be fighting to save the Biltmore and wait for one of these two bidders to complete the sale. They should NOT even be discussing any thoughts of demolition or changing the zoning with KAWA at this point in time!  They are supposed to be standing firm with KAWA and impatient residents and up holding their own laws which supports the saving of the hotel.  According to articles in the newspaper, Belleair Bee and Tampa Bay Times, Belleair officials were discussing with KAWA about the demolition of the hotel, and what KAWA would build in its place!  SHOCKING! This discussion should never have occurred in the first place.  Officials should be telling KAWA that they will not change any zoning and that KAWA needs to sell to one of the bidders at a reduced price considering all the damage KAWA has done to the hotel.

When sending an email to Belleair officials, please be civil and give logical reasons why they should ignore the "condo people" and other naysayers and why the zoning must be denied and why it is important to save the Biltmore.  If there are any financial gurus on my mailing list, be sure to write officials as to why it is more profitable to keep the Biltmore as a hotel vs building townhomes and condos. Please send me a copy of your emails so I understand all the financial ramifications myself.  However, once restored the hotel will generate a small fortune in tax dollars for Belleair.  No other use will generate as much much for Belleair as a restored Biltmore.  They must wait for a buyer of the hotel!

Let's face it, in Belleair, money talks.

FINAL THOUGHTS:   The current hotel owners have done everything in their power to destroy the historic icon that is responsible for the town of Belleair's existence. We should do nothing to help these people profit from their despicable behavior. Instead, we should send them a strong message that we will do what it takes to protect Belleair's heritage and the property values of Belleair citizens, while waiting for them to sell the hotel at a fair price to those who would restore the hotel to its full glory.

Spend 30 minutes this week posting some Save the Biltmore flyers around where you live or work, print and show your neighbors this Update, come to the January 21st meeting in Belleair at 6:30 p.m. and ask Belleair officials to vote NO to the RM-10 zoning changes and to continue to SAVE THE BILTMORE!


Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

Now write and send an email to the mayor and commissioners or just forward this ENTIRE EMAIL to them!  30 seconds, that is all that is required!  Repeat:  just forward this ENTIRE EMAIL to them!
 
 
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©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 
 
 
NATIONAL TRUST:  They can help us save the Biltmore, show them we need their help by joining this valuable national organization for only $20 a year.   http://www.preservationnation.org/

 

Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter and FLYER--Saturday, January 4, 2014

 

Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter and Flyer--- Saturday, January 4, 2014 
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,

 

THE VERY GOOD NEWS:  No matter what you heard, read or saw in December 2013, the Belleview Biltmore Hotel still can be renovated and restored!  So we can now put an end to whatever the hotel owners claim or say about the condition of this historic hotel.  Here is a wonderful quote from Rick Gonzalez, president of Florida Trust, vice chair of the Florida Historical Commission and a practicing historic preservation architect with his own firm, REG Architects in West Palm Beach, Florida.  "I know a thing or two about preservation in Florida.  The Belleview Biltmore can be restored especially under the supervision of a preservation architect for the enjoyment of all Floridians and visitors for another 100 years. I hope the mayor and commission show leadership in helping this project move forward."  

THE BAD NEWS:  The Belleair Planning and Zoning Board unfortunately voted 4-2 in December, 2013 in favor of making zoning changes to allow for multi-family or condo development in place of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel!!   These four members of the P and Z Board just rewarded the current owners of the Biltmore, KAWA Capital, for bad behavior:  NEGLIGENCE!!!  In legal terms it is called "demolition by neglect."  What were they thinking!  They basically told KAWA that's it's okay to destroy Belleair's heritage and history, and that it's okay to make fools of them and the mayor and his commissioners. These four people have potentially given KAWA millions and millions of dollars on a silver platter.  Have these four people no pride in their hotel, their history and to stop KAWA NOW when they could have?  It was like leading lambs to a slaughter.  How humilating. The hotel owners must be overjoyed with this vote and dancing in the streets of Miami that they are winning!  This traitorous vote legally leads the way to the demolition of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel unless stopped January 21, 2014 by Belleair commissioners!

The current owners of the Biltmore have made a complete mockery of Belleair and its officials by failure to provide tarps to cover the Bltmore roof and other repairs thus attempting "demolition by neglect" by breaking the historic preservation ordinance law passed in 2005 by Belleair.  The hotel owners also did a legal maneuver that wiped out the fines that accrued (over $200,000 worth) for failure to safeguard the hotel! And now four members of the P and Z Board reward KAWA for making fools of the town!  How absolutely ludicrous!  It is time for Belleair Mayor Katica and his commissioners to get justice against the owners by voting NO to zoning changes January 21 and to SAVE THE BILTMORE.  They MUST stop rewarding KAWA for their bad behavior:  NEGLIGENCE!  Belleair commissioners must take back their pride and integrity by keeping their precious history intact and their Belleview Biltmore Hotel.

If Belleair officials do not finally get firm then and WIN THIS WAR, they would basically be tossing millions and millions of dollars at KAWA as a reward for their disgusting behavior and making fools of these officials for their inability to stop these developers when they could have.  How in the world would they ever hold up their heads again with these developers destroying their history ON PURPOSE!

Belleair officials have the authority to vote NO to these recommendations on January 21, 2014 and NOT approve any zoning changes thus saving the Biltmore!!   Show your support and attend this IMPORTANT MEETING to Save the Biltmore.   This is of utmost urgency, the Biltmore's future is truly at stake now.  These zoning changes MUST be denied!! 

For now there is no reason whatsoever for KAWA to sell the Biltmore to any investor unfortunately because of these four members of the P and Z Board who indirectly approved demolition of the hotel. KAWA is of course hoping Mayor Katica and his four commissioners follow the four negative P and Z board members like sheep. That is why you must help us save the Biltmore with flyers around town with your emails or attend the January 21 meeting to convince Belleair Mayor Katica and his commissioners to finally stand up to these developers at last and SAVE THE BILTMORE!

Have you noticed Washington D.C. is repairing the Capital Building with a $60 million renovation?  Do you see them demolishing the Capital and building a new one?  Of course not! 

FLYER:  To help us Save the Biltmore, go to this link
http://www.savethebiltmore.com/SAVETHEBILTMOREFLYERJanuary2014.htm
and print out flyers.

Show this flyer to ten people or hang this flyer up around your community in condominiums, retail stores, antique stores, malls, your office, libraries, events, gas stations, restaurants etc.   Bring family and friends!   We urgently need your help to show your support to Save the Biltmore!   BE THERE!  Numbers count!  Urge Belleair officials to vote "NO" to zoning changes!
 

We ALL must join together to Save the Biltmore!

BELLEAIR COMMISSION MEETING
Tuesday, January 21, 2014     
Time: 6:30 P.M.   
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.   
Belleair, Florida

ONE-MINUTE EMAIL CAMPAIGN:   Everyone, please send this ONE-MINUTE EMAIL below to Belleair officials and encourage them to vote NO to zoning changes and to continue to save the Biltmore as a hotel.  Or feel free to write your own thoughts or you may copy this email below and send it to them.  It will only take one minute or less!  WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!  Simply copy and paste the e-addresses below to your email program and then either write your own email or copy and paste the enclosed email and SEND IMMEDIATELY!

Mayor Gary Katica, Commissioners Stephen Fowler, Tom Shelly, Kevin Piccarreto and
Michael Wilkinson and Town Manager, Micah Maxwell

gkatica@townofbelleair.net,sfowler@townofbelleair.net,tshelly@townofbelleair.net kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net,mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,mmaxwell@townofbelleair.net,

Honorable Mayor Katica and Belleair Commissioners:

Citizens both locally and around the world have placed their trust in you to follow through with and enforce your own Comprehensive Plan and 2005 historic preservation ordinance that was designed to save The White Queen of the Gulf now and forever.   The goal of the preservation ordinance was to protect this iconic structure against NEGLIGENCE:  "demolition by neglect."  The current owners have totally ignored your laws and purposely failed to provide tarps to protect the Biltmore roof in storms and were able to wipe out fines accrued by them through legal maneuvers.  As a result, they have taken advantage of you and your citizens.  They have insulted your laws and integrity.  They are destroying your history and heritage.  They have made a mockery of you and your citizens who have supported the hotel.  You now have the opportunity to finally STAND UP to these developers who sought to destroy your history and hotel ON PURPOSE!   I urge you to save your beautiful historic Victorian Belleview Biltmore Hotel for my generation and future generations to enjoy.  I urge you to vote "NO" on any zoning changes January 21, 2013 that would allow for multi-family or condo/townhouse development in place of the Biltmore.   Take back what is rightfully yours.  Then and ONLY then will you have control of your own town and the Biltmore.  Show them that YOU are in charge.

It is time for justice against KAWA and to Save the Biltmore!!

Sincerely,

--------------------

FINAL THOUGHTS
No one ever said saving a historic Victorian hotel would be easy!  Yes it has been many years since 2004 when I first launched the web site http://www.savethebiltmore.com to try to save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.  The important fact is that it is STILL standing!  Historic buildings often face years and sometimes decades of abuse from their greedy owners to pursue "demolition by neglect" in order to destroy history and heritage and fatten their own wallets.   KAWA even had the chance to cover the Biltmore roof with tarps when they recently made millions of dollars selling the Pelican Golf Course to Belleair and the Cabana Club to other investors. But KAWA completely failed to do this again, with attempts of NEGLIGENCE:  "demolition by neglect."

If KAWA wins, they will be laughing all the way to the bank as to how they outwitted, outplayed and outsmarted Biltmore supporters and the Belleair Mayor and commissioners.  I hope Belleair commissioners and especially Mayor Katica are OUTRAGED as to how they have been mistreated, used and taken advantage of.  Belleair officials, however, now have the chance to finally stand up for themselves legally and prove they can Save the Biltmore and its future.  Belleair officials need to say NO to zoning changes thus allowing an investment group to more easily purchase the hotel because then KAWA CANNOT build multi-family homes on the sacred ground that the hotel was built on in 1896. It is time for JUSTICE against KAWA and SAVE THE BILTMORE on January 21, 2014!!

Let's have a 5-0 vote to prove who is finally in charge of Belleair and the Bitmore!


Sincerely,


Diane S. Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com

P.S.  Now send out your ONE-MINUTE EMAIL to the mayor and commissioners RIGHT NOW!

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©  2014

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 
 

Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter and PRESS RELEASE--- Saturday, December 14, 2013

 

Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter and PRESS RELEASE--- Saturday, December 14, 2013 
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
 
Below is a press release by Bay Proby, Miami, Florida, who represents Belleview Biltmore Partners, the company who is trying to purchase the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.
 
BELLEVIEW BILTMORE PARTNERS SUBMITS OFFER
TO PURCHASE THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE GOLF CLUB
 
 Negotiations Continue for Purchase and Renovation of Historic Hotel Property
 
 MIAMI, FL. - Dec. 13, 2013 -- Belleview Biltmore Partners, LLC (BBP) has
 responded to the Town of Belleair's invitation to negotiate the purchase and
 lease of the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club. Designed by world-famous golf
 architect Donald Ross, the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club course has been an
 international favorite since 1925.
 
 In addition, Richard J. Heisenbottle, FAIA, BBP's managing partner, today
 expressed optimism that he will reach a successful conclusion to
 negotiations with the Belleview Biltmore Hotel & Resort owners for the
 purchase of the hotel property and that given the opportunity, BBP will
 reach successful negotiations with the Town of Belleair for the purchase of
 the golf course as well.  "We do not subscribe to the theory that the
 landmark Belleview Biltmore Hotel & Resort is beyond repair and can no
 longer be restored," said Heisenbottle.  "That theory is sheer folly for
 those who know little about historic preservation. My firm has restored
 numerous historic structures that were in far worse physical condition than
 the Belleview Biltmore."
 
 BBP Partner Charles Kropke said,  "Let us not forget that the rich history
 of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and the Town of Belleair are forever
 entwined.  The Town of Belleair exists, in part, because Henry Plant chose
 to build this historic hotel on this bluff.  The hotel's impact on the
 community over the years has been nothing short of remarkable. The hotel was
 and can again be a great source of community pride, financial benefit and real estate growth."    
 
 BBP Partner Gary Rosenberg added, "The Belleview Biltmore brand and style
 represent an amazing untapped marketing opportunity for the residents of the
 Town of Belleair." Rosenberg's past golf and resort industry experience includes
 senior executive responsibilities and oversight of some of America's finest resorts and
 golf club facilities.  Those facilities including Pinehurst Resort and Club,
 Firestone Country Club,  The Homestead Resort and Club, Barton Creek Resort and Club,
 Sawgrass Resort and Club and the Boca Raton Hotel and Club.
 
 "Without a doubt, we believe that our offer represents by far the best value
 for the Town of Belleair, not only because the purchase price offered
 returns the town's initial investment in full, but more importantly because
 the success of the hotel, the golf course and the town are inextricably
 linked," added Heisenbottle.  "A restored hotel with its own Donald Ross
 golf course generates multiple positive benefits not only for the Town of
 Belleair, but for all of Pinellas County. With it will come a new sense of
 community pride along with national prestige and publicity."  
 
We urge supporters to again spread the word to anyone they know that the Belleview Biltmore needs investors to help purchase the hotel.  Have them contact us at http://www.savethebiltmore.com.
 
FINAL THOUGHTS: 

We urge the current owners of the hotel to have Christmas spirit this season and finally

                                     DO THE RIGHT THING!

We hope they join in with Belleview Biltmore Partners to find solutions to enable them to purchase the hotel.   What better gift can the owners give than the gift of saving history!  What better legacy can the owners leave their families than doing the right thing!  What better way to honor their own heritage and upbringing than by acting in good spirit!   Restoration of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel is unquestionably the highest and best use of the property.  It will create new jobs, provide tax revenue, new business opportunities, increase property values while enriching the lives of Belleair residents and surrounding communities plus save a vital piece of Belleair and Florida history.   It would be a win-win solution for all and the best Christmas ever!

A happy holiday season to everyone!

 

Sincerely,
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
 
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2013

 

 

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 

 

 

 
 
  
Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter and PRESS RELEASE--- Sunday, December 15, 2013 
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
 
Below is a press release by Bay Proby, Miami, Florida, who represents Belleview Biltmore Partners, the company who is trying to purchase the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.
 
BELLEVIEW BILTMORE PARTNERS SUBMITS OFFER
TO PURCHASE THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE GOLF CLUB
 
 Negotiations Continue for Purchase and Renovation of Historic Hotel Property
 
 MIAMI, FL. - Dec. 13, 2013 -- Belleview Biltmore Partners, LLC (BBP) has
 responded to the Town of Belleair's invitation to negotiate the purchase and
 lease of the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club. Designed by world-famous golf
 architect Donald Ross, the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club course has been an
 international favorite since 1925.
 
 In addition, Richard J. Heisenbottle, FAIA, BBP's managing partner, today
 expressed optimism that he will reach a successful conclusion to
 negotiations with the Belleview Biltmore Hotel & Resort owners for the
 purchase of the hotel property and that given the opportunity, BBP will
 reach successful negotiations with the Town of Belleair for the purchase of
 the golf course as well.  "We do not subscribe to the theory that the
 landmark Belleview Biltmore Hotel & Resort is beyond repair and can no
 longer be restored," said Heisenbottle.  "That theory is sheer folly for
 those who know little about historic preservation. My firm has restored
 numerous historic structures that were in far worse physical condition than
 the Belleview Biltmore."
 
 BBP Partner Charles Kropke said,  "Let us not forget that the rich history
 of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and the Town of Belleair are forever
 entwined.  The Town of Belleair exists, in part, because Henry Plant chose
 to build this historic hotel on this bluff.  The hotel's impact on the
 community over the years has been nothing short of remarkable. The hotel was
 and can again be a great source of community pride, financial benefit and real estate growth."    
 
 BBP Partner Gary Rosenberg added, "The Belleview Biltmore brand and style
 represent an amazing untapped marketing opportunity for the residents of the
 Town of Belleair." Rosenberg's past golf and resort industry experience includes
 senior executive responsibilities and oversight of some of America's finest resorts and
 golf club facilities.  Those facilities including Pinehurst Resort and Club,
 Firestone Country Club,  The Homestead Resort and Club, Barton Creek Resort and Club,
 Sawgrass Resort and Club and the Boca Raton Hotel and Club.
 
 "Without a doubt, we believe that our offer represents by far the best value
 for the Town of Belleair, not only because the purchase price offered
 returns the town's initial investment in full, but more importantly because
 the success of the hotel, the golf course and the town are inextricably
 linked," added Heisenbottle.  "A restored hotel with its own Donald Ross
 golf course generates multiple positive benefits not only for the Town of
 Belleair, but for all of Pinellas County. With it will come a new sense of
 community pride along with national prestige and publicity."  
 
We urge supporters to again spread the word to anyone they know that the Belleview Biltmore needs investors to help purchase the hotel.  Have them contact us at http://www.savethebiltmore.com.
 
FINAL THOUGHTS: 

We urge the current owners of the hotel to have Christmas spirit this season and finally

                                     DO THE RIGHT THING!

We hope they join in with Belleview Biltmore Partners to find solutions to enable them to purchase the hotel.   What better gift can the owners give than the gift of saving history!  What better legacy can the owners leave their families than doing the right thing!  What better way to honor their own heritage and upbringing than by acting in good spirit!   Restoration of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel is unquestionably the highest and best use of the property.  It will create new jobs, provide tax revenue, new business opportunities, increase property values while enriching the lives of Belleair residents and surrounding communities plus save a vital piece of Belleair and Florida history.   It would be a win-win solution for all and the best Christmas ever!

A happy holiday season to everyone!

 

Sincerely,
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
 
 
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2013

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 
 

 

 

If your email program will not allow you to read this Update click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreUpdates.htm
  
 
Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter --- Thursday, August 22, 2013 
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
 
The current hotel owners, the Ades Brothers of KAWA Capital again are trying to demolish the historic Belleview Biltmore Hotel.  They presented a plan to Belleair officials on August 6, 2013 to demolish the hotel and erect 32 townhomes and 136 condominiums.

To read all the details click  http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreNewspapersAndPublications.htm    There are excellent articles on this new development by Keyonna Summers from the Tampa Bay Times and Tom Germond editor of the Belleair Bee.

The town of Belleair passed a historic preservation ordinance in 2005 with massive community support for the saving of this Victorian icon.  The town also has a Comprehensive Plan which supports saving of the hotel.  For KAWA to demolish the Biltmore, town officials would have to be receptive to changing the preservation ordinance! What was the point of THEIR passing the law only to rescind it!

Town Manager Micah Maxwell and City Attorney David Ottinger, who said the property's current land use and zoning designations and height restrictions as well as Belleair's Comprehensive Plan prohibit the Belleview Biltmore Hotel owners or developers from proposing any plan other than hotels or single-family homes.  Development of multi-family units would require a zoning change to the site.

Commissoner Steven Fowler cast the lone vote out of Belleair town officials to NOT look into zoning changes.  So we thank him for his continued and never-ending support for the hotel!

As we have done in the past, we continue to support Belleview Biltmore Partners in their efforts to buy and restore the Biltmore.

We encourage the public to attend Belleair town meetings as the topic of the future of the Belleview Biltmore will be coming up in the coming weeks and months.  We ask for your continued support.  There is a Historic Preservation Board meeting this coming August 27, 2013   4:00 PM-5:00 PM at the Town Hall Auditorium, Belleair Florida, 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd. Belleair, FL 33756.  Feel free to attend this meeting and voice your concern and support for the saving of the Biltmore!

http://www.townofbelleair.com/ for other contact information.  For future meeting dates go to their web site and click under "Agendas and Minutes." 

FINAL THOUGHTS  We urge everyone to talk to as many people as you can, email this Update to everyone you know to AGAIN bring awareness that the beautiful Belleview Biltmore Hotel is again under threat of demolition.   Restoration of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel is unquestionably the highest and best use of the property.  It will create new jobs, provide tax revenue, new business opportunities, increase property values while enriching the lives of Belleair residents and surrounding communities.

Sincerely,
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
 
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2013

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 

 
1
If your email program will not allow you to read this Update click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreUpdates.htm
  
Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter --- Saturday, October 13, 2012
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
 
Miami Architect Richard Heisenbottle and his group, (Belleview Biltmore Partners) were unable to come up with the money to close and purchase the Belleview Biltmore Hotel last week.   The current owner of the hotel, KAWA Capital has unfortunately filed a DEMOLITION PERMIT for the hotel with Belleair as a result.
 
However the good news is that Belleview Biltmore Partners are STILL proceeding to find investors to purchase the hotel by end of this year. 
 
Per the October 9, 2012 Wall Street Journal article this week by Kris Hudson, "Architect Richard Heisenbottle and his two partners, have hired Miami investment bank CGI Merchant Group LLC to raise capital for buying the hotel and restoring it to is former glory.

"The group so far has assembled nearly $25 million through a federal investment tax program for historic buildings, and Mr. Heisenbottle anticipates landing a $75.5 million construction loan. He still is canvassing potential investors for as much as $16 million in equity contributions, he said."

If anyone reading this article is interested in becoming an investor with Belleview Biltmore Partners so that the Biltmore may be saved, PLEASE CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY!  Diane Hein, President of Save the Biltmore Preservationists. 

Please email this Update to as many people and news media across the country you know to spread the word that the Biltmore is AGAIN in  jeopardy of demolition and Belleview Biltmore Partners needs their help to purchase the hotel by the end of THIS year, 2012!
 
There are three excellent newspaper articles that go into extreme detail about what is happening about the hotel and also the owner's attempt to avoid fines that have collected since they purchased the hotel, to read them simply click on our media link: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreNewspapersAndPublications.htm  They are from the Belleair Bee by Brian Goff, Tampa Bay Times by Terri Bryce Reeves and the Wall Street Journal by Kris Hudson.
 
FINAL THOUGHTS
We urge everyone to talk to as many people as you can, email this Update to everyone you know to AGAIN bring awareness that the beautiful Belleview Biltmore Hotel is again under threat of demolition and Belleview Partners needs more investors to purchase the hotel. 
 
URGENCY IS TOP PRIORITY! 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
You can receive notifications of news I post there within 24 to 48 hours.

©  2012

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 

 

 
1
If your email program will not allow you to read this Update click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreUpdates.htm
  
Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter -- Sunday, September 9, 2012
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
  
We're happy to announce that the vote for the tax abatement to help Belleview Biltmore Partners was positive again with a 3/2 YES vote!   This was the second and final reading for approval to an ordinance in Belleair that would allow a tax abatement for historical buildings (like the Biltmore).  Belleair already had the abatement for historic residential properties.
The vote was again the same, Mayor Katica NO, Commissioner Kevin Piccarreto NO, Vice Mayor Steve Fowler YES, Commissioners Tom Shelly YES and Michael Wilkinson YES.

Belleview Biltmore Partners can apply for the tax exemption on up to 100 percent of the value of the improvements for up to 10 years AFTER their renovations are completed.  A negotiation process would determine the dollar amount of the exemption and the number of years.

We want to thank Belleair elected officials for working so diligently on this tax abatement issue for so many weeks and also to thank all of our Biltmore supporters who either wrote letters to them or attended the last two meetings in support of the tax abatement.

The hotel purchase by Belleview Biltmore Partners is this October 1, 2012 when the six-month contract that was signed March 30, 2012 ends.

PHOTOS
Below is a wonderful photo of the historic Belleview Biltmore Hotel 1976 golf package pamphlet sent to us by supporter Virginia Vass whose father Edmund O'Connor, was golf pro at the Belleview Biltmore.  His photo below is from the late 1920's, 1930's.
 
 
 

 
 
Sincerely,


Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com
 
 
FACEBOOK:  Like us on Facebook at:
You can receive notifications of news that I post there.
 
©  2012

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:
 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
 

 

 


If your email program will not allow you to read this Update click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreUpdates.htm
  
Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter --Wednesday, August 22, 2012
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
 
 
WONDERFUL NEWS!
A quick update, I know many of you are waiting for results!  At last night's Belleair commission meeting, there was a three out of five "YES!" vote on the first reading of the ordinance to change it include historic commercial properties (such as the Biltmore) to have a tax advantage with what is called a tax abatement.  I want to thank everyone who took the time to come out and speak or show your support at last night's meeting!
 
This is how the vote went:
 
Mayor Gary Katica   NO
Commissioner Kevin Piccarreto  NO
Commissioner and Vice Mayor Steve Fowler  YES!
Commissioner Tom Shelly  YES!
Commissioner Mike Wilkinson  YES!
 
So a special THANK YOU to Commissioners Fowler, Shelly and Wilkinson for their support of the tax abatement issue on the first reading!
 
The SECOND reading of the tax abatement Ordinance No. 480 will be on Tuesday, September 4, 2012.  Meeting starts at 5:30 pm at the Belleair town hall at 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
There are still people in people who shockingly want the hotel NOT saved!   One person even mailed out a flyer trying to discourage people from saving the Biltmore! You and our nonprofit must press on to show our support for the hotel for these misplaced naysayers!!    These negative people have continued to grow stronger in Belleair, so we MUST speak up and out over them as I have said many times now! 
 
We STILL need people to attend the upcoming meeting in Belleair in September to make sure there are three YES! votes for the second reading!  

Belleair town hall: 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd. Belleair, Florida.

The town commissioners in Belleair have the authority to accept or deny the tax abatement for the Belleview Biltmore Hotel. Urge them to vote "YES!" on the tax abatement for the second reading!  The tax abatement will allow Belleview Biltmore Partners to receive tax relief for ten years after the renovations are completed.  This will save them thousands of dollars that can be used to make the hotel financially successful.  Should Belleair officials vote YES! in September for a final vote, the ordinance would become effective 30 days after the final reading and adoption.  Belleview Biltmore Partners six month contract ends the last day of September to purchase the Biltmore so it is imperative they receive this tax abatement!

Again  many many thanks to all of you for your continued support!
 
SAVE THE BILTMORE MEMBERSHIPS
Become a member of nonprofit organization today!  We have five levels of membership, Copper, $50, Bronze $100, Silver $250  Gold $500 and Platinum $1,000.  For example, the $50 Copper Membership includes this: 
    Copper Membership
    a. Biltmore T-shirt, choice of one, either the watercolor design by Janice James OR a T-shirt with photo of the hotel
    b. Biltmore calendar
    c. Biltmore bookmark
    d. Certificate, blue or sepia with your name or company name
    e. Fold-over holder for certificate
 
 
All of us at Save the Biltmore Preservationists work to save the Biltmore strictly as volunteers taking NO salaries.  The money from our memberships have helped to pay for advertisements, web site support, promotional materials, running our online gift shop etc. to keep the message of the Biltmore loud and strong: 
 
SAVE THE BILTMORE!
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
    

©  2012

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo
                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:

 
Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 


Biltmore Update, Sunday, August 19, 2012

If your email program will not allow you to read this Update click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreUpdates.htm
  
 
Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter -- Sunday, August 19, 2012
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
 
IMPORTANT MEETING THIS TUESDAY, AUGUST 21, 6:30 P.M.
Please come to the Belleair town hall meeting at 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Belleair, Florida to encourage Belleair officials to say "YES!" to the tax abatement so the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and golf course will be saved.  More below on this.
 
HISTORIC BOARD OF BELLEAIR
This week I heard about the disastrous decision of the Historic Board on the tax abatement issue.  At first I was so overwhelmed and very saddened that a historic board was trying to destroy a historic hotel, their hotel!  Then I recalled that back in 2004, they again failed to help the Biltmore.  They had the opportunity back then to work on developing a preservation ordinance for Belleair that would save the Biltmore. Did they do that back then?  NO. Nothing from them.  These past seven years of a long nightmare for both Belleair, the community and us could have all been avoided had they done their jobs!

Thank goodness for Sam Casella who found Nancy Stroud. What is the Historic Board's purpose then if it is not to help Belleview Biltmore Partners who will not only save the Biltmore but will also save the golf course from development now that the moratorium has expired.  KAWA will not only destroy the Biltmore but will destroy the golf course and Belleair will have condos or townhomes on each piece of property.  Whether these will be filled or sold below market value, one does not know.  Do Belleair commissioners and Mayor realize this?  Apparently both the Finance Boards and the Historic Boards failed to realize the horrible outcome if this tax abatement is not given the green light.
 
 
FURTHER REASONS TO PASS THE HISTORIC TAX EXEMPTION
Both State of Florida and Pinellas County law regarding tax exemption for historic structures are very specific as to application and use. There is a
n entire committee that will oversee the review process.  This same law exists throughout Florida. In fact, it already exists for residential
structures in the Town of Belleair. 
 
Why should the law not apply to commercial properties? It does everywhere else.  This tax exemption program is supposed to be an incentive for historic property owners to encourage them to invest in and restore their property. Where is the incentive if you make a property owner go through what Belleview Biltmore Partners is going through now?  There is none. The only incentive is to demolish the historic hotel and sell the property for condo development!!
 
Where is the waste of time for the city to pass the exemption???  This is supposed to be an incentive, to encourage the property owner to do the right thing, restore a priceless piece of Florida history even if that restoration costs more than that of new construction.
 
Many in town are missing the most important matter at hand.  Without the incentive - Belleview Biltmore Partners may be unable to secure financing for the project and have to withdraw its purchase offer, leaving the fate of BOTH AND I REPEAT BOTH the Biltmore Hotel and Biltmore Golf Course in jeopardy. Rest assured that the next developer to come along will NOT be restoring the hotel and enhancing the golf course. He will be developing 500 condo units on both properties.
 
RICHARD HEISENBOTTLE OF BELLEVIEW BILTMORE PARTNERS
Here is more information about why Mr. Heisenbottle, architect, has been and will be the BEST choice along with his two Belleview Biltmore Partners, Hector Torres and Charles Kropke for buying and renovating the hotel. From his web site:  

Mr. Heisenbottle has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of architecture and interior design. His background encompasses governmental, education, healthcare, commercial and historic preservation projects both in Miami and New York.  In 1987, he formed his own firm and has been responsible for numerous large-scale developments throughout the tri-county area and the southeastern United States. He is currently a registered architect in 5 states and was accorded the Silver Medal from the AIA in 2003. He was elected to the AIA College of Fellows in February 2005. Today, Mr. Heisenbottle’s firm is well known in South Florida for the historic preservation of some of the area’s oldest and most prestigious buildings including the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, The Colony Theater, the Freedom Tower and the Miami Edison Middle School. He serves as Vice President of the Dade Heritage Trust and has been a member of the City of Miami’s Preservation Board for over 10 years. As an alumnus of the University of Miami, he is continuously active in the School of Architecture and serves as a guest lecturer in historic preservation. Mr. Heisenbottle’s projects have been widely publicized in Architectural Record, the League of Historic American Theaters, Florida Caribbean Architect, and Preservation Today. He has received numerous awards for Excellence in Architecture from the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects and the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and is the recipient of an Outstanding Preservation Project Award from the Florida Trust. 

 

THE YOUNGER GENERATION AND THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE
We need the younger generation to continue to support the Biltmore.  Many children have visited the hotel and if your child, teenager or grandchild has, please have them come to the meeting on Tuesday at 6:30 to speak how they want the Biltmore saved for their generation.  Over the years I have received wonderful letters from adult supporters who spent vacations at the Biltmore as a child, and they still remember fondly the grand lady!  There are already some children planning on speaking Tuesday but we need many more!  Please help us, they can speak for less than a minute or the full three minutes. We encourage
teachers to have their students ask their parents to come to the meeting so they can speak. My late husband Ed Jameson and former vice president always felt that we need the younger generation involved in the hotel, so now is their chance!

.
EDITORIALS SUPPORTING THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE
Below are some excellent editorials both by the Tampa Bay Times (our major Pinellas County daily newspaper) and Biltmore supporters that I feel are important to read:
 
Tampa Bay Times Editorial, April 2012
Even in its sad state of disrepair, Belleair's shuttered Belleview Biltmore
Hotel remains one of the grande dames of Florida architecture. While the
hotel has faced demolition several times in recent years, Coral Gables
architect Richard Heisenbottle has emerged as the property's best hope of
avoiding the wrecking ball and being restored. Heisenbottle blends a
reputation as an innovative architect with a passion for the historical
significance of the Biltmore, and this may be the last viable shot at
saving it.
 
Built by railroad tycoon Henry B. Plant in 1897 and spread over 4 ½
stories and 820,000 square feet, the Biltmore is the largest wood frame
structure in Florida and recalls an era of old-money elegance. The hotel's
guest list includes presidents such as Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush,
Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, and other figures such as Babe Ruth, Joe
DiMaggio and Bob Dylan. The Biltmore is on the National Register of
Historic Places, but restoring the "White Queen of the Gulf" has proven to
be a year's long struggle.
 
With a crumbling roof and other problems, the Biltmore was closed in 2009
and marked for demolition. Now Heisenbottle and other investors have come
forward to sign a purchase agreement with the hotel's latest owner, BB3
Holdings LLC. Heisenbottle has six months to secure financing and design
the building's restorations. Good intentions could still collide with
balance sheet realities; the project could cost more than $145 million.
Local preservationists have fought the good fight. Heisenbottle and his
team may be the last best hope.

Belleair Bee  July 31, 2012  Letter to the Editor
In the committee’s opinion, the full restoration of the hotel, as
proposed by the Biltmore partners, and its projected future expansion,
represent, in the long run, the best opportunity to maximize revenues to
the town through water and electrical fees and, once the abatement expires,
huge increases in ad valorem property taxes, far more than any other
suggested use. In addition, Pinellas County would begin to benefit
immediately from sales and bed taxes generated by the economic engine of an
elegant, dynamic restored Belleview Biltmore.
 
And, of course, what many have always considered to be the soul of the town
would be brought back to life, providing fine dining, remarkable venues for
meetings and social events, and an historic destination site for
conventions, seminars and conferences, stunning architecture and fun for
the family.
 
Some who oppose the Hotel – even though they have not offered an
alternative – want you to question the economic viability of the project.
Suffice it to say, the partners and their lenders are willing to assume
that risk as evidenced by their investment of both time and money, and that
the most highly respected consulting firm in the domestic hotel business
has thoroughly studied the project and concluded it can be successful.
We urge you to keep these things in mind as the issues of tax abatement and
restoration of the hotel come before the Town Commission in the coming
weeks.
 
Jim Betts, Belleair, Florida
 
Belleair Bee August 7, 2012  Letter to the Editor
The people who want the resort envision the renewal not only of the
structures, but the renewal of local economic activity not seen in our
lifetime in this town. In addition, it will restore the unique and
distinctive character to our town of Belleair. It is safe to say, that if
this idea succeeds, we will have in our midst a commercial enterprise that
will rival any similar enterprise in the country, or in the world for that
matter. Truly, this is the town’s chance of the town’s lifetime.
 
In recalling the comments made that night by the folks who don’t want the
resort, their strategy seems to be, how can we delay moving forward with
this project. The last time this strategy was used was when the previous
project people were taken to court with a frivolous lawsuit resulting in
the buyers dropping the project.
 
The loss of revenue to the town as a result of the five-year inactivity should be
recalled. Their anti-resort proposal is nothing more than a vague idea,
which will require the town to change codes and demolish the structures
without any hope of even approaching the revenue that will be generated by
a successful enterprise like the resort. Of course, they may then step in and
save the day by buying the undeveloped land at fire sale prices. What a
thoughtful thing to do for the good of the town! Yes, people like that live among us.
 
Ken Keating, Belleair, FL

 
PROSPERITY and PRESTIGE for BELLEAIR 
Belleair Bee August 15, 2012  Letter to the Editor
The Mayor and Commissioners of Belleair should be thrilled that finally
someone, with the expertise, is willing to undertake the restoration of the
hotel.  Instead of constantly repeating BIG NUMBERS to the residents of
Belleair, why not talk in terms that everyone can relate to.  IF the hotel
is restored and IF a 100% tax abatement is granted, it would mean $200 per
household in more taxes per year.  I think if people realized what the huge
numbers that keep jumping out at them really amount to, most would be
willing to give that additional money over a 10 year period. 
 
Naturally, it may not even be a 100% tax abatement that is granted
(this would be decided at the time) and therefore it may be even less than $200.  The $200 figure was given by the Commission, based on the current millage.  Also, the Mayor (who seems like he is looking for a good excuse to vote NO), has become all nervous about the golf course being mentioned for development (none of us want that) however the developers have said that if the commission grants the tax relief (which does not get done unless the hotel gets restored) then they will commit to not developing the golf course.  It surely would be a crime to miss this opportunity to bring prosperity and prestige to our town of Belleair.  I hope the Mayor and Commissioners can see their way clear to follow the wishes of the people and vote YES on August 21st.
 
Karmen & TC Hayes, Belleair
 
And a witty one from way back in 2004!  Unfortunately the former mayor of
Belleair, George Mariani Jr, mentioned below, is one of the most negative
forces in Belleair, leading the way with his brother to destroy the hotel.
By the way these negative two men were allowed by some twisted Belleair
official logic to speak longer than the three minutes allowed by other
citizens at the Belleair town meeting on August 7 !!!!.   These two men are
NOT a formal group, they are simply average Belleair citizens and yet they
were allowed to speak on and on and on and on with unlimited minutes!!
Where was the fairness?   Is favoritism an issue because Mayor Katica who
in recent years does NOT support saving the hotel and lives next door to
the former mayor!?

Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times, December, 2004  Letter to the Editor
Condos, townhouses no match for site's beautiful architecture
Thank goodness for the development firms (my comment:  KAWA Capital is current owner, and if Belleview Biltmore Partners does not buy the Biltmore, KAWA is planning to destroy the Belleview Biltmore Hotel and sell off the golf course) I was concerned about the shortage of upscale condominiums and townhouses in Pinellas County!
 
Why should we try to preserve a historical and beautiful piece of architecture when we instead can have condos that only the wealthy can afford?  Shame on you, Belleair Mayor George Mariani Jr., for making a statement referring to the Belleview as an "economic burden." I doubt seriously that the area surrounding the hotel and the country club is in economic despair, in need of increasing the property values.
 
I am sure that the Belleview Biltmore will be destroyed (note: editorial written back in 2004) and new development will replace the historical monument. This not only means that many devoted hotel employees will lose their jobs, but the citizens of Pinellas County will be losing one of the few remaining pieces of history that we have.
 
By the way, I would be willing to place a Vegas bet that one of the first people to buy one of the luxury condos will be none other than Mayor Mariani.

-- Caroline Hart, Clearwater
 
Here are some good quotes from a Tampa Bay radio station:
April 18, 2012
Janelle Irwin
 
"The Belleview Biltmore could still fall victim to the wrecking ball. Tom
Shelley, a Belleair city commissioner, said plans to demolish the hotel are
still on the back burner.  “It is somewhat contentious and they’re (KAWA Capital) moving
forward with their demolition permit as plan B. If the hotel re-development
doesn’t happen, they plan to come to us with a demolition request.”
 
But as long as that request can be staved off by the Belleview Biltmore
partners, Shelley said he looks forward to the finished product.
“They envision it as a $146 million remodel with LEED certified – at
least gold – with very effective energy efficient appliances, insulation
throughout.”
 
Shelley and his wife were married at the Biltmore, so he has a vested
interest in seeing it restored. And he admitted he’d like many more
couples to be able to have their weddings in it.
 
Charles Kropke, one of the three Belleview Biltmore Partner investors,
works for a company in Coral Gables that saved another Biltmore Hotel. Now
he said that location welcomes Presidents, Senators and other dignitaries
on a regular basis.
 
“People couldn’t figure out how it would ever make any money. It
wasn’t located on the beaches. It was an old hotel. It had a lot of
challenges. It had had multiple owners. Promise after promise, commission
after commission, group after group and still the wrecking ball threatened
it. A group of local investors got together. They did a renovation. They
failed. Another renovation was up. People were tired. They were saying,
‘I think it’s time’. And a second renovation happened and that
renovation held.”
 
FINAL THOUGHTS
Tuesday is an extremely important day for the Belleview Biltmore Hotel!  BE THERE at the Belleair town hall at 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd. at 6:30 p.m.  We need people of all ages to speak at this meeting, children, young adults, middle aged and seniors to convince Belleair officials that saving the Biltmore hotel and the golf course by giving this tax abatement will ultimately give Belleair and Pinellas County prestige and prosperity.  Time is of the essence, we are down to the wire!  With Richard Heisenbottle's wealth of successful historic preservation projects, BBP is the best buyer and renovation specialist the Biltmore can have.  Help them, help the Biltmore, help Pinellas
County, help Belleair and help save history!
 
Sincerely,

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
 
 
 
©  2012

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    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:

Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. Highway 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 

 

Biltmore Update, Friday, August 17, 2012

 
1
If your email program will not allow you to read this Update click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreUpdates.htm
  
Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter -- Friday, August 17, 2012
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
 

 
CIVIC PRIDE MEANS SAVING THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE!
 
A big thank you to everyone who attended one or more of the Belleair meetings in August, either the Finance Board meeting or the Commission workshop meeting last week.  Also a big thank you to those of you who sent emails to Belleair town officials to show your support for the tax abatement issue that will help Belleview Biltmore Partners after the restoration is complete.
 
First the shocking news:   Both the Finance Board and of all boards, the Historic Preservation Board voted 4-1 to NOT approve the abatement on Monday and this past Wednesday.  Their reasons being they wanted more financial information from Belleview Biltmore Partners.  RIDICULOUS!  Investors want to keep their names and financial information private until after the sale, what in the world are these boards thinking!  THEY ARE WRONG WRONG WRONG!   These boards are obviously short sighted and fail to have any CIVIC PRIDE in their town, their history or the hotel.  They have a wonderful chance to save all of it, and they blew it.  So it's up to the Mayor and Commissioners to be smarter, wiser, maintain the integrity and CIVIC PRIDE of Belleair now and forever.
 
Investors need PROOF from town officials that they are willing to help with the saving of the hotel with the tax abatement.  Why would they invest anything or reveal confidential financial information until they feel the town wants to save their own hotel!   Yet these two boards and some of the other town officials want all this PRIVATE financial information beforehand.  This makes no sense, we all know how private people are about money, how many of you go around telling everyone your salary?
 
What in the world will happen to Belleair if the Biltmore is not saved?  I keep hearing that Belleair will just fade away into oblivion and get absorbed into Clearwater.  Does Belleair really want this to happen?   Of course not, so it's time a "YES!" vote is passed by the commissioners to save this priceless historic icon, their icon!
 
The commissioners discussed the issue to a packed town hall last Tuesday, and this coming Tuesday, August 21, there will be a first reading of an ordinance that is being written.  I hope of course this will eventually lead to a "YES" vote for the passage of the tax abatement.  By the end of the evening last week, the commissioners agreed to have the issue discussed again at the next meeting on Aug. 21 in the form of an ordinance. Thank goodness!  Some evidence of their CIVIC PRIDE! Possibly, the request for the tax exemption could be defeated if the ordinance is not passed.  Commissioner Steven Fowler noted that time was running out after there was there was discussion that perhaps the item just come back for discussion without a vote. Then there would not be a vote until the next commission meeting in September, and by September 30, BBP is to officially purchase the Biltmore. 
 
It is imperative that the Mayor and Belleair commissioners see the importance of this abatement and the importance of saving their own hotel, both for financial reasons and for historic reasons.  Eventually they will receive more money from taxes to pay for Belleair's infrastructure, more jobs and more prestige for them and their town in saving a historic hotel.  CIVIC PRIDE!
 
Because of this VERY TIGHT SCHEDULE we encourage everyone who lives locally to attend this EXTREMELY important commission meeting and speak up to pass this ordinance.  For those of you who are may not know what to say, simply go to the meeting and say you love the hotel and wish for the tax abatement to be passed so the Biltmore may be saved.  SHORT AND SWEET!
 
For those of you who wish to speak the full three allowed minutes, feel free to give more reasons why you feel the hotel should be saved and for anyone with a financial background, give reasons why it makes financial sense for Belleair to save its hotel.  DOLLARS AND CENTS NOW MEANS MORE DOLLARS AND CENTS FOR BELLEAIR LATER!
 
BELLEAIR TOWN HALL ADDRESS
Town Hall: 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Belleair, FL 33756  TIME:  6:30 P.M.  All commission meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. from now on.
 
TAX ABATEMENTS IN OTHER TOWNS/CITIES
I did some research on other towns/cities who passed tax abatements, and found these examples.  These towns/cities realized the importance of giving tax abatements, so please urge Belleair officials to do the same this coming Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.  If you note, the FIRST example sent to me by Biltmore supporter and Belleair resident Laurie Adams, is right here in Clearwater, VERY smart CLEARWATER officials!  Are they smarter than the two Belleair boards who are destroying their historic icon and town?
 
"There is a wonderful article in Clearwater section of Tampa Bay Times  LOCAL ECONOMY RIDES HIGH ON 'Dolphin Tale'.  Mr. Kosove, of Alcon Entertainment,  a very successful movie maker, came to FL and made the movie - the main reason he was able to complete that very successful movie . . . TAX CREDITS!   Quote "the $42 million movie would never have been made without $5 million in tax breaks from Florida" 
 
The average age of a dolphin is 20 to 25 years.  Winter the famous dolphin in the movie is now six years of age.   If saved this year, the iconic White Queen of the Gulf, the Belleview Biltmore, can live another 100 years.
 
Is Winter more important than the Belleview Biltmore? You decide.
 
Here are some of the results of my internet research this week:
 
http://www.ktre.com/story/16773600/lufkin-city-council-approves-renovation-of-angelina-hotel
Lufkin City Council approves renovation of Angelina Hotel  2012
 LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin City Council is giving the go-ahead for the renovation of the historic Angelina Hotel in downtown. Landmark Development applied to the city's tax abatement program for the project. The city is approving a 100-thousand dollar grant to go along with the 500-thousand dollars the development company will spend on façade work. Lufkin city leaders say it's a great way to continue the rejuvenation of downtown Lufkin.
 
http://www.local12.com/news/local/story/Cincinnati-Enquirer-Building-May-Have-New-Use/nssUw0xui0m2Tz5sT01xoA.cspx
Many people know it as the old Cincinnati Enquirer building on Vine Street. The vacant historic building in the heart of the central business district might soon have a new use. The plan is for a boutique hotel. Local 12's Paula Toti says a recently approved tax abatement may pave the way for the project.   A name hasn't been announced for the hotel, but it would be leed certified, energy efficient, with a 7-million dollar tax abatement over 12 years. The city's finance committee has given it the green light.
 
http://www.nbcwashington.com/the-scene/real-estate/Tax-Abatement-for-Luxury-Hotel-112601944.html
When the District of Columbia is facing a budget deficit of $400 million or more, should it sign off on a $46 million tax abatement for a luxury hotel in the hip Adams Morgan neighborhood? The debate has raged on the Columbia Heights listserv for several weeks.  The D.C. Council approved the abatement just before the end of its 2010 session. Ward 1’s Jim Graham, the force behind it, said the abatement “is good news for our neighborhood and the city. It will bring substantial new daytime commerce to Adams Morgan. It will provide $7 million in new tax revenue. It will provide hundreds of construction and hotel jobs to Ward 1 and city residents.” The agreement also preserves the historic First Church of Christ Scientist.
 
http://adamsmorganhistorichotel.com/index.php/faqs#qa17  re Adams Morgan Historic Hotel
In December 2010, the D.C. Council incorporated legislation into its 2011 budget that provides the hotel owner with property tax abatement to enable the hotel to be built and the Church building to be revitalized.  The D.C. Council only voted to pass the property tax abatement following a vote of the Adams Morgan Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 1C), which supported the property tax abatement in a public vote during a special meeting in December 2010.  PKF estimated in 2010 that the Adams Morgan Historic Hotel will directly generate an estimated $5.1 million of occupancy, income and sales taxes to D.C. from the first year of its opening.  The Adams Morgan Historic Hotel will exceed the LEED Silver Certification criteria and will be Washington’s first truly green hotel.
 
http://www.nedco.org/node/553
The City of Nacogdoches (Texas) offers tax abatements to historic structures located in Downtown Nacogdoches.   The City of Nacogdoches may grant tax abatement on the increment in value added to a particular property by a specific development proposal that meets the economic goals and objectives of the city. The tax abatement applies to both exterior and interior work on a building located within the Downtown Historic Overlay District.
 
http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2010/12/01/chatham-hotel-project-gets-tax-abatement.html
Kansas City’s Planned Industrial Expansion Authority has unanimously approved a 25-year tax abatement plan for a $9.3 million historic renovation of the 1920s-era Chatham Hotel.
 
http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2009/11/tudor_arms.html
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Work is under way to transform a landmark building at the edge of University Circle into a 154-room 1931 hotel, with a vintage swimming pool, a wood-paneled lobby and a floor of restored ballrooms and event spaces. Overcoming a lending crunch, the Maron family aims to return the former Tudor Arms Hotel to its forgotten glory -- as a Doubletree hotel that could open in spring 2011. The developers, best known for remaking East Fourth Street, bought the building in 2007 from Case Western Reserve University and are tackling a $22 million project there. The city approved a 10-year, 60-percent property tax abatement for the project.
 
http://articles.kwch.com/keyword/tax-incentives/recent/2
Historic Wichita Broadview Hotel grand opening after renovations October 19, 2011
The Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview in Downtown Wichita reopened Wednesday afternoon after $25 million in renovations. The landmark hotel has been through a number of additions since the first owners broke ground in September 1921. Celebrities like Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart were said to have stayed at the hotel.  IRB authority, the City will grant a 100% 5+5-year property tax abatement for the hotel to the maximum extent allowed by law.
 
And one of the most interesting:
 
https://secure.forumcomm.com/?publisher_ID=22&article_id=94327&CFID=55225058&CFTOKEN=48446061
June 6: Kandiyohi County approves tax abatement for Lakeland Hotel project in downtown Willmar, Minn.
Published 06/06/2012, West Central Tribune  WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a 15-year tax abatement Tuesday that could help make the redevelopment of Willmar’s downtown historic Lakeland Hotel financially feasible. The county action follows a 4-3 vote Monday night by the Willmar City Council — at the end of a nearly two-hour debate — to approve the same 15-year abatement request. The Lakeland Hotel, which has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register, was nominated to the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list this year along with the nearby Habicht’s Department Store and a former drug store next to the Barn Theater. Each building contributes to the historic fabric of downtown Willmar, but the Lakeland Hotel is the only local remaining example of a “railroad hotel,” a significant building type in this former railroad hub in central Minnesota."
 
(Remember readers that Henry B. Plant, railroad magnet built the Belleview Biltmore with a train station right at the hotel, thus helping to establish Pinellas County and of course Belleair, Florida!)
 
 
 
The Belleview Biltmore train coming into the hotel.   Vintage photo.  This train brought tourists from the northern States to Florida and helped establish Pinellas County and Belleair, Florida, where the Biltmore resides.
Another earlier Biltmore train leaving the hotel.  Note that guests were dropped off right at the front door entrance of the hotel!   Take a long look at the early Belleview Biltmore, its beautiful architect, HISTORY MUST BE SAVED!
 
 
FORMER HISTORIC CENTRAL HOTEL, GALION, OHIO
For those of you doubters who cannot visualize the Biltmore being renovated into a majestic hotel, think again!  See a 150 year old historic hotel in Galion, Ohio which had deteriorated beyond belief with a huge hole in its roof to now being restored so residents can live there!  While it was not saved as a hotel, the point is that its strong 150 year old "bones" were saved and made into senior citizen apartments with the historic look preserved.  Just take a look at the photos to see what a massive beautiful restoration that was done!  Hats off to Galion, Ohio!  Tremendous CIVIC PRIDE saved this historic building!
 
NOTE THE VERY LAST LINE IN THIS PARAGRAPH! 
Quote from Galionguy.com:  "Did you ever think this day would come? Linda and Pauline never gave up. Here they share the honor of "cutting the ribbon." They represent so many that did a lot of work to get this day to happen. The local people tried to stress this in the remarks preceeding the the above ceremonal opening of the Central Hotel Apartments. One of Linda's comments was "The Square just wouldn't have been square without the hotel."
 
And Belleair just wouldn't be the same Belleair without the Biltmore!
 
  
 
 
 
Quote from Galionguy.com:   An early morning picture taken late this summer and THANKFULLY the South West corner of the Square still looks like it has for the last 100 years. Had Jack Shrode not come in and immediatly started shoring up floors and walls this corner of the Square would now be a parking lot. It wouldn't have made it past that first winter's spring thaw. But, we still have it and it remains one of our key community icons.. the Square, the Hotel building, the Galion Theatre and the Big Four Train Station."
 
Note the CIVIC PRIDE in Galion, Ohio!  Where in the world is the CIVIC PRIDE in Belleair if the Biltmore is not saved!

http://www.galionguy.com/centralhotel/   painted white with green shutters  (Biltmore also is painted white and green!)
 
 
ONE-MINUTE EMAIL CAMPAIGN:
If you have not already done so, please take just ONE MINUTE and send an email to Belleair officials to show your support and that you want the hotel to be saved and the tax abatement be approved.  Even if you have already sent an email send the one below! Time is running out.  Remember that Belleview Biltmore Partners can renovate the hotel, but they need your support NOW!   If the abatement is not approved, the Biltmore may not be saved!  YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THIS!  You can use the form letter below, write your own or send the form email below plus a paragraph or so of your own additional thoughts.  Does not matter, what matters is YOUR ONE MINUTE SUPPORT!
 
 
Hello Mayor Katica and Belleair Commissioners:
 
 
By passing the tax abatement, you will help save your White Queen of the Gulf for your town and also for everyone who loves this hotel and wants it to be restored.  Many other towns and cities have passed such tax abatements previously to save historic buildings/hotels, and by voting "YES!" on this issue, you also can keep Belleair's prestige intact, provide jobs for hundreds of people, and provide extra tax revenue in the long run to provide the infrastructure funds for your town.  There is no guarantee that townhomes will sell at a certain price in Belleair to provide the funds you need.  By becoming a world class resort, the Belleview Biltmore will give you a strong tax base in the long run to provide the financial structure you need for your town.  Keep your CIVIC PRIDE intact in Belleair!  Save your hotel.  A YES VOTE FOR AD VALOREM TAX EXEMPTION STATUS FOR THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE IS A YES VOTE FOR THE PRESERVATION OF OUR HISTORY!
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
WHAT IS AT STAKE?
At the end of March, 2012 Belleview Biltmore Partners stalled the inevitable pursuance of the demolition permit by KAWA indicating BBP's intent through the purchase of a six-month exclusive option to purchase the property for restoration.  This is the LAST CHANCE to preserve the only real value the town has to offer.  Without it the entire town's structure may be jeopardized.  It's the peoples' choice.  Belleair citizens need to realize their town is at stake here!    When Belleview Biltmore Partners saves the hotel, they will also save the golf course from development!  And for those of you who remember, back in 2005, hundreds of people stormed the Belleair town hall to protest the development of the Biltmore golf course on Indian Rocks Road when DeBartolo wanted to redevelop it.  Listen up people, this is going to happen unless YOU come out and convince the commissioners that they need to save the hotel, thus saving the golf course and thus saving the town of Belleair.  If we lose Belleair, the Biltmore and its golf course, this will negatively affect the entire residential community including surrounding communities.
 
FINAL THOUGHTS
The end of the six month contract signed by BBP to purchase the Belleview Biltmore Hotel is coming to a close in just one month's time!  The end of September.  It is IMPERATIVE they receive the tax abatement that will allow them tax reductions for ten years after the renovations are complete.  If they fail to obtain this tax abatement, there is no guarantee they will find other investors in such a short time, the purchase will not go through, and the Biltmore will be in serious, serious, serious jeopardy once again. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to save the hotel RIGHT NOW, THIS YEAR!  If not, then the current owners, KAWA Capital, will again try to demolish the hotel with a demolition permit and would sell off the golf course to developers for residential development.  And no matter what you have heard or read, Belleview Biltmore Partners want to not only save the hotel but also save the Biltmore golf course.  So this is a call of UTMOST URGENCY AGAIN! Tell all your friends and neighbors to either write emails to the commissioners or attend the meeting.  CIVIC PRIDE PEOPLE, CIVIC PRIDE!  Be there this coming Tuesday, August 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Belleair town hall to continue to show your enthusiasm, passion and support for this wonderful hotel you and I love so much! 
 
Sincerely,
  
 
Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists

http://www.SaveTheBiltmore.com 

©  2012

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:

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Biltmore Update, Sunday, August 5, 2012

This Update was a reminder of the two important meetings in the last Update so basically it is the same Update so it will not be repeated again.


Biltmore Update, Monday, July 30, 2012

 
 
If your email program will not allow you to read this Update click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreUpdates.htm
  
 
Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter -- Monday July 30, 2012
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
 

This month of August is an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT month for the Belleview Biltmore Hotel!

I urge all of you to either attend one or both of the meetings in Belleair in August or send an email to the Mayor and commissioners in regards to the final steps towards the saving of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.

Belleair officials including the Finance Board are going to be making a decision on the tax abatement issue, which would allow Belleview Biltmore Partners (BBP) tax relief for ten years after their renovations on the hotel are completed.

Currently, homeowners in Belleair are the only ones allowed tax relief for up to ten years, but only if they spend money to restore or preserve a historic home.  This tax relief only happens after the preservation project is completed, and it also only affects the increased value of the property.  BBP wishes the same historic tax abatement on the Belleview Biltmore as homeowners once BBP finishes their renovations of of the Biltmore and its surrounding cottages.

Because the tax abatement will cost some money to Belleair's revenue, the issue is going to be first discussed by the Finance Board Monday, August 6 at 4 p.m.  I strongly urge YOU to attend this first important meeting in Belleair to show your support to this Board that it is important that the Biltmore be saved!  Convince this Finance Board that the Biltmore MUST BE SAVED!  The historic preservation ordinance was passed in 2005 to SAVE THE BILTMORE, and you and I must press on to keep the ordinance intact and preserve this beautiful historic hotel.  There is NO other Belleview Biltmore Hotel!  The Finance Board will then give their opinion to the commissioners in regards to the tax abatement, so it is so important that you come to this first meeting!  Belleair commissioners and mayor will be meeting the next evening  at 5:30 on August 7 to discuss the tax abatement keeping in mind the recommendations of the Finance Board so PLEASE come to this second meeting also!

There are some people in Belleair who unfortunately are pushing to destroy the vision of BBP and the Biltmore by objecting to this tax abatement so it is IMPERATIVE THAT YOU COME TO ONE OR ALL OF THESE MEETINGS!  You must be heard OVER them!

The Belleair Town Hall is located at, 901 Ponce de Leon, Belleair, FL, 33756 and/or send letters of support to that address or email them, addresses below.

FINANCE BOARD MEETING: Monday, August 6, 2012, 4:00 p.m.

TOWN COMMISSION MEETING: Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 5:30 p.m.

TAMPA'S FLORIDAN HOTEL
Tampa's historic 1927 Floridan Hotel has been in the local news lately.  It had its grand opening this weekend to a select few and already is sold out for the Republican National Convention in August.  It was on the brink of destruction and abandoned for nearly two decades, crumbling at the seams so to speak with parts of the roof caving in, chickens flying in and nesting there.  Below are some links that show the terrible condition it was in and how the vision of one man, Antonios Markopoulos, believed it could be saved and restored to its original glory. 

We know that Belleview Biltmore Partners, Richard Heisenbottle, Hector Torres and Charles Kropke have that same vision for the historic Belleview Biltmore which is in similar condition as the Floridan was and yet CAN BE RESTORED no matter what you see on TV or read in the newspapers!  I am including a number of links just to show you how this hotel was successfully restored just like the Biltmore will be when BBP finishes their renovations.

Video: http://www.wtsp.com/video/1757923775001/1/Tampas-elegant-past-lives-on-in-reborn-Floridan-Hotel

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_tampa/only-abc-action-news-was-invited-to-see-the-construction-happening-inside-the-old-floridan-hotel

http://www2.tbo.com/static/special_reports_news/tbocom-special-report-news-floridan/  video timeline

http://www2.tbo.com/news/business/2012/jul/19/1/renovated-floridan-hotel-plans-opening-ceremony-ar-436004/

http://www2.tbo.com/list/floridan-preview/gallery/

Olympia Development decided to save the historic Safety Harbor Spa due to the public outcry about the Biltmore back in 2005, and now the historic Floridan Hotel in Tampa is saved.   We must push forward to save Biltmore history for all generations.

Certainly Belleair must NOT be outdone by Safety Harbor or Tampa!

I am counting on you as staunch Biltmore supporters to keep pressing on this August for a final push to help BBP and the Biltmore. So many of you have written over the years how you had weddings there, went to parties, vacations, conventions, and you look forward to the hotel being restored in a historic setting and beautiful Belleair.  The six-month contract to buy the Biltmore must be signed by the end of September, so we NEED YOUR HELP NOW!

SAVE THE BILTMORE FLYER--URGENT!
There is a flyer for you to print and post in areas where people are local enough to attend these important meetings.  Libraries, the Biltmore condos, gas stations, coffee shops, offices, retail stores, car windows, home windows, the mall, etc, any public place would be great places to post a flyer.  It will help bring awareness to the hotel as well as help people attend these important meetings.  Bring it to the meetings and show it or hand it to the Finance Board or the commissioners!

http://savethebiltmore.com/SAVETHEBILTMOREFLYERJuly,2012.htm

ONE-MINUTE EMAIL CAMPAIGN
We encourage everyone both RESIDING IN OR LIVING OUTSIDE OF BELLEAIR to write or email the Finance Board and Belleair officials and urge them to continue to vote "YES!" on the tax abatement!

So no matter where you live here in the USA or other countries, write your own email or feel free to use the sample copy below, three short paragraphs.

Just ONE MINUTE of your time could go a long way in helping to save the White Queen of the Gulf.

Belleair officials:  Mayor Gary Katica, Commissioners Stephen Fowler, Tom Shelly, Kevin Piccarreto and Michael Wilkinson and Town Manager, Micah Maxwell

gkatica@townofbelleair.net, sfowler@townofbelleair.net, tshelly@townofbelleair.net,
kpiccarreto@townofbelleair.net, mwilkinson@townofbelleair.net,
mimaxwell@tampabay.rr.com, DCarlen@TownOfBelleair.net

(The Finance Board members can be reached at that last email address to Donna Carlen.)
 
Dear Belleair Officials:

Restoration of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel is unquestionably the highest and best use of the property.  It will create new jobs, provide tax revenue, new business opportunities, increase property values while enriching the lives of Belleair residents and surrounding communities.  Please vote "YES!" on the tax abatement so Belleview Biltmore Partners can obtain valuable tax relief for ten years after the renovations are completed.

The historic preservation ordinance in 2005 was passed to SAVE THE BILTMORE.  One of the goals of the Comprehensive Plan of the town of Belleair is "the preservation of the  Belleview Biltmore Resort Hotel."  The Florida Trust preservation organization, www.floridatrust.org, recommends that the Belleview Biltmore Hotel be preserved. The National Trust organization, www.nationaltrust.org, recommends that the Belleview Biltmore Hotel be preserved. Now is the time to keep pushing forward to save this historic icon.

We are all counting on you to complete the task that was started in 2005 so the historic Belleview Biltmore can have that second chance at greatness.

Sincerely,

 
FACEBOOK:  Join us, Save the Biltmore Preservationists on Facebook at:


BELLEVIEW BILTMORE T-SHIRTS

Wear this beautiful Biltmore T-shirt in your community, to the meetings, show your support!  It can be purchased at:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm  
 
FINAL THOUGHTS
One last chance everyone!   Now is the time to show your dedicated support!  Come to the meetings in August, convince the Finance Board to save the Biltmore, convince the commissioners to vote "YES!" on the tax abatement and send emails NOW!  Wear your Save the Biltmore T-shirt, bring signs or print the flyer to hold at the meetings and have a loud and strong message:  "SAVE THE BILTMORE!"  Call on your neighbors and friends to come with you. The White Queen of the Gulf needs you more than ever!

 

Diane Hein
President, Save the Biltmore Preservationists
http://www.savethebiltmore.com 

©  2012

BECOME A MEMBER OR VISIT OUR GIFT SHOP--Click any photo

                 

    Memberships--Join us   Biltmore charm gold/silver  Biltmore T-shirt   Biltmore cookies         Biltmore watercolor art

We hope you join us and become a member this month.  We have five levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum with a variety of gifts included for each. Our Online Gift Shop is fun to explore for yourself or to purchase a special gift for someone else.  We have much more than what you see above including Biltmore tote bags, mouse pads, greeting cards, calendars, license plates, sterling chains, cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips and a variety of Biltmore artwork.  To go directly to the shop click: http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreStore.htm   Remember: an honorary one year membership will be given to anyone purchasing any of our special Biltmore jewelry!

To help us continue to save and preserve the Belleview Biltmore Hotel for another 100 years, you may make a donation, any amount.  Donations are secure, and you may donate by PayPal, credit or debit card.

If you would prefer to give a donation by check, make it payable to our nonprofit organization: Save the Biltmore Preservationists and send it to:

Diane S. Hein, President
c/o Save the Biltmore Preservationists
30725 U.S. 19 North  #107
Palm Harbor, FL  34684

 

Now send an email to Belleair officials to vote "YES!" on the tax abatement!

Biltmore Update, Saturday, July 14, 2012

If your email program will not allow you to read this Update click here:  http://savethebiltmore.com/BelleviewBiltmoreUpdates.htm
  
Save the Biltmore Update/Newsletter -- Saturday July 14, 2012
 
Hello Biltmore Supporters, News Media and Others,
 

FLORIDA TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION

 
Earlier this year we submitted the paperwork to Florida Trust for Historic Preservation for the Belleview Biltmore Hotel to be nominated for Florida's Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites. I am pleased to announce that in May, as part of Florida Trust's Annual Statewide Preservation Conference, they announced that the Belleview Biltmore was chosen to be on this list. From Florida Trust's web site: "Most Endangered Historic Sites program is designed to increase the public’s awareness of the urgent need to save Florida’s neglected or threatened historic resources. We do that to empower local preservationists and preservation groups in their efforts to preserve Florida’s rich history." To view the listing on Florida Trust click: http://www.floridatrust.org/endangered-sites/belleview-biltmore-resort-and-spa  Thank you Florida Trust!
 
 
RENOVATION PLANS
Click below to view beautiful and exciting Richard Heisenbottle's architectural renovation plans for the Belleview Biltmore. He is part of the three-person team, Belleview Biltmore Partners, (BBP) who have signed the contract in April 2012 to purchase the hotel by the end of September 2012.

http://rjha.net/index.php/H-R-Belleview-Biltmore.html There are 12 to look at.

Rendition of the future Belleview Biltmore Hotel reflecting pool and East Wing

PAST NEWS
Since my last update, Belleair Commissioners voted yes to extend the development order for BBP to proceed with their renovation plans. There was a huge crowd of about 120 who attended, and we wish to thank everyone for coming to this most important meeting to show your support for the hotel and also for Richard Heisenbottle, Hector Torres and Charles Kropke of Belleview Biltmore Partners. It was a very exciting night of support!
 
In April 2012, a Belleair consultant determined that the current Biltmore owners (KAWA Capital) were allowing the Belleview Biltmore to NOT be properly maintained and were allowing the hotel to be undergoing "demolition by neglect." The owners were already being fined $250 a day for failing to fix the hotel's dilapidated roof. Back in April they owed more than $226,000. Coral Gables architect Richard Heisenbottle of BBP who hopes to buy and restore the hotel as noted above, said his team from South Florida was not discouraged.

He said, "We knew going into this there was a tremendous amount of restoration work that had to be done."

Since then BBP group have dropped two parts of their renovation plans for the Biltmore that were in discussion for months. They withdrew their request for the town of Belleair to establish a Community Redevelopment Area on the 20-acre property. Also, the BBP for now eliminated a new "east wing" they had said they would build next to the old hotel. The number of hotel rooms would then be reduced from 460 to 312 on the redev