After three decades, the Sundial Beach Resort and Spa will reestablish a retail food market inside its 1,006 square-foot tennis pro shop building.
The Sanibel Planning Commission had originally approved a 250 square-foot area within Sundial's lobby in 1984, to be used for the sale of food and beverages, but it was later repurposed. On April 22, officials from Sundial presented an application for a new onsite retail food market and it was approved once again by the Planning Commission.
The market will feature limited grocery items, like household products, milk, break, soda, snacks, beer, and wine, and a small made-to-order sandwich and salad counter, according to Sundial's application.
By approving the application, the commission also attached a number of conditions to the agreement, including the prohibition of signage outside of the Sundial property, the possible addition of at least three parking spaces if needed, expanded central sewer capacity, the submission of detailed construction drawings, and an exemption from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
According to an impact study by JMB Transportation Engineering, Inc., 85 percent of the estimated sales at the market will be made to Sundial guests and employees, and no more than 15 percent to nearby residents.
Commissioner Holly Smith said she could remember Sundial's old market and that it got a lot of traffic from both guests and employees.
Planning Commission members and the public were mostly concerned with parking issues and the affect it would have on Periwinkle Way.
Herb Rubin, island resident and owner of Signal Inn condominiums near Sundial, said he approved of the application.
"I think it's great to have something like this close enough to our units for people who might walk or ride over there," he said. "As a resident, I'm also approving of this application because Sundial, in my memory, has 415 units and any cars we take off the streets by residents using the local facility is worth it, in my opinion."
Commissioner Phillip Marks said he was worried about the Sundial property having enough room for food and beverage trucks to maneuver while dropping off items to the market, as well as the impact additional trucks would have on traffic. Bob Kramm, general manager of Sundial, explained that there hadn't been any issues with trucks.
"We currently have large trucks that access the property without any difficulty," said Kramm.
Attorney Beverly Grady, representing Sundial, said that the resort could add up to eight new parking spaces to deal with any future issues. Furthermore, Sundial wasn't asking for permission to install any outdoor seating next to the market.
They would have to provide bicycle racks for guests who wanted to shop at the market and city staff would monitor the project in one year.