Following two weeks of almost non-stop negotiating, lawyers for Sandestin Development and property owners on Sandestin resort came to a meeting of the minds for construction of a new boutique hotel.

"There have been intense negotiations between the applicant and the homeowners," said Walton County Planning Department Director Mac Carpenter.

The first pass by the Walton County Planning Commission on March 8 led to opposition from an attorney hired by property owners who stated that all property owners had not received notification about the meeting or the construction.

The two attorneys agreed to meet to jointly work out details and to notify all.

"We complied with notification," said SDI Attorney Dana Matthews. "The biggest issues were parking, access, and what it is going to look like. We met for the better part of eight hours, went to the site, counted parking spaces, and how many golf cart spaces and came up with some agreements."

Matthews said that essentially, the hotel has dropped from the originally-planned 252-room hotel to 250 rooms. Parking will be based on one parking space per hotel room.

There will be a parking deck and an underground parking garage, and a parking lot on the south side.

Construction will be on 2.11 acres with a future land use of Coastal Center at the northwest intersection of Legend Creek Drive and Baytowne Avenue.

The project is located within Sandestin's Development of Regional Impact. A year ago county commissioners voted 6-1 to adopt Sandestin's Notice Of Proposed Change and litigation ensued by homeowners. A settlement agreement between the two entities and the NOPC was reached in November. This is the first time planning has considered a Sandestin project since then.

The project was approved by the planning commission with a unanimous vote. Commissioner Danny Glidewell was not present. The project now goes before the Board of County Commissioners for final approval.