SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WFLA) — Sarasota County commissioners have voted to approve plans for a high-density hotel on Siesta Key.

Currently, Siesta Key hotels are limited to a height of 35 feet. However, the newly approved proposal has hotels rising up to 80 feet.

The resolution was passed 3-2. Nancy Detert and Christian Ziegler voted against the plans.

“We are at that tug-of-war between progress and going out there and basically reshaping the community to handle the demand versus protecting what we currently have and the charm we have and that is the struggle when you really break it down,” said Commissioner Christian Ziegler.

More than 55 people signed up to speak including residents, business owners, and other stakeholders.

“I think to have something high-end is nice and it to be able to go to a place where it can be very short-term, one night or two nights, without getting involved in an Airbnb.. I think it is a great idea,” said Kimberlie Macdonald who works on Siesta Key.

“Now the island will be inundated with the super tall hotels. We have had these height ordinance is in place for quite some time for a reason,” said Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce Chair Steve Cavanaugh. “We don’t want to turn it to Clearwater Beach. I love Clearwater, but it is not the same as Siesta Key. Siesta Key is a small, sleepy island.. We have a very island feel. It is going to change,” he continued.

Four hotels are being proposed for the island, two of which would have buildings above the current height and density restrictions. Many residents say they’re not opposed to new hotels on the island, but want those projects to follow the current zoning laws.

The ordinance that was approved Wednesday eliminates hotel density restrictions not only on Siesta Key, but all throughout Sarasota County. Higher hotels and hundreds of rooms is not what some people want. There is a steady movement of people on Siesta Key who are working to stop the island from looking like other touristy parts of the Gulf Coast.

Residents opposing the hotels have serious concerns about traffic on the already congested island and response times for emergency services.

“I know people who live on Siesta Key that have their own defibrillator at their house and they have been trained how to use it because they don’t think the ambulance would get to them on time,” said Patricia Petruff who represents Siesta Key Coalition.

“We have a choice right now, how we want to make this be. Do you want to look like every other cookie-cutter high-density hotel place in Florida? Or at the Atlantic coast? I don’t. I don’t think most people here want that,” said Catherine Luckner, a Siesta Key Coalition board member.

Business owner Clayton Thompson however is in support of the plans and tells 8 On Your Side he thinks Siesta Key needs an upscale hotel to keep up with the competition across the way in downtown Sarasota.

“It is time for Siesta Key to come into its own a little bit. I feel there’s a little hodgepodge of buildings out there that needs modernization,” Thompson said.