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On busy days, cars crowd North Shell Road, making it difficult for residents to enter and leave their driveways. (File photo)
Sarasota Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 1 year ago

County plans parking fix for North Shell Road

by: Alex Mahadevan Digital Editor

Siesta Key residents may soon see a solution to problems with parking and late-night partying on North Shell Road.

On Tuesday, Sarasota County staff presented variations of plans to add at least 11 parking spaces during a meeting at resident Chuck McGovern's home at the end of Shell Road. McGovern said residents were not ready to endorse any specific plan, but praised the county for working with property owners.

Both plans aim to carve out portions of the right-of-way for public parking along the road, which is also the first public beach access. Posts and rope would provide boundaries around shell-covered parking areas. One plan calls for 11 news spaces while the other outlines 18 spaces.

"It's different from what we thought we were going to get," McGovern said. Sarasota County Neighborhood Services Manager Jane Grogg said residents still had concerns about the proposed number and location of parking spaces.

Residents say the disorderly parking situation leads to blocked driveways and safety hazards. Also, the haphazard parking situation is conducive to lawless behavior, such as stabbings, burglaries and fights, McGovern said.

"The intent is to organize the spaces and make it easier for (the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office) to enforce the parking," Grogg said.

Currently, staff anticipate the project to cost $25,000, according to a Jan. 15 email from County Engineer Jim Harriott. Grogg said the county will continue collaboration with residents on the design, which could take up to six weeks before being ready for a presentation to Sarasota County commissioners.

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