The owner of two properties fronting the Gulf of Mexico asked if Sarasota County wanted to purchase them for beach parking in 2010.
That was about a year after buying the combined properties for $5.4 million and nearly 20 years after the county denied a permit to build one single-family home on a combination of both lots.
Now, Siesta Mira Mar LLC, and its officers Ronald and Sania Allen, have asked for special exceptions to build four-story homes on each lot that would be the tallest structures on the northern nook of Beach Road, excluding the nearby Terrace high-rise condominiums.
Sarasota land use attorney William Merrill, a shareholder with Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg PA, is representing the petitioners.
Merrill most recently represented a firm that was granted a coastal setback variance Dec. 4 on Casey Key.
The county has a seaward line regulating construction of varying points along the coast called the Coastal Control Construction Line (CCCL), which is generally further landward than state regulated building limit, explained Sarasota County environmental specialist Howard Berna while examining the initial plans.
The two variances submitted in October to build on Beach Road would stretch more than 180 feet past the CCCL and will require a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Berna said.
The public hearing for the exception will be held Jan. 9, when Sarasota County commissioners will hear public input and decide whether to allow the construction. But, not every property owner within 500 feet of the parcels received the required public notice.
Siesta Key Association Vice President Peter van Roekens, treasurer of the adjacent Terrace East condominium complex, received the notice secondhand and reported to SKA members that many of his neighbors did not receive a notice at all.
Siesta Key Association President Catherine Luckner said the organization was not notified.
The owners must send out another notice 15 days before the public hearing, Berna said.
An environmental specialist has given preliminary approval for the plans, which include a four-car garage below the three livable stories and a 9-foot high attic space with a peaked roof.
The contractor will need to apply for building permits with Sarasota County, which regulates building height in the Siesta Key Overlay District.
The roughly 54-foot-high structures would meet those restrictions, according regulations explained by Sarasota County Zoning Administrator Brad Bailey.