Siesta Key Association President Lourdes Ramirez is receiving complaints from Key residents who think homeowners have blocked access to the beach from Shell Road, a small north Siesta Key street.
Fencing has recently appeared on the road.
“When people saw the chain-link fence, they thought (homeowners) were doing it again,” said Ramirez.
In the past, Shell Road residents had grown weary of beachgoers using the access point to the beach and had tried to limit that access. One homeowner even placed boulders in the area to try to keep people out.
“It is a public access, but people have abused it,” Ramirez said.
She describes some instances in which homeowners have been in their yards when beachgoers choose that place to urinate or have sex.
Other beachgoers have walked onto private property and begun using a grill at a home they thought was empty.
“People who abuse it make it hard on (the homeowners),” she said. “That’s why they push back.”
This time, it was not the Shell Road residents, though, who put up the fence. The city did, because it is replacing a water pipe there.
Javier Vargas, the city’s director of utilities, explained that the new pipe, which will carry drinking water, will be placed under Big Pass and link Siesta Key and Lido Key.
The city’s contractor placed the fence on Shell Road last month and is expected to remove it by the end of February, when the project is complete.
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