The Sarasota County Commission agreed Tuesday to consider extending the sunset date of a special event permit available to Siesta Key businesses.
County Commissioners unanimously approved a measure to authorize a public hearing to extend the sunset date of a temporary use permit for special events at restaurants and bars within the Siesta Key Overlay District (SKOD), pushing back its expiration date from June 8, 2014, to June 8, 2016. Tuesday's measure also waived the requirement for a Planning Commission public hearing and the requirement for an Economic Impact Statement (EIS).
The temporary use permit dates back to 2011, when county staff worked with representatives from the Siesta Key Association, the Siesta Key Merchant’s Association, the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, and Siesta neighborhood associations to develop the proposed ordinance, which specified major holidays for which TUPs may be issued, with designated hours.
The ordinance had an initial sunset date of June 8, 2012, which was one year from the date of approval. This sunset date was subsequently extended on May 22, 2012 for two years.
The county commission also considered expanding the holidays covered in the ordinance to include Halloween. Since its 2011 adoption, no temporary use permits have been issued under the ordinance. There was one application received for a haunted house to be held at the Beach Club; it was denied, however, since Halloween was not an approved holiday for the permit to be used.
"In 2011 there was a lot of angst over this," County Commissioner Christine Robinson said. "I really woud like to see this brought to SKA. I don't want to take anyone by surprise with this."
County Commissioner Nora Patterson said she would take the proposal to upcoming SKA and SKVA meetings to gauge whether opinion on the Key is for or against extending the duration and scope of the ordinance.
"It is sort of strange that the permit hasn't been used," Patterson said. "I'll bring back to board any feedback I get."
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