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The vacant lot at 162 Beach Road is covered in shoreline-stabilizing vegetation, and has never been developed.
Siesta Key Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 3 years ago

County Commission to consider shoreline construction

by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

With new designs in hand, Siesta Key property owners Ronald and Sania Allen will petition for the second time to build on the vacant lot at 162 Beach Road.

Sarasota County commissioners during a public hearing Wednesday, will review the couple's plan to build a three-story single-family home with a garage on the first story seaward of the Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL). Sarasota land use attorney William Merrill, representing the Allen's, will ask commissioners for a coastal setback variance allowing for construction seaward of the GBSL, and two setback variances related to the parcel's boundaries.

The property, valued at $1.04 million, is covered in native and non-native dune vegetation and has never been developed. The petitioner has proposed 1,350 square feet of new shoreline plantings and the removal of invasive species to offset the project's impact, according to a staff report.

Residents of the Terrace East and West condominiums have sent at least eight emails to commissioners protesting the proposal citing concerns about building displacing wildlife and worries about setting a precedent developers will use in the future to build seaward of the GBSL.

"The Gulf Beach Setback Line was established for a reason — as a society we cannot afford to continue to build stuff in harm's way," wrote Siesta resident Mark Anderson in a Jan. 28 email to commissioners.

Commissioners denied the Allen's variance request last year to build on the lot, but the new design has reduced the size and intensity of the proposed structure. The original plans included a pool, deck and retaining wall, which were all removed for the new design. And the petitioner has reduced the amount of habitable area by 35%, and the home's encroachment past the GBSL by 12%, in the most recent plans.

The Allen's asked if Sarasota County wanted to purchase the property 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 the lot.

What: Sarasota County Commission meeting
When: 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19
Where: Administration Building, Commission Chambers, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

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