Commissioners voted today to prohibit parking on Beach Road just north of the public beach between midnight and 5 a.m.
Although it was not exactly what petitioners had requested, the county commission passed a resolution limiting parking on Beach Road just north of the public beach between Avenida Del Mar and Beach Way Drive.
Commissioners heard testimony from Sarasota County Traffic Engineering and Operations Manager Robert Fakhri regarding a request from the Sunset Royale and Crescent Royale Condominiums.
The pair requested either a complete prohibition on parking in the spaces, a restriction that would limit the spaces to loading and unloading only, or a prohibition between the hours of 10 p.m. when Siesta Key Beach public restrooms close to 6 a.m. when the public beach reopens.
The request was originally filed in November 2015 and cited noise disturbances and unlawful activity as reasons for the petition.
According Fakhri’s presentation, staff unanimously recommended denial of the request based on a lack of evidence that the parking spaces are causing the reported noise and unlawful behavior despite resident testimony to the contrary.
“(The) problems described by petitioners do not originate from the parking spaces,” Fakhri’s presentation said.
Fakhri stated that 13 incident reports relating to the area had been collected, but did not conclude that the reports substantiated claims of unlawful behavior.
Letters from the Siesta Key Village Association and the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce did not support the complete prohibition on parking along Beach Road, but spoke in favor of limiting parking between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.
Commissioners considered that suggestion, but concluded that 5 a.m. would be a more suitable time due, citing civilian trash pick up in the mornings.Commissioner Christine Robinson in particular did not want to limit the ability of citizens to park who might be at the beach to monitor sea turtle nests or pick up trash.
Commissioner Alan Maio, who represents Siesta Key’s district on the commission, proposed a motion to prohibit parking from midnight to 5 a.m., which was seconded by Commissioner Carolyn Mason.
The resolution passed 4-1 with Commissioner Robinson dissenting.
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