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Sarasota County plans to double the parking at Beach Access 7 and paint the cottage at the park.
Siesta Key Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 5 years ago

County preps beach access for upgrade

by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Siesta Key Beach Access 7 has a Facebook page designating it “the cool one.”

With long-term plans from Sarasota County Parks and Recreation to paint the exterior of the small cottage adjacent to the access and replace a boardwalk out to the dunes, the spot could get even “cooler.”

County staff is currently in permitting discussions with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to move a rope fence and open the lot in front of the cottage for parking, said Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Manager George Tatge.

“We’ll be going from eight or nine parking spaces to 18 or 19 spots,” Tatge said.

County commissioners approved the purchase of the 3.2-acre lot for $5.4 million in 2007, as part of the Neighborhood Parkland Acquisition program.

In its long-range vision for the North Siesta Key access, the county would like to replace the existing boardwalk down to the dunes behind the cottage.

That plan would require an estimated $250,000 investment from the county to build under Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines and would replace the worn out wood boards with a durable recycled material, Tatge said.

The new boardwalk would end before reaching the beach according to the county.

The county may also pay for a full renovation of the interior of the cottage for use by a community group, such as the Audubon Society, Tatge said.

The cost of short-term work on the site will cost $10,000, Tatge said.

County staff is working to move some defunct utilities to make room for the short-term parking addition and cleaning up the small courtyard attached to the white cottage. They will also remove exotic species during the immediate improvements, Tatge said.

County staff also plans to use property features, such as landscape boulders near the courtyard on other parts of the access.

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