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Sarasota Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 5 days ago

Court denies petition against Siesta Promenade

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The mixed-use project is planned for the intersection of U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road.
by: Brynn Mechem Staff Writer

A lawsuit challenging Siesta Promenade, a proposed mixed-use project at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road, was denied in the 12th Judicial Circuit on Monday. 

Sarasota County commissioners unanimously approved the project in December 2018. The proposal for the Benderson Development project includes 414 residential units, 130 hotel suites, retail space, office space and affordable housing units. 

Shortly after the board approved the project, Pine Shores resident Sura Kochman sued the county over what her suit claimed was "gross structural and procedural errors" in the approval process. She and her team said county leaders failed to consider the various areas of impact the project would bring, among other issues.

In all eight claims, Circuit Court Judge Andrea McHugh deemed Kochman's arguments unfounded or not subject to review. 

"Of course we are disappointed we lost," said Ralf Brookes, Kochman's attorney. "The court did not rule in our favor because the court held that the [Critical Area Plan] was legislative and not quasi-judicial, and therefore the court did not have jurisdiction to consider the heart of our case.  We are considering appealing, or filing a declaratory judgment to seek judicial review of the legislative CAP decision, within the next 30 days.” 

Now the 24-acre property is one step closer to becoming a reality, something Todd Mathes, director of development at Benderson Development said he's pleased to see.  

“We are very pleased with the judge’s decision and the court’s thorough written order,” Mathes said in a statement. “Benderson Development remains focused on delivering a top-quality project that will revitalize and enhance the area. We also remain steadfast in our commitment to be a good neighbor as we move forward with construction.”

Kochman could not be reached at the time of publication. 

 

 

 

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