Siesta Key project seeks use of Beach Access 10 land to serve as driveway.
Updated plans were submitted to Sarasota County last month that request a three-story home and pool be built on Beach Road, adjacent to Public Beach Access 10.
William Saba, a real estate attorney and developer, wants to build a three-story home with 3,500 square feet of living space, a pool and a deck, a 20-foot paver driveway and a privacy fence.
The project would be west of the county’s Gulf Beach Setback Line, which requires approval from the County Commission.
“The proposed construction … would pre-empt approximately 4,300 square feet of viable dune areas and would have significant, permanent, adverse impacts on vegetation, sand dunes and other beach stabilizing features, and on the coastal system,” Weiqi Lin wrote in the county’s Environmental Planning Division response to the coastal setback variance request.
The county’s Gulf Beach Setback Line is farther from the water than the state’s Coastal Construction Control Line, which is drawn to define the portion of the beach subject to severe fluctuations in storms.
Staff requested additional information on June 26, 2017, from Saba, and a written response was submitted March 16.
Saba’s response discredits residents’ biggest concerns about the property: reduced access to Beach Access 10 and negative environmental effects.
Saba maintained he will preserve pedestrian beach access if he is allowed to build the home, but he is also entitled to access to it.
The property, in the 500 block of Beach Road, sits behind another home and is not directly accessible from the street. The plan would effectively turn Access 10, directly across Beach Road from Calle Del Invierno, into a driveway.
In written response to Lin’s report, Saba says he has an “absolute right’’ to use the extension of Calle Del Invierno across Beach Access 10 for access.
“The County has an obligation to maintain those streets in an open condition to permit access to the Subject Property. Any act of the County to deny the Owner the right to use them for access constituted a taking of the Subject Property.”
Saba’s response also called suggestions that the area could revert to open beach and submerged lands during a storm event “simply inaccurate.”
Approval of the proposed home would “result in a net improvement of the coastal system on and near the Subject Property,” Saba said in his response.
County staff typically takes 15 to 30 days to review the documents.
If approved, the variance would go through a public hearing process and come before the County Commission.