Beach Road owners may get OK to build on contested lot
by: Alex Mahadevan Digital Editor via Yourobserver.com
The owners of the Siesta Key property at 162 Beach Road refused to give up the fight to build on the never-been-developed lot. Now they’ll get another chance to ask Sarasota County commissioners for a variance to do so.
Following advice from County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh Tuesday, commissioners agreed in a 4-1 decision to a mediated settlement with Ronald and Sania Allen to hold a public hearing to consider tweaked site plans for the lot. It will be the fourth time commissioners vet a construction proposal for the property.
During the last public hearing in 2014, opponents cited the nearby nesting sites of snowy plovers, the history of flooding on the site and its environment as reasons to deny the request.
“(The Allens) purchased the property assuming the risk of not being able to develop it,” said Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick attorney Cathleen O’Dowd, who represented the residents of the Terrace East condominium complex.
But, Icard Merrill attorney William Merrill, who represented the Allens, said denial of the request would constitute a regulatory taking.
“The case law from the United States Supreme Court on down is crystal clear on this,” Merrill said. “A regulation which denies all economically beneficial or productive use of land will require compensation under the taking clause.”