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Fight continues over Beach Road lot

View of the vacant lot located near beach access #4
View of the vacant lot located near beach access #4

Retired real estate magnate Ronald Allen and his wife Sania, a licensed real estate agent with Michael Saunders, are continuing the fight to build a home on a beachfront property at 162 Beach Road bought for $5.4 million in 2009. They’ve since sold one of the two parcels.

The remaining land on which they asked to build is valued at $1,047,500 (2014 Tax records).

Two months ago, the Sarasota County Commissioners again unanimously denied their request for a Coastal Setback Variance allowing them to build on the lot. This is the third petition brought by the couple, with the previous two petitions of January 9, 2013 and April 23, 2014 unanimously denied. Land existing beyond the Gulf Beach Setback Line (1979) with no prior history of building, is protected under County Ordinance from development. This lot on the northwest portion of Siesta Key Beach has well documented history of erosion and flooding.

On June 16, the Allen’s filed a request with the county for relief from the Commissioner’s decision. A Magistrate hearing of their petition is scheduled for August 5 at 10am in Commission Chambers. The public may attend but not participate. A Magistrate Hearing is directed by Statute within the State of Florida Environmental Regulations, Section 51, Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act.

The Magistrate works to mediate a resolution or make a recommendation to the parties. This could include many outcomes such as; no finding for relief, recommendations for a modified variance petition, County financial compensation to the owners, change in taxable designation, or review of the County land use ordinance relevant to this situation.

This is not the first time a property owner has tried to get approval to build on the lot at 162 Beach Road. A previous owner was also denied a Variance for building beyond the Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL) in 1992. There are now three occasions in which a request to build on this parcel has been denied by the County Commissioners.