Needs, Public Restrooms
The 2019 Season is in the books. There is a major need that should be addressed by Sarasota County for 2020, public restrooms in Siesta Key Village.
The number one question posed to the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce volunteers is: “Are there public restrooms” according to Ann Frescura Executive Director.
Frescura went on to say, “The sign hanging in front of the chambers office says, Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. Visitors assume when they see the Visitors Center sign, there are public restrooms.”
Robin Hood Rentals is one of the first businesses visitors pass entering the Village. The owner Mark Toomey said, “When beach goers enter the Village from Beach Access 5, many are looking for a bathroom, I get at least a 100 requests a day in Season.” One business after another will repeat the same story over and over again. Many of the businesses in the Village have signs on the doors, “No Public Restrooms.”
In Season and during major events and holidays the county places a RESTROOM trailer on the Siesta Public Beach parking lot. Could this be the solution for the Village from January to Easter? The question would be where to place a trailer?
No one wants to lose parking spots, but one could be placed in the Municipal Parking Lot. It is close to all the businesses yet out of site. I can hear the answer already from the county, “Bathrooms are on the wish list. … Right now, there is no identified funding source for that.”
Letter to the editor: To whomever this concerns…
I am responding to your request for suggestions.. Your article in the Siesta Sand mentioned the possibility of using a trailer, or constructing an elevated structure meeting flood elevation standards..
Being a broker and professional appraiser with over 25 year experience, and having a degree in real estate from UF, I think I have an experienced and common sense suggestion…
I do not think it would be necessary to elevate a public restroom facility above the base flood elevation… Base flood elevations set the elevations of the first floor of LIVING AREA, stating that the first floor of LIVING AREA must be above the base flood elevation… Garages, storage rooms, and other non-living area spaces can be located below the first floor of living area… Would not a public restroom be a non-living area, not used for full time residential occupancy ? I think so. The public restroom would not be occupied any longer than the time it would take to park a car in a garage located below the base flood elevation, or put something in or take it out of the storage room.
FEMA regulations should either allow this use, or allow for a variance, but I have not investigated this specific issue with FEMA. Of course, during an approaching hurricane, the facility would have to be locked before impact to prevent even temporary use of the restroom.
Just a common sense idea which I think appropriate legal counsel could pursue with FEMA. Mark Traugott
Letter to the editor
Just read the article about needs for a public restroom for Siesta Key Village- What about turning the old UPS store into restrooms? Power and water is already there and it’s close to access 5. Lorraine Stanford