North Beach Road News

Cosentino Charter amendments only a few signatures short

Artist rendering of North Beach Road

   Siesta Sand took the opportunity to check in with the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office to find out the status of the Sarasota County Charter petition drive that Siesta resident Mike Cosentino began in July 2016.

   The petitions Cosentino and supporters have been gathering on behalf of Reopen Beach Road would try to revoke the County Commission’s May 2016 vacation of a 357-foot-long segment of North Beach Road and make it impossible, under the aegis of the Charter, for any future board to abandon similar county-owned waterfront property.

   The elections office provided these figures on June 20: The total for proposed Amendment 4.1, 13,695; for proposed Amendment 4.2, 13,496.

   He has made major progress since early April, when the Supervisor of Elections Office reported the number of valid signatures on the petition for proposed Amendment 4.1 was 8,489; he had 8,362 on petitions for proposed Amendment 4.2.

   Cosentino needs 13,866 valid voter signatures to get the proposed amendments on a ballot.

   As for the proposed amendments themselves: The first says the following: “Article III, Section 4.1.Preserve County-Owned Parks, Preserves, Beach and Water Access and Waterfront Vistas. The County shall not sell, and shall retain ownership of, County-owned Parks and Preserves, and shall not vacate or sell County-owned road segments or right of way along or abutting any beach, river, creek, canal, lake, bay, gulf access or waterfront vista. The County shall encourage maximum right of way use for public access and viewing of waterfront vistas. Whenever feasible, the County shall make these areas accessible to mobility impaired persons.”

   The second says, “Article III, Section 4.2. Siesta Key Beach Road as Public Right of Way. The County shall rescind the vacation of, or re-acquire, Beach Road on Siesta Key as it existed on January 1, 2016, and shall not vacate or sell this County-owned road segment(s) or right of way. The County shall provide maximum right of way use of Beach Road for public access, including vehicular use and viewing of waterfront vistas. The County shall make Beach Road accessible to mobility impaired persons.”