Sarasota News Leader

04/26/2013

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CLOSING IN ON A SETTLEMENT This photo of The Hub shows one brick sidewalk between decorative fencing and a second one that runs in front of the parking spaces. File photo ALL THAT REMAINS TO RESOLVE A SIESTA VILLAGE PROPERTY OWNER'S LAWSUIT AGAINST THE COUNTY IS A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE VACATION OF RIGHT OF WAY By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor A public hearing still will be necessary, but the majority of the Sarasota County Commissioners on April 24 approved a settlement with Siesta Village property owner Chris Brown in a lawsuit Brown filed against the county in October 2011. According to a memo County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh provided to the commissioners, "The [right of way to be] vacated includes the brick sidewalk area immediately adjacent to [The Hub], and part of the landscaped planters' outside the building. With Commissioner Charles Hines recusing himself because of a conflict of interest and Commissioner Nora Patterson in the minority, the board voted 3-1 to pay Brown $75,000 and proceed with plans for a public hearing on vacating 804.1 square feet of county right of way near Brown's restaurant The Hub Baja Grill in Siesta Village. In exchange for the payment and the vacation of the right of way, DeMarsh explained to the commissioners on April 23, the county would receive a general release of liability from Brown. DeMarsh's memo points out, "If the Board does not vacate the right-of-way at the public hearing, then the settlement agreement is void."

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