Sarasota News Leader

07/12/2013

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Sarasota News Leader July 12, 2013 Page 31 Kennedy further noted that none of the abut- "and stand right there," waiting to be seated ting property owners had offered any objec- at a table. That sidewalk next to the restautions to the right of way vacation. rant, he explained, was county property, and the fact that people were waiting on it reguAdditionally, a July 10 memo she provided to larly — potentially obstructing those walking the board said, the request was reviewed by along the sidewalk — was what had started all concerned county staff members and repthe conversation about making the right of resentatives of private utility companies with way vacation part of the settlement. easements in the area. "Peoples Gas System, a division of Tampa Electric Company; Verizon As long as that segment of property belonged Florida, LLC; and Sarasota County Utilities to the county, he pointed out, "We couldn't have requested utility easements over the area get insurance on it." Therefore, if any accident to be vacated in order to maintain existing fa- had occurred, he said, the county would have cilities, which are currently held in escrow by been the liable party. [Brown's firm]," the memo continued. "Florida Power & Light Company and Comcast Ca- Bentley was quick to note he was unaware of blevision have no objections to the requested any lawsuits having been filed because of that situation. vacation," it added. Bentley told the board he and Brown accepted everything staff members had put into the report on the right of way vacation. "They did a really nice job holding our feet to the fire," he noted. Nonetheless, he said, "[The vacation is] probably music to your ears," because Brown's insurance will immediately cover the sidewalk upon transfer of the property to his company. After Bentley concluded his remarks, Chairwoman Carolyn Mason said no member of A BOON TO THE COUNTY the public had signed up to speak during the Bentley then explained one important bene- hearing. Commissioner Joe Barbetta then fit to the county in vacating the right of way made the motion to approve the vacation of — something that had not been pointed out the right of way. already. "Staff did a great job," Barbetta said. "The staff Referring to a slide Kennedy had shown with report is real clear. I'm glad it's over with," he a child and adults standing near the entrance added of the lawsuit. to The Hub Baja Grill (See the accompanying photo), Bentley said, "This is a classic prob- Referring to Brown, Bentley told the News Leader, "I think this is a really good resolution lem." from his standpoint." Because patrons cannot access The Hub by exiting their cars on the Ocean Boulevard side "This was a settlement based on common of the restaurant, Bentley continued, they get sense and the end of negativity," Brown out of vehicles on the Avenida Messina side said. %

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