Sarasota News Leader

09/20/2013

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Sarasota News Leader September 20, 2013 Page 97 Siesta Seen an attempt neighboring condominium owners shot down in 2012. The two pieces of property that create the Gulf-front vista — which are listed for sale with prominent Sarasota real estate firm Michael Saunders & Co. — are just south of Siesta Village. The entrance to the parcels is across Ocean Boulevard from Givens Street and next to the Windward Passage condo complex. Beginning in the spring, county staff started working — as time permitted — on post-andrope fencing to carve out one parking space on the right of way, county spokesman Curt Preisser told me this week. Eventually, a typical Parks and Rec kiosk was erected to make clear the site is public access. The total investment for the work was about $5,000, Preisser said. On a side note, Preisser added that county research indicated the public right of way was established in the early 1900s. This tiny area's makeover was news to Christine Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, who first addressed Siesta Key Association members in February 2012 about the possibility of the foundation's seeking private funding to purchase the two parcels on the Gulf of Mexico. However, Johnson told me almost exactly a year ago, "There wasn't enough community support for [the proposal]." Moreover, she said, "the owner was intractable" on the price, which was reported to be between $3.5 million and $4 million. A kiosk provides standard county Parks and Recreation Department information next to the post-and-rope fencing. Photo by Rachel Hackney

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