Sarasota News Leader

04/25/2014

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When Patterson pointed out that the compre- hensive plan tightened building regulations on the county's coast, Merrill responded that after 1979, "Houses got bigger, not smaller." The staff report says the Allens' 3,088-square- foot house "would be ranked as the third largest residence based on Living Area … and fifth most intensive residential con- struction based on Living Area/Land Area (41.57%)," based on a comparison with 16 nearby properties. PUBLIC COMMENTS Among the speakers who addressed the com- mission during the public hearing was Jono Miller, a New College faculty member who pointed out that he started his environmental consulting firm in the county 39 years ago. "I would just bite the bullet and concede that it's a taking," he said as he urged the board to deny the petition. He added that the com- mission should offer to pay the Allens the fair market value for the land, because its history shows clearly "that it's a compromised lot that really can't or shouldn't be developed." Representing the residents of the Terrace East condominiums in Siesta Village, Cathleen O'Dowd, a partner in the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Sarasota, told the commissioners, "[The Allens] purchased the property assuming the risk of not being able to develop it." She also pointed out that the commission in 1993 unanimously denied a request to con- struct a home on the site. Allen Worms, a retired professor and wild- life biologist who volunteers with Sarasota Audubon, reported to the board that on April 14, a snowy plover nest had been found with three eggs in it only about 50 feet from the Beach Road property. The whole state has only about 200 snowy plovers, he said, stressing their endangerment. "It's a fragile area," he added of the area that includes the Allens' lot. During Merrill's rebuttal, he called up Michele Steinbaum, a biologist with the Sarasota firm of Steinbaum and Associates, to dispute Worms' assertion. "It would be atypical for snowy plovers to nest on this lot," she said, because the birds utilize the wet sand of the beach for their nests, which are "way far away from this lot." % Share stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and choosing to share via e-mail, post to Facebook or Twitter, or many other sharing options. QUICK TIP Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 55

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