Sarasota News Leader

10/12/12

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NO MORE ASSESSMENTS Siesta Village businessman Chris Brown owns The Hub Baja Grill (right), The Cottage and the par- cel that is home to Blu Que. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUNTY COMMISSION HAS BEGUN PROCEEDINGS TO STOP TAXING BUSINESSES FOR THE EXPENSE OF A PUBLIC PARKING LOT IN SIESTA VILLAGE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Siesta Village property owners Chris Brown and Mark Smith had their wish granted this week: The Sarasota County Commission on Oct. 10 authorized the advertisement of a pub- lic hearing on the abolishment of the village's Parking Public Improvement District. The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Nora Patterson, who lives on Siesta Key, in the mi- nority. "I couldn't believe it," Brown told The Sara- sota News Leader after the vote. "I am just so happy." Brown is engaged in his third lawsuit against the county; all have dealt in some fashion with allegations that county staff has erred in assigning assessments to property owners to pay for a municipal parking lot in Siesta Village. The methodology used to determine those assessments has "got us into lawsuits," Com- missioner Joe Barbetta said during the board's Oct. 10 discussion. "Frankly, I think we would be well served to … chalk it up as a learning experience," Com- missioner Jon Thaxton added. In his second lawsuit, filed Jan. 31, 2001, Brown alleged that he had been assessed in- correctly for properties he owns in the district.

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