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TOO INTENSE County Commissioners Charles Hines and Nora Patterson consider documents and testimony during a meeting this week. Photo by Rachel Hackney THE SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY DENIES TWO REQUESTS FOR VARIANCES TO CONSTRUCT HOMES ON SIESTA KEY LOTS THAT HAVE BEEN UNDERWATER IN YEARS PAST By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor It took almost exactly two-and-a-half hours of presentations, public comments and rebuttals, but the Sarasota County Commission on Jan. 9 unanimously denied petitions by a couple seeking to build two three-story homes on Siesta Key lots that have been underwater at various times. Attorney Stephen DeMarsh that the commission should not continue the public hearing in the wake of a suggestion made late in the discussion by the petitioners' attorney, William W. Merrill III, that the construction plans could be modified to appease one set of adjacent homeowners. Commissioner Nora Patterson, who lives on the barrier island, This thing, I think, was dead from made the motion in the start. each case. The action followed advice from County Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County "This is not in a position that lends itself to continuance," DeMarsh told the commissioners, adding his recommendation that they should vote "up or down" on each of the variance requests.

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