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A staff argument that sea level rise one day could give the public direct access to the Gulf of Mexico from Shell Road property on Siesta Key did not deter the Sarasota County Commission last week from vacat- ing county right of way as requested by homeowners. I n f a c t , V i c e Chairwoman Christine R o b i n s o n a s k e d County Administrator Tom Harmer to con- sult with Parks and Recreation Department staff members on the position, "because I'm a bit concerned about how we're using something like that [argu- ment] in other areas. … I don't think this was a well-thought-out objection at this point." Commissioner Nora Patterson, a Siesta resident, was the only board member to vote against the right of way vacation follow- ing a Feb. 12 public hearing. A photo shows a segment of what used to be Shell Road, looking north, that was platted as Gulf Avenue. Image courtesy Sarasota County COUNTY COMMISSIONERS QUESTION A SEA-LEVEL RISE ARGUMENT PUT FORTH BY A STAFF MEMBER TO PREVENT THE VACATION OF COUNTY RIGHT OF WAY ON SIESTA KEY A BIT OF A STRETCH I t h i n k n o t [ g r a n t i n g t h i s particular right of way vacation] is trying to solve something that happened in the past. Charles Hines Chairman Sarasota County Commission By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor

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