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Before the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously on April 23 to deny a couple's second request to build a two-story Siesta Key house that would have been fully seaward of the county's Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL), the board was threatened with legal action if it took that stance. "To deny this variance would put an unrea- sonable hardship on t h e l a n d , b e c a u s e without this variance, there is not reason- able or economically viable use available for the property at all," the couple's agent, William Merrill of Icard, Merrill, asserted, adding that it would be "a categorical taking." The move for legal recourse came on May 21, when the owners of the property, Ronald and Sania Allen, filed a Request for Relief under the Florida Statute known as the Florida Land Use Environmental Dispute Resolution A c t ( F L U E D R A ) . C o u n t y A t t o r n e y S t e p h e n D e M a r s h The vacant lot at 162 Beach Road on Siesta Key will be the focus of a mediation process involving Sarasota County and its owners. Photo by Rachel Hackney ON TO MEDIATION AFTER BEING TURNED DOWN TWICE ON PETITIONS TO BUILD A HOUSE ON A SIESTA KEY LOT FRONTING THE GULF OF MEXICO, THE OWNERS WILL ENTER INTO A DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS WITH THE COUNTY We will report to you on any developments in the process. Stephen DeMarsh County Attorney Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor

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