Siesta Key Community News

Legal Action Filed!

On October 27, 2021 Sarasota County Commissioners voted for a mega-hotel even though it violated the local growth laws.   There is no choice but to take legal action. 
 
The Key Arguments

Sarasota County must follow the Comprehensive Plan

 

After a local government adopts a comprehensive plan in conformity with the Community Planning Act, section 163.3161, Florida Statutes, all actions taken by the local government regarding a development shall be consistent with the comprehensive plan. 163.3194(1)(a), Fla. Stat.

Sarasota County's regulations allow for the development of 'transient accommodations' (hotels) to have a maximum of 26 units per acre. On October 27th, the County approved a hotel with 170 units on less than one acre which is not in compliance with our Comprehensive Plan.

 
It's about Public Safety

 

The adverse impacts of the increased density on Siesta Key include: risk to health and safety for pedestrians and vehicle drivers due to increased traffic and congestion on local roadways; delays due to increased traffic congestion on local roads; emergency evacuation route delays due to increased traffic congestion; delays of emergency responders due to increased traffic congestion; congestion and overcrowding of beaches, beach parking, and public beach access points...

 
Siesta Key is a barrier island

 

Siesta Key is a low-lying barrier island, with vehicle access only by bridge, which creates special concern regarding hurricane evacuation, storm surge, fragile coastal habitats, and increased coastal erosion.

Siesta Key is within a designated Evacuation Level A on the Sarasota County Evacuation Map. Residents in Evacuation Level A are the first to be evacuated for a category 1 hurricane.

For these reasons, there are laws to prevent increases in density and intensity of development on the barrier islands of Sarasota County including Siesta Key. 

Support the Defense of Siesta Key!

Siesta Key Community is a local 10-year-old corporation.  We advocate for issues that protect our barrier island while promoting Siesta Key to visitors.

Our president, Lourdes Ramirez, has filed a lawsuit against Sarasota County for violating our growth laws.

We are fundraising for the legal defense. Your support is critical to our success! Please use the link below and contribute to our cause!

Or mail a check to:

Siesta Key Community, Inc.

PO Box 35231

Siesta Key, FL 34242

Thank you!  

Note: Contributions are not tax deductible

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Additional info

The first proposed mega hotel (out of four and counting) for Siesta Key was decided by the Sarasota County Commission on October 27.  They voted 3-2 to approve the hotel even though it violated local laws. The County Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the second hotel near Stickney Point. The following are our list of objections to these approvals:

  • The Mega Hotels will have too much density.   The mega hotel proposal would change the number of rooms from a legal 26 units per acre to an illegal 170 units. This change would violate our growth laws known as the Comprehensive Plan. See white paper for more detail (Link).

  • The hotel proposal is too intense.  Currently, the code allows only one commercial use on the proposed site.  The proposed hotels will have four commercial uses including lodging, a bar, restaurant and parking garage.

  • We are a barrier island with one two lane road and two bridges. There are only two exits off the barrier island.  In case of an emergency, such as hurricane evacuations or major flooding, the already crowded roads will be gridlocked with all of these additional vehicles. This puts Siesta Key residents and visitors in a dangerous situation.

Welcome!
The Siesta Key Community is a corporation created to advocate for the protection of Siesta Key's environment and neighborhoods.  We will provide information and news about Siesta Key for residents and visitors.  Our focus is on the issues important for the protection of our island. We  appreciate our residents and visitors who love our island that have supported our efforts. 
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A message from our president,
Lourdes Ramirez

From the moment I stepped on to

Siesta Key's wonderfully soft sand 22 years ago, I knew I had to work to protect it's beauty. 

Since moving here, I've been actively involved in civic organizations and in politics. 

It has been my pleasure devoting time to ensure our Siesta Key community continues to be the best place to live and to spend quality time. I've been so passionate in protecting our way of life that I've spent my personal finances in legal fights against Sarasota County on issues regarding density, illegal rentals and other detrimental government actions.

I will continue to keep our community informed on ongoing issues.  

Follow us on Facebook for up-to-date news on Siesta Key.  

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Visit Siesta Key

Siesta Key Public Beach

948 Beach Road

Siesta Key, FL 34242

941-861-5000

www.scgov.net/SiestaBeach

 

Turtle Beach

8918 Midnight Pass Road

Siesta Key, FL 34242

941-861-5000

www.scgov.net/Turtle