Siesta Key Community News
Mega - Hotel Lawsuit Info
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 helping with fundraising for the legal defense. Your support is critical to her success! Please use the link below and contribute to our cause!
Or mail a check to:
Siesta Key Community Legal Defense Fund
PO Box 35231
Siesta Key, FL 34242
Note: Contributions are not tax deductible
All proceeds go towards the legal defense fund.
On October 27, 2021 Sarasota County Commissioners voted for a mega-hotel even though it violated the local growth laws. Lourdes Ramirez felt she had no choice but to take legal action and run for County Commission.
Although Lourdes won the Siesta Key voting precincts by a 2 to 1 margin, she lost the primary on August against the developer supported candidate. She will continue to fight in court to protect our fragile island.
Lourdes was the ONLY Siesta Key Republican candidate who refused to accept campaign funds from developers including the three mega-hotel developers.
The lawsuit is based on the fact that Sarasota County Commissioners approved mega-hotels with density ranging from 120 units to 170 units per acre in violation of the Comprehensive Plan that limits hotel density to 26 units per acre since March 13, 1989.
Link to current Comprehensive Plan language that limits density as of March 13, 1989
Link to 1989 Ordinance 89-13 that implements the 1989 Comprehensive Plan
Updates & News Links
Judge denies Intervenors' (developers') request to expedite Ramirez's court case
On April 25th, the intervenors/developers asked the court to move up the trial date currently scheduled for March 27, 2023. The Judge denied their request. For detail information, see the following article from the Sarasota News Leader
Siesta resident cite inconsistency with Comprehensive Plan in lawsuit against Sarasota
Siesta Key Resident Takes Legal Action Against Sarasota County
Lawsuit filed against Sarasota County following high-density hotel approval on Siesta Key
Siesta Key Hotel challenged in court By Sarasota County resident
Siesta resident challenges zoning change for hotel
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.
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.
A message from our president,
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.
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