“Reopen Beach Road” controversy continues in Sarasota County

“Reopen Beach Road” controversy continues in Sarasota County

SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WWSB) - A longtime controversy over Beach Road on Siesta Key was supposed to be settled in November. That’s when people voted to reopen the private road to the public. Now, some people feel like their vote didn’t matter.

Dozens of people showed up Tuesday at Sarasota County commission chambers to voice their frustrations. They want county leaders to move more quickly to act on this month’s vote. Frustrated citizens tell ABC7 they don’t feel like the county is taking this seriously, pointing to a last-minute change in the referendum language on the ballot.

Commissioners say that even though reopening beach road has been approved by voters, there is a legal process to follow, and the change won’t happen overnight.

“You refused to act in the best interest of your constituents. Instead, you forced us to file a lawsuit, organize a petition drive, and get enough certified signatures to get on the ballot,” said Linda Valley, Siesta Key resident.

“The voters voted, we understand that, we need to make that happen,” said Commission Chair Nancy Detert. “It’s a process. It doesn’t happen the very next day....I don’t know what you people think is going on but it’s what I think is going on.”

40 people showed up to the meeting on Tuesday. They say the crowd will be even bigger at the next meeting.

Sarasota County says it cannot comment any further pending litigation.

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