Court: Famous ‘house on stilts’ in Sarasota Bay must come down

Court: Famous ‘house on stilts’ in Sarasota Bay must come down
People trying to save house on stilts in Cortez. (Source: WWSB)

CORTEZ, Fla. (WWSB) - A notable structure in Sarasota Bay has been ordered to be removed after years of legal action.

The house on stilts near the A.P. Bell Fish Company must be torn down, the court ruled. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection had been demanding that homebuilder Raymond Guthrie tear down the home while residents in the community tried to protect it.

Residents say this structure is a net camp and has been around for decades, rebuilt in 2017 after storms damaged the original structure. People say it’s an important part of Cortez Village because of that history.

In a judge’s ruling Monday, the judge sided with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that the structure has to be torn down within the next two months because its in their waters and had been built with no permit.

Guthrie is now ordered to pay $6,500 in administrative penalties and costs and will have to remove the structure. Guthrie can request a hearing on the findings.

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