March Siesta Key Round Up

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By Bob Stein and Rachel Brown Hackney

Variance approved for Beach Road property

On Feb. 17, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously approved a coastal setback variance for the construction of a backyard pool for the house at 113 Beach Road. Before the vote, however, most of the board members’ discussion focused on frustrations regarding precedence, consistency and the desire to avoid legal challenges after they approve such construction. They also debated revising the county’s Coastal Setback Code, though a senior staff member cautioned that could lead to more problems.

The focus of attention was the fact that the 200-square-foot pool would be seaward of the county’s Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL). Weiqi Lin, a county coastal engineer, made clear in his presentation that the petitioners’ house is located across Beach Road from another building — Siesta Sands on the Beach — that fronts on the Gulf of Mexico. The pool would be constructed on pilings, he added, and it would be 619.8 feet landward of the current Mean High Water Line.

The coastal setback variance petition formally was made by RGM Properties LLC. The owners of the property are Robert and Gay Moxley of Osprey, who bought the home in September 2013 for $610,000, according to Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office records. The house was built in 1940, the records say. “It doesn’t seem to be terribly invasive,” Caragiulo said of the plan for the pool. “I don’t see any reason to deny [the petition].”

“It’s nowhere near the beach,” Maio pointed out. “I don’t see that we’re opening up the floodgates with this one.”

The man has a sense of humorAl Maio

During the Jan. 19 Siesta Key Condominium Council membership meeting, Sarasota County Commission Chair Al Maio answered quite a few tough questions. At one point, to interject some levity, he said, “I’m Paul Caragiulo, by the way; I’m not Al Maio.”

Maio and Caragiulo — a former Sarasota city commissioner — both were elected to the county board in 2014.

As questions multiplied about Benderson Development’s plans for the property it owns at the northwest corner of U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road, Maio encouraged the audience members to voice their feelings during public hearings on projects. Everyone is allowed 5 minutes, he noted. “Say whatever you want … [but] no spitting, swearing or throwing things ….”

Morton’s Siesta Village Market

renditionThe outside renovations have begun for Morton’s Siesta Market. A new grand entrance to the store is being added. Once the façade is completed, the inside of the store will be done in gradual stages so the store can stay open during the remaining stages of remodeling. 



A message from the Siesta Key Association

Looking back over the past year, the Siesta Key Association (SKA) has been involved in many projects and discussions including the renourishment of Lido Key sand, proposed roundabouts at Midnight Pass Rd. and Beach Rd., traffic flow and lights at Midnight Pass Rd. and Stickney Point Rd., the parking at Turtle Beach, illegal house rentals on the Key, noise complaints, Sheriff’s reports, Siesta Beach pavilion revamp, road speed limits, and much more. Several of these are ongoing topics at SKA's monthly meeting, and we welcome you to join us.

This past year, SKA donated money on our members' behalf to the Sarasota Sheriff’s department to help bring Christmas cheer to local families in need, as well as donating to the Junior Life Saving program, the Crystal Classic sand sculpture contest, and the 4th of July fireworks. Once again, SKA took part in the Light up the Village parade with our volunteer antique fire truck which again tired out and needed to be pushed, but we did manage to give out 650 candy canes to the children.

Please join us at our Annual Member Breakfast on March 5, at 8:30 a.m. in the community room at St. Boniface Church with our guest speakers, Sarasota County Commissioner Al Maio and County Administrator Tom Harmer, visitor cost is $15 at the door. If you join SKA, the membership fee of $30.00 includes 2 complimentary tickets to the breakfast, limited seating available. Go to our SKA website to become a member or to renew your membership for 2016.

16th Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Games  

The Siesta Key Village Association is sponsoring the 2016 Easter Party for children ages 1-6. Each child receives an Easter Stuffed Animal and an Easter Egg Hunt Goody Bag stuffed with prizes, along with a chance to find 5 eggs.  Saturday March 26, 9 a.m. to noon at Beach Access No. 5. Face painters will be there and opportunities to ride the trolley tour the Siesta Key ambulance and fire truck and participate in other fun family entertainment. Sheriff Dept. fingerprinting kits are available. Registration is limited to the first 125 children. There is a $10 registration fee per child.  For additional information contact Roz at

Volunteers needed

The Siesta Key Village Association is seeking volunteers to help with the 16th Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Volunteers will fill the eggs and goody bags the week prior to the event. Volunteers are also needed at the event on Saturday March 26, at Beach Access No. 5. Anyone interested in helping with this event call 941-284-4381.

Seeking Employment on Siesta Key

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce is seeking to fill the Membership Sales and Services Director position.  The Membership Services Director is responsible for maximizing recruitment and retention of Chamber members and oversees all areas of sales, services and benefits to its members. He/She will also attend committee meetings and assist with Chamber events. This is a full time position (40 hours per week) Annual Salary Range: $32,000 – $34,000 including a Performance Bonus: Based on achievement of meeting/exceeding budgeted revenue goals.

Desired Characteristics

• Experience in the non-profit sector, community development, and sales and marketing

• Strong understanding of local business and tourism climate

• Skilled in public speaking, community outreach and effective networking

• Demonstrated computer and social media proficiency

• Outgoing personality and enthusiasm

• Ability to sit and stand for long periods and lift and carry items weighing up to 20 pounds

Qualified and interested candidates are invited to mail or email their resume and a cover letter addressing why this position aligns with your experiences, skills, professional goals and personal passions, with “Membership Sales and Services Director” as the Subject, to: Ann Frescura, Executive Director, Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, 5114 Ocean Boulevard, Siesta Key, Florida 34242.

Looking for the Village Barber?

For those that have enjoyed the cuts and comradery at The Village Barber over the years, you can still continue to see Scott at his new location.  Back in July Scott Reich announced moving out of the Village and off the Key.  Reich and his stepfather Pete Sparks had been servicing patrons in the Village for the past 20 years. The Siesta Center was sold and the new ownership of the Ocean Blvd building wasn’t quite meeting up to expectations he and Sparks had of the new landlord. Sparks announced his retirement and Reich announced a move to The Shop SRQ at 6625 Gateway Ave. in Gulf Gate. You can reach Scott Reich at 941-346-0222. His hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tues – Fri, and Sat from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Siesta Sand
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