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Lido Key seawall meets approval in Sarasota; redevelopment eyed

The adjustment seaward of a seawall along the Sandcastle Resort on Lido Beach met with the approval from the city of Sarasota City Commission with a 3 to 1 vote following a two-hour discussion. Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch voted against the project, citing fears of beach erosion and turtle protection. Commissioner Willie Shaw was absent due to illness.

The approval on Nov. 6 will be followed by consideration from state DEP and federal regulators.

Most of the wall will stay where it is now, but a midsection will be moved seaward to make a 665-foot straight line.

The wall serves to protect the Sandcastle from potential erosion.

Plans for the upgraded wall will be reviewed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which must consider issues such as dunes, vegetation and sea turtle nesting in reviewing its permit for the project.

The Sandcastle Owners are planning to redevelop the site into a 304-room hotel with nine- and 10-stories tall residential towers. The redevelopment of the site will require several public hearings before the Planning Board and City Commission. Many residents have come out in opposition to date.

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