Shaw seeks to revote Lido lease

Editor & Publisher

Lido Key residents opposed to a recent lease agreement the city entered into for the Lido pool and pavilion, were left disappointed yet again, this past week.

First, dozens and dozens of residents fought to have the city deny leasing 2.5 acres to the Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners, LLC. That push failed on Nov. 20, when the 10-year lease, which includes another 20 years in extensions, was approved by a 4-1 vote.

That vote was significant in that lease agreements need a supermajority or at least 4 of the 5 board members for approval. But soon the outcome of that vote would come into question.

Last week, Commissioner Willie Shaw who voted in favor of the lease on Nov. 20, said he wished to revisit the issue at a Thursday special meeting and ultimately rescind his vote and thereby the lease agreement.

That desire by Shaw sparked hopes once again of numerous residents who turned out Thursday to hear Shaw say that he wished to not support the lease and asked his fellow commissioners to formally rescind its vote. Problem is, it takes three of the five commissioners to agree to such a measure and the only one who supported him was Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch.

Shaw made an impassioned speech in which he needed to vote his conscience, and “vote right.”

City Attorney Robert Fournier told the City Commission before it voted that there was “significant risk” involved in rescinding the vote with intimation of a possible breech of contract lawsuit.  The Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners were represented by Sarasota attorney Bill Merrill who contended at the meeting that the commission’s vote on Nov. 20 amounted to approving a formal contract.

The Redevelopment Partners are allowed under the lease to build out and develop a 200-seat waterfront restaurant, tiki bar and splash pad at the current site of the Lido Beach Pavilion. The commission also granted the right to the Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners, who also own the Daiquiri Deck to stay open serving food, liquor and live music until 10:30 p.m.

The next step is the Redevelopment Partners must seek approval for a major conditional use for the property and then ultimately have a site plan approved.

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