Judge halts part of legal challenge to Lido Beach renourishment
SARASOTA — A judge has halted part of the Siesta Key Association’s legal challenges to the plan to renourish Lido Key beaches with sand from Big Pass.
Circuit Court Judge Lon Arend told attorneys in the case at a hearing this week that he will abate, or essentially pause, the association’s civil lawsuit while it and two other groups appeal the decision to issue a state permit for the project in an administrative proceeding.
Hearings in the administrative case are scheduled for the end of August, effectively delaying any substantial movement in the case for months.
Both proceedings revolve around the controversial plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the city of Sarasota to use 1.2 million cubic yards of sand from the channel between Lido and Siesta keys to nourish diminishing beaches on Lido.
But the plan has been mired in challenges from residents, businesses and groups on Siesta who fear changes to Big Pass will adversely affect their key’s world-renowned beaches.
When the Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced late last year it intended to issue a permit for the project, the Siesta Key Association, the Florida Wildlife Foundation and local group Save Our Siesta Sand 2 all filed an administrative appeal against the permit approval.