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Judge dismisses Siesta Key group case attempting to stop Big Pass dredge

Complaint sought to stop plan to dig to renourish Lido Key, but another lawsuit remains

SARASOTA — A repeated attempt by a Siesta Key group to curtail the city’s planned dredging of Big Pass to renourish Lido Beach’s disappearing shoreline has been blocked by a judge.

Circuit Court Judge Andrea McHugh on Friday dismissed an amended lawsuit filed in October by the Siesta Key Association alleging the city was required to seek and obtain approval for the project from the Sarasota County Commission as required by environmental chapters of the comprehensive plans of both jurisdictions. McHugh in October granted the city of Sarasota’s motion to dismiss the case, without prejudice, paving the way for the group to file the recently dismissed amended complaint. The October dismissal stated that a local government’s comprehensive plan is not law, according to court documents.

This time around, McHugh dismissed one count with prejudice, meaning the group cannot pursue the issue further. That count attempting to stop the project was dismissed because the city obtained a valid permit for the project from the appropriate issuing agency, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, according to McHugh’s judgement.

The second count, dismissed without prejudice, requested the court to compel the city to submit the project plans to the Sarasota County Commission for approval to obtain a county permit.