About Reopen Beach Road
Reopen Beach Road, Inc. is Florida 501(c)(4) Not-for-profit Florida corporation.
On May 11, 2016, the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners voted to give away the last remaining public right-of-way along the number 1 beach in the world – a section of Beach Road north of Columbus Boulevard.
We are here to stop and reverse this action which is in direct opposition to the general public welfare and is harmful to our local business community. Join us.
In late 2012, the County hired Taylor Engineering, Inc. to design a hurricane resistant, pedestrian friendly, permanent repair of this section of Beach Road. Extensive pressure by the people seeking the abandonment of this road led County staff to recommend against the solution pictured below. (Reference BCC #12106):
Previously, on July 22, 2009, County staff recommended that the section of Beach Road between Columbus Avenue and Avenida Messina be reconstructed “in order to regain the intended use of the roadway and protect it against future storm events.” Pressure from three local homeowners quashed the plan . (BCC Assignment #09062)
Our Commissioners mistakenly voted to abandon a section of Beach Road just north of Columbus Avenue. There was a lawsuit led to stop this mistake from becoming permanent. We now have a chance to let our voices be heard. The price tag of silence is that this $3.5 million section of Beach Road will become the PRIVATE PROPERTY of the adjacent landowners, and thereby grant them the ability to:
- Take away our right to rebuild our road, side walks, bike paths, handicap access or any hardening
of the surface whatsoever.
- Take away our right to have any input as to how this land is managed.
- Set in motion a chain of events that will most likely culminate with this section of road being
closed forever to the public.
- Set in motion a chain of events that will most likely culminate with the adjacent beach lands
being closed forever to the public all the way down to the wet sand beach.
- Set a legal precedent that will create a domino effect that will head north to the pier at Sunset
- Point and result in a TOTAL LOSS of public access to anything other than beach access #2 and
beach access#3 and the wet sand beach between them.
- Prohibit dogs from using this area forever.
It's not over. Seriously. Not even close. And it won't be over until we prevail.
What we've done:
Reopen Beach Road has sued the County to prevent the give away for now. We've blanketed Sarasota County with "Keep Beach Road Public" signs. We've attended every county commission meeting we can to inform them of their mistake. We've done hours and hours of research to uncover very interesting facts about this abandoned road and we are sharing it with you.
Why the effort? It's the right thing.
The county has prevented the giveaway or sale of Beach Road for more than 40 years. Redesigning Beach Road to be hurricane resistant, pedestrian friendly and to permanently repair this public thoroughfare would cost the city $2 million. It has since cost the county $6 million.
Want to get involved?
- We need to collect 15,000 completed and signed petitions from Sarasota County Registered Voters. You can complete a petition here. We also ask you to invite us to drop off a stack of petitions for you to pass out at your workplace or neighborhood. Contact Us here.
- You may write, email or call your county commissioners to let them know you want your road back! Here is their contact information.
- Follow us on Facebook.