Siesta group sues to stop lido renourishment
LIDO KEY- A Siesta Key Group is once again trying to stop the Lido Beach Renourishment Project, this time suing the Army Corps of Engineers.
Save Our Siesta Sand 2 filed the required 60- day notice of its intent to sue the federal agency. This comes after a failed lawsuit filed at the state level.
“We didn’t prevail,” Peter van Roekens said. “But we believe that we have a good case and taking it to the federal level means it’s out of the local jurisdiction and local politics.
Chairman Peter van Roekens says the corps failed to study the risk of erosion on Siesta Key Beaches.
“The question is what will be the problem for Siesta Key,” Van Roekens said. “And the answer is nobody really knows what will happen, nobody, the army corps doesn’t know and we don’t know.”
Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin said in a statement any further litigation would be disheartening, “It is critically vital that whatever, if any, legal action is taken, the case must be expedited for the protection of the city’s infrastructure, property, and economy.”
“As you can see looking up and down the beach,” Carl Shoffstall said. “How eroded this is, and it’s getting worse, we have several buildings that are basically in the water as we speak.”
Lido Key Resident’s Association President Carl Shoffstall says erosion has led to a state of emergency, and there is no scientific evidence dredging will impact Siesta Key.
“There’s just nothing good to say why it shouldn’t happen, there’s been a lot of research that’s been done, and it’s been litigated, and everyone seems to think with the monitoring that’s going to go on that there should be no issues.”
Peter van Roekens says Siesta residents don’t want to take that chance.
“We’re hoping that they go to Plan B,” van Roekens said. “And they’ve never developed a plan B for Lido Key, they should because there are other sand sources besides big pass.”
The city plans to start an emergency renourishment project sometime next month, using 150,000 to 200,000 cubic yards of sand from New Pass to rebuild the shoreline.