NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Paid public parking may soon come to Siesta Key Beach

Posted at 9:29 AM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 09:33:57-05

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — You may have to start paying for parking one of the best beaches in the country.

The Sarasota County Commission is debating whether to add paid public parking at Siesta Key Beach. The idea is to relieve traffic congestion on beach roads.

Not everyone is happy about the proposal.

"Not happy about that at all," said resident Carl Baynes. "I think that this is a big draw for the Sarasota area, people love to come to Siesta Key Beach."

Beach shop employee Jon Branthoover worries how paid parking will impact his business.

"People really like the fact that the parking here is free, so taking that away, I don’t know how that will impact business,” said Branthhoover.

Sarasota County is looking for feedback from the public on traffic and parking issues on Siesta Key. You can either fill out a quick online survey or attend the County Commission's public workshop on February 27 at 9 a.m. at the Sarasota County Administration Center. Already over 500 people have filled out the survey.

Results from the workshop and survey will help county leaders develop their parking plan.

Sarasota County added paid parking at St. Armands Circle in January. Spots there cost between 50 cents and a $1.50 per hour.