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Holmes Beach waiting to hear on settlement talks

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

While the terms of a proposed settlement are uncertain, Holmes Beach Mayor Carmel Monti extended the olive branch to Sandpiper Co-op Resort Inc. and the city of Bradenton Beach in an attempt to settle the ongoing boundary dispute.

“I’ve spoken to the Sandpiper and the mayor of Bradenton Beach, and they’re to vote on it and get back to me. There’s a basic agreement between all parties,” he said.

Monti declined to give any specifics of the proposed agreement.

Holmes Beach filed the lawsuit in May asking the court to declare public the part of 27th Street east of Gulf Drive ending at Sarasota Bay. The undeveloped street divides the city of Holmes Beach and the Sandpiper Resort, a mobile home cooperative in Bradenton Beach.

The lawsuit also seeks a court order requiring the Sandpiper to remove gates and private property signs from its fence, and to remove part of the fence for access by residents of adjoining properties in Holmes Beach.

The Holmes Beach City Commission met Dec. 11 in a shade meeting to discuss settlement of the suit.

“I think they’ve always been willing to settle,” said Commission Chair Jean Peelen about Bradenton Beach and Sandpiper.

She blamed the failure of prior settlement talks on the city of Holmes Beach — before the Nov. 6 election of two new commissioners and a new mayor — for insisting it be given part of the right of way.

“They killed that part of the deal — that’s off the table,” Peelen said. She understood the city still wants drainage and beach access and “unlockable” gates.

“I hope it’s on its way to settlement. I surely do,” Peelen added.

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