Lawyer gains time in case of Cortez house built over water

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a final order to Raymond Guthrie Jr. to remove the house he built on stilts in Sarasota Bay just off the commercial fishing docks in Cortez.

The Nov. 17 order requires the removal of the 1,211 square-foot structure by Dec. 7 and payment of $6,500 in fines by Dec. 17 — but Guthrie is trying to settle before DEP can enforce it.

With the help of Capt. Tom Mora, Guthrie built the house and dock in early 2017 in the bay, 350 feet from the A.P. Bell Fish Co. docks.

Guthrie was allowed additional time after attorney Ryan Reese of Moore, Bowman & Rix PA of Tampa  called the DEP Dec. 1 on his behalf. DEP counsel was unable to reach Reese as of Dec. 11, according to media and legislative affairs spokesperson Shannon Herbon. — Kathy Prucnell

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