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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Emergency allows immediate protection
Shoring up on North Shore
After August storms eroded the foundation of this home - and Frances sent strong waves and beach current to exacerbate the situation - at 765 N. Shore Drive in Anna Maria, the owners installed concrete support blocks and tons of sand to prevent their home from sliding into the Gulf of Mexico in the event Hurricane Ivan hit the Island. Adjacent homeowners on Shore Drive added sand, rock and the proverbial "kitchen sink," in the hope of saving their homes. Islander Photo: Courtesy C. Daniel

Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn last Thursday used the state of emergency declared two weeks ago for Hurricane Frances to allow property owners along North Shore Drive to bring in a limited quantity of sand to protect their property and homes from the potential damage from Hurricane Ivan.

The mayor said she learned from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that she had the power under the emergency order to issue permits to those residents to replenish their beach.

Five property owners took advantage of the order, she said, and beach-quality sand was purchased from a Lakewood Ranch company. The individual property owners had to pay all expenses, the mayor noted.

The houses are located between 753 and 765 North Shore Drive.

Property owners in the area have suffered a significant loss of beach the past few months, particularly from passing storms. Most of the residents had signed easements with Manatee County to be included in the 2002 beach renourishment project, but because a few homeowners in the area declined, renourishment ended just past the Sandbar restaurant at Elm Street.

"We wanted to get in that project," said affected homeowner Tom Varnum, "but a few people kept us out."

Most, if not all, of those homeowners have sold out, he said, and everyone in his area now wants inclusion in the next renourishment project. Unfortunately, that's not scheduled for another 5-7 years, according to Manatee County Ecosystems Manager Charlie Hunsicker.