Siesta Key Beach Access 8 pathway realigned to ensure it stays on public right of way

Similar work planned at Accesses 3B, 9 and 10

People heading to Siesta Key Beach from Access 8 will notice a new path, Sarasota County staff announced on Jan. 26.

“Earlier this year,” a news release explains, the public pathway at Access 8 was realigned to ensure it falls within the boundaries of public right of way and to stabilize and protect the vegetative dune habitat.

During a YouTube video interview that the county Communications staff released on Jan. 26, Media Relations Officer Brianne Grant and Jonathan Poyner, the county’s Siesta Key Beach coordinator, discussed the changes.

At Access 8, Poyner noted, the path was shifted “a bit to the right,” to bring it onto public right of way. He urged residents and visitors to remain on the new path.

To facilitate that, and “to protect the dune line,” he continued, staff had planted vegetation on the prior pathway,

Tourist Development Tax — or, “bed tax” — revenue was used to pay for the project, Poyner added.

The 6% tax is charged on rentals of county accommodations for six months or less time. A county ordinance governs how the money is used, with a certain portion allocated to the Cities of Sarasota and Venice, as well as the Town of Longboat Key, for beach renourishment efforts.

The Tourist Development Tax revenue set a new record for the 2022 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, 2022. The total was more than $40 million, as shown in reports generated by Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates and her staff.

In the YouTube video, Poyner noted that the county’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department plans to use TDT funds to survey other beach accesses on Siesta Key and realign them, as well. “As the beach grows,” he explained, “the paths kind of meander.”

The goal, Poyner noted again, is to ensure that those paths stay on public property.

Staff plans next to focus on Access 3B — which is located off Beach Road between the intersections of Columbus Boulevard and Avenida Navarra; and Accesses 9 and 10. Access 9 is just west of the intersection of Plaza De Las Palmas and Beach Road.

While the rerouting is underway, Poyner and Grant emphasized in the video, those paths will have to be closed. However, people will be able to use any of the other accesses on the island, which have been established from the northern part of the Key to an area south of the Stickney Point Road/Midnight Pass Road intersection.

Access 1 is located at 3940 N. Shell Road, for example, while the southernmost public path to the beach — Access 13 — has an address of 6900 Point of Rocks Road.

“You’ll always have a way to get to the beach,” Poyner said in the Jan. 26 video.

To find a full list of Siesta Beach access points, visit or call 311.