Siesta Key resident builds fence to keep people off private beaches not closed under county order 

Courtesy: Michael Holderness

Michael Holderness snapped photos of crowds still flocking to part of Siesta Key on Friday. 

"My concern was grave. Concerns for our entire community. When you have that many people out here during the pandemic with no social distancing, it wasn’t a good time," he explained. 

Sarasota County shut down public beaches nearly three weeks ago. Private beaches are not covered by the order and that’s where people are going.

Holderness, a resident and business owner lives on a private beach, and some of his neighbors want them to stop. 

RELATED: Manatee, Sarasota Counties stagger beach closings starting Friday

"We fenced off the entire beach here, the problem with Siesta Key is 90 percent of it is privately owned so there’s no park and rec rules," said Holderness. 

The fence spans their private section of the beach. It's marked with signs asking people "to stay home and save lives." 

"This is a temporary fence, there’s no top rail on the fence here. It’s not a permanent fence; it’s what they would use to secure a site," Holderness said. 

Sarasota County said the fence went up without a permit and it issued a notice of violation. 

Holderness has no plans on taking down this fence, Sarasota County said that's a decision that could eventually cost him in the form of fines. 

He said he's all for sharing the beach when the invite is out, but he doesn't want it done at the cost of people's lives. 

"Sarasota County is a very elderly community and I’m scared for them. I’m very, very scared for them," he added.

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