Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Nokomo's Told to Fix Violations of Code

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Nokomo's Told to Fix Violations of Code

Article excerpt

NOKOMIS

A month after opening, the owner of the newest waterfront hot spot must do everything from removing countertops and ceiling fans to taking away sand from a makeshift beach.

Work is progressing to correct safety and code violations, but changes at Nokomo's Sunset Hut, with a second-floor open-air deck overlooking Dona Bay, will be dramatic. There is no set date when a scaled-back version of the bar and restaurant will reopen.

People talked for a year about the unusual two-story turquoise building going up at the foot of the bridge. Nokomo's was open only about a month, though, before it garnered complaints from residents living nearby and Sarasota County officials directed the owners to shut down May 18.

Five main violations -- including those cited by the fire marshal and representatives of the building, land development and code enforcement departments -- must be corrected if the business at 690 Tamiami Trail, Nokomis, is to reopen. Much of the work to be done concerns a first-floor bar area that is in a flood zone.

"County staff continues to work with the owner to bring him into compliance after meeting with him twice this week," county spokesman Drew Winchester said. "He's not in compliance yet but is making progress."

Officials scheduled a third meeting this week with owner Bill Rowland at 3:30 p.m. Friday at county offices.

"By this time tomorrow we will have everything done on their list," Rowland said Friday morning.

That does not mean the opening is imminent.

Among the ordered corrective actions are: spraying a fire retardant on the palm frond tiki roof, removing a first-floor bar and returning it to its intended permitted use as storage, removing a man-made sandy beach area and replacing it with landscaping to create a watercourse buffer, and reapplying for a business use permit.

Rowland initially intended the two-story building, which has an elevator, to be used as a deli with an upstairs seating and serving area.

As work progressed, a bar, seating and a sandy beach area was added to the ground floor, which was indicated as storage space on the original site and development plan. …

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