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Date of Issue: March 30, 2005

Title company says Beach House owns parking lot

Reports that a portion of the parking lot on the south side of the Beach House Restaurant in Bradenton Beach was actually owned by the city were a bit premature, said City Commissioner Bill Shearon.

"The land is owned by [Beach House owner] Ed Chiles, not the city," Shearon said, after receiving an update from the title company hired by the city to check ownership of Gulf Drive beach-access parcels.

The initial report that the city had a 40-foot-wide easement running through the south parking lot at the Beach House came from a just-completed survey by the Wilson Miller engineering firm.

But the title company found an action by the city commission many years ago where the easement had been vacated to the Beach House but never recorded, noted Shearon. He did not know the date the commission action took place.

"By law," said Public Works Director Dottie Poindexter, "the survey can only go by what's recorded."

That's where the misunderstanding came, added Shearon.

So who owns the south parking lot?

"Ed Chiles," responded Shearon, although the city has to record its vacation of the easement to the Beach House before it legally becomes part of the restaurant.

Shearon said the title company also found three other easements along Gulf Drive that are "not clear on ownership. They may or may not belong to the city."

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