In 1947, an old trolley car from Ybor City was purchased in Tampa and brought to the Sarasota area. Eventually, this trolley car was placed on what is today North Jetty Park and became known as the North Jetty Fish Camp. This converted trolley car has been a local community gathering place in south Sarasota County for many years. The trolley, which is located at 1000 S. Casey Key Road, Nokomis, is owned by Sarasota County but sits on land within a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) easement.
In early August, Sarasota County Historical Resources completed a historical/architectural survey of the trolley and surrounding area. The report found that the trolley has been significantly modified, retaining a low degree of historical integrity. In its current condition, the trolley is not deemed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places or the Sarasota County Register of Historic Places.
Due to the current condition of the structure, it is likely that any improvements would be substantial enough to trigger to the Federal Emergency Management Agency 50 Percent Rule, which states that a building must be elevated and brought into compliance should it be damaged by any cause, and if repairs cost 50 percent or more of the structure’s value.
The county has been conducting a comprehensive review of the trolley as well as coordinating with the onsite concessionaire. The concessionaire will cease operations at the trolley no later than June 13, 2019, which is the end of the initial term of the lease agreement.
Once a final date is determined for operations to cease, staff will start necessary actions to procure contractors for the removal of the trolley from North Jetty Park. Upon removal, the trolley will be evaluated in hopes of saving a portion of the trolley, which may then be incorporated into a future community gathering area.
County staff plans to have a community meeting to receive input about the development of a community gathering place that shares the cultural and historical significance of this unique part of our community’s history.Additionally, plans are underway to make improvements to North Jetty Park, including the installation of a new playground and other amenities in December as well as repaving the entranceway in early 2019, pending necessary approvals and permits.