What is Beach Access?
In the 1950s, property owners in the South Venice Subdivision were promised in writing "access" to the community beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Non- transferable cards were issued, certifying the status of someone as a qualifying property owner and thus entitled to use the beach.
This card was then used as a pass to the wooden bridges that went over the water separating the mainland from Manasota Key where the community beach is located.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers later destroyed the bridges to build the Intracoastal Waterway. After thousands of lawsuits, the courts ordered that access to the beach would be in perpetuity and
would be by ferry. The SVCA was appointed trustee of the beach properties and given a sum of money to build a boat house and to purchase the boat and motor for the first ferry.
The beach properties are held in the
South Venice Beach Endowment Trust,
a 501(c)3 tax-exempt trust. Grants and donations are used for future capital development.