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Plaintiffs in lawsuit switch attorneys
Sunset Beach residents take aim at Caddy’s, Treasure Island officials
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TREASURE ISLAND – A group of 16 Sunset Beach homeowners who are unhappy with neighborhood conditions related to Caddy’s on the Beach, 9000 W. Gulf Blvd., have changed attorneys and will include the city of Treasure Island in a lawsuit.

Attorney Tony Battaglia of St. Petersburg recently took over the action from attorney David Bacon.

Battaglia would not say why Bacon is no longer handling the case and said the case had changed and would involve the city of Treasure Island.

“The city is definitely going to be a party,” said Battaglia. “Additional parties within the city will also be named.”

Ray Green, one of the plaintiffs in the class-action suit, said a change in attorneys was necessary to include the city.

“This is an extremely important case to me and my neighbors,” Green said. “As we got into it we were not in agreement on whether the city of Treasure Island should be named. For the last two weeks we’ve been doing a tremendous amount of research on this.”

Green said the action is designed to “seek the intervention of a judge to make a determination of the lack of action by the city on its zoning and land use regulations.”

The plaintiffs contend that large groups of young patrons who frequent Caddy’s and the nearby public beach interfere with their property rights, which in turn lowers property values.

The lawsuit goes on to say Caddy’s attracts crowds that exceed the restaurant’s occupancy, parking and restroom capacities; it causes unreasonable amounts of pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area, improper parking on neighborhood streets, excessive noise from music and disorderly conduct by customers.

Sunset Beach has long been a destination location for local residents and vacationers. At one point the neighborhood had four bars and now has two.

A restaurant/bar has been in existence at the site of Caddy’s since 1946.

“We’re just after the city to enforce laws and land-use regulations, and do their job,” said Green. “I’ve lived here 25 years and never had this type of problem in the past.”

Green said he and other neighbors have “begged the city” to take action and “our only option now is to take legal action.”

The class-action lawsuit, which was originally filed Dec. 7, named the city of Treasure Island as a co-defendant along with TI. Holdings Inc., and Gulf Sands Properties LLC, doing business as Caddy’s, 9000 W. Gulf Blvd., but it was never served to either the city or Caddy’s.

Battaglia and Green indicated that the suit could be served this week.
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