Patrons enjoy a ride on a Ferris wheel during the 2013 Rotary Club carnival on the beach in Treasure Island.
TREASURE ISLAND – After months of planning for its annual carnival on the beach, the Rotary Club of the Gulf Beaches will be moving its fundraiser back to Treasure Island Park March 13-16.
The decision came about last week after three hotel operators involved in a lawsuit against the city re-filed a petition with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection objecting to a DEP permit that would allow the event to take place on the beach.
The petition was originally filed in January and dismissed by DEP because the petitioners failed to allege environmental injuries “in fact.”
A decision on the latest petition effort would not likely come in time for the carnival to be held on the beach, which led Rotary members to make the decision to move it back to Treasure Island Park where it took place in 2011 and 2012. The carnival was held on the beach in 2013, which raised environmental and business concerns by the operators of three hotels on the beach.
“Back when we passed the resolution approving the carnival on the beach, we recognized at the time that permits from DEP had to be obtained and there was a specific whereas that if approval was denied, the event would be held in TI Park,” said Treasure Island City Manager Reid Silverboard. “However, it’s going to be a surprise to the residents along 104th (Avenue) and the businesses there. So I wanted to bring it up so that the residents would know that due to unforeseen circumstances, the carnival will be held in TI Park.”
Arthur Czyszczon of the Page Terrace Beach Front Motel, David King of the Thunderbird Beach Resort and Kevin McInerney of the Windjammer Resort Hotel have filed suit against the city of Treasure Island alleging violations of Florida Constitutional law. The suit claims the city is in violation of state law and DEP regulations by allowing parking and cars on the beach for numerous events throughout the year.
Treasure Island City Attorney Maura Kiefer has scheduled a hearing in April for a summary judgment, which indicates both sides are negotiating a possible settlement.