TREASURE ISLAND – It appears parking decals may be required for Sunset Beach, according to remarks of the Treasure Island city commissioners during its April 2 meeting.
The only potential hang-up seems to be who will be allowed to park there.
In a previous meeting, a large contingent of Sunset Beach residents complained to the commission about increased parking congestion in their neighborhood. A petition with 190 signatures was also offered to the commission.
The popularity of Sunset Beach, by both surfers and beachgoers, has increased significantly in recent years where it has gotten to a point where Sunset Beach neighbors feel trapped in their own houses as parking is so congested that some vehicles cannot get through the narrow path.
As a result, residents consider the congestion a hazard in case an emergency vehicle needs to reach their residence.
Other residents complained that those parking are also leaving behind trash and damaging property.
Residents who attended the previous commission meeting suggested the city enact an ordinance requiring resident-only parking in the neighborhood. Residents would be required to purchase $3 parking decals similar to an ordinance in St. Pete Beach.
City Manager Reid Silverboard said the target date for additional discussion on the proposed ordinance could be the June 3 commission workshop. By then, Silverboard said, he would have a cost estimate of the program and the rules.
Currently, the ordinance would allow parking for Sunset Beach residents. But Commissioner Phil Collins suggested that parking should be available for all Treasure Island residents, not just one neighborhood.
“Sunset Beach is a part of Treasure Island, not apart from Treasure Island,” Collins said. “Otherwise, (the proposed ordinance) is a good idea.”
Mayor Mary Maloof and Commissioner Alan Bildz, whose district represents Sunset Beach, didn’t agree with Collins.
In an effort at damage control sensing his establishment is being targeted, Tony Amico of Caddy’s on the Beach spoke before the commission and offered to purchase “No Parking” signs for any Sunset Beach resident who doesn’t want parking in front of their residence.
Marie Barber, a resident of Sunset Beach was in favor of the parking decals and noted the problem is not directly related to Amico’s business.
Caddy’s “has done an excellent job of providing parking,” Barber said, noting many patrons choose not to use metered parking or valet parking at Caddy’s, instead parking for free in the neighborhood.
Unless an organization steps forward, there will not be a July 4 fireworks display in Treasure Island this summer.
Looking for ways to reduce spending, the vote on accepting a bid for the annual July 4 fireworks display fizzled when no one motioned to bring the issue up for a vote. As a result, the proposal died.
This produced a round of applause from the gallery assembled.