REDINGTON SHORES – A little known and hardly ever enforced ordinance that prohibits the riding of bicycles on the beach in Redington Shores will soon be gone. The town commission decided at a workshop on June 25 to strike the ban from the town code.
The ordinance has been on the books for some years, and the police department has received occasional complaints from residents of bicyclists riding along the shore, said Police Capt. Jeff Rawson. But Mayor Bert Adams said most people are unaware the ban on beach bicycling exists or choose to ignore it.
Adams opened the discussion on the subject by asking the commissioners how many local beach communities have an ordinance against bicycles on the beach. An audience member shouted out, “Just us.”
“You got it,” said Adams.
“I still ride on the beach,” resident Christy Herig admitted.
“You’re a lawbreaker,” joked Commissioner Tom Kapper.
Adams said the town’s bicycle ban is impossible to enforce. The police have to be on the scene and see the bikes go by, he said.
“And how do people riding out of North Redington Beach know when they get here that they’re not supposed to have a bicycle on the beach in Redington Shores?” Kapper asked.
Adams said bicycles on the beach appear to bother only one or two people. The ban makes no sense, he said. Besides, people who are aware of the ban just ignore it. Adams said he had walked on the beach recently, and “about five bicycles passed me by.”
A proposal by Adams to “get rid of that ordinance so people can enjoy riding on the beach” met with commission approval.
“I’m all for it,” said Kapper.
The lifting of the bicycle ban will be on next month’s regular meeting agenda.
Joint building services agreement falls apart
A once touted arrangement to share building services with Indian Shores is ending. An interlocal agreement approved in the summer of 2012 allowed Redington Shores Building Official Steve Andrews to split his time 50/50 with Indian Shores. For that service, Indian Shores agreed to pay $52,500 a year. The current agreement ends Sept. 30.
The arrangement had appeared to work well, and had even been expanded in January to include Ashton Woods, an eight building condo development going up in Indian Shores. At that time, Indian Shores Vice Mayor Bill Smith described the sharing of building services as a “win-win-win” for all parties.
“This makes sense all around,” Smith had told the Redington Shores commission. “It means more revenue for you, and we get (building) services at a reasonable price.”
But Redington Shores Mayor Adams said during a budget discussion on the June 25 workshop that Indian Shores had now decided to hire their own building official part time.
“They told us they want their own guy,” Adams said. The person hired, Malcolm Green, had once served as the town’s building official, he said.
The potential income of $53,500 from the shared building services arrangement is being removed from the proposed 2014-15 budget.