TREASURE ISLAND – The City Commission unanimously passed a resolution Aug. 17 that sends the issue of longer operating hours for establishments serving alcohol to the city’s Planning and Zoning Board for review.
The board, acting as the Local Planning Agency, will review a proposal to extend drinking hours to 3 a.m. and change the current Sunday opening time back an hour to 10 a.m. The board will make a recommendation for an effective date.
Treasure Island is following in the footsteps of Pinellas County, Madeira Beach, Largo and St. Petersburg to extend the sale of alcoholic beverages one hour, seven days per week.
“I’m all for sending it to the LPA,” said Commissioner Alan Bildz, “but not for expanding the hours to 3 a.m. It’s almost like Treasure Island has a little drinking problem.”
The city of St. Petersburg was first to make the switch in early May when its City Council voted 6-2 to extend alcohol sales one hour. Pinellas County followed suit recently, leaving the local option up to municipalities.
Police Chief Tim Casey told commissioners recently that he has no problem with the hours being extended. A survey conducted by the Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce of its members indicated support for the change.
In other action, the commission:
• Heard a presentation by Rhonda Sanborn, hospitality education director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, on a flyer that is being circulated to tourists explaining beach renourishment. The campaign came about after the CVB received a call from a tourist concerned that renourishment efforts were tied into a possible oil spill on Pinellas beaches. “It’s an education campaign for tourists,” Sanborn said. “It explains what we’re doing (regarding renourishment) and why we’re doing it.” The flyer will be distributed to hotels along the beaches by the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce.
• Passed on first reading an ordinance that amends the land development regulations to place responsibility for review of variances related to accessory structures, such as swimming pools, in the Planning and Zoning Board’s jurisdiction. Variances to parking regulations, building height and residential yards next to the Gulf of Mexico will remain within the jurisdiction of the City Commission. Second and final reading of the ordinance is set Sept. 8.
• Moved ahead on a resolution approving a city healthcare plan for 2010-11 that drops dependent care coverage to 28.8 percent.
• Approved James Ellis to the Code Enforcement Board and named Dominique Reiter an alternate; named Leonard Mewhinney to a vacant seat on the Planning and Zoning Board and John Shipman to a vacant seat on the Marina Board.