REDINGTON BEACH – Town officials have a message for non-residents whose vehicles often line the streets here on sunny beach-friendly days: If you don’t live here, don’t park here.
Commissioners sent out that blunt missive in passing an ordinance Aug. 15 that in essence erects a giant “No Parking” sign over a large part of the community. Passed by a 4-0 vote on final reading, the ordinance restricts parking to residents whose vehicles bear a city-issued sticker certifying they live there. Anyone parked on town streets without the sticker would be subject to a $50 fine.
The need for the ordinance arose after neighboring Madeira Beach hiked rates on its parking meters, said Mayor Nick Simons. That sent visitors scurrying for cheaper parking, and many of them found just that along the streets and avenues of Redington Beach. The results were tire-damaged lawns and abandoned trash, he said.
The ordinance establishes resident-only parking areas over large swathes of the town:
• The town park area on 160th Avenue.
• 155th Avenue to 164th Avenue between Gulf Boulevard and First Street
Signs will be posted designating those areas for resident-only parking.
Parking will be banned altogether, regardless of the presence of a parking sticker, on 161st Avenue between Gulf Boulevard and Second Street East. Signs will designate the area as no parking at any time.
Residents with a valid parking permit will be allowed one visitor parking pass per household.
Parking permits will be available from the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall. Residents will need to provide proof of residency and vehicle registration.
Enforcement of the parking ordinance should begin in about three months, after signage is in place and parking stickers are printed and made available to residents.
Commissioner Fred Steiermann was attending a League of Cities meeting in south Florida and was not present for the vote. Commissioner Tom Dorgan was out of state and attended telephonically.
Also on final reading, the commission approved, 4-0, an ordinance calling for a referendum on a change in town zoning that would prohibit the operation of any medical marijuana dispensaries within town boundaries. The proposal will be included in the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
Discussion also continued about possible items to be included in the 2018-2019 budget.
Town Clerk Missy Clarke said she has now included $25,000 for a technical review of the updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRM. Clarke said Aug. 1 the allocation may not be needed if the new maps are not contested.
Kristine Johanson, chair of the Parks and Recreation Board, asked that $2,500 be included to increase handicapped access to the beach. The money would be used to create a path from the parking lot.
Commissioners also addressed a request by Clarke for a 5 percent raise for all four city workers. Tim Kornijtschuk and Dave Will said they were in favor of a 4 percent raise, while Simons and Dorgan said they agreed with the proposed 5 percent raise.
Commissioners concurred with Simons’ suggestion to leave the proposed 5 percent figure in the budget and allow Steiermann to be the deciding vote at the Sept. 5 commission meeting.
The tax rate for the coming year has been tentatively set at 1.81 mills, which is the current rate.
The first public hearing on the budget will be Tuesday, Sept. 4.