REDINGTON BEACH — This residential beach town is clamping down on those who park at Town Park or Friendship Park and sneak over to the beach.

Town Park, with children’s play area and athletic fields, is located at the corner of Gulf Boulevard and 164th Avenue, while Friendship Park is at 164th Avenue across from Town Hall.

During the Dec. 21 commission meeting, Mayor David Will said he asked the town attorney to rework the parking ordinance after issues were raised with people parking at Town Park and Friendship Park and going to the beach or other places.

“Those spaces are to be utilized for people who are enjoying the park itself,” he said.

The revised ordinance explains the town maintains a limited number of parking spaces at Town Park and Friendship Park. These spaces are intended to be solely used by persons who are using the park. 

“The Town has become aware that persons are parking their vehicles in spaces at Town Park and Friendship Park, but then leaving the area to access the beach, thus depriving persons seeking to use the parks from being able to park at the parks,” the ordinance notes.

It adds, “the Town Commission finds that this use of the parking spaces at Town Park and Friendship Park are inconsistent with the reasons the Town acquired and maintains these spaces.”

The ordinance states that even golf cart users have to adhere to the revised ordinance. “All parking lots, spaces and areas at Town Park and Friendship Park are for the sole, exclusive use of persons who are presently located in these parks. No person shall park a motor vehicle, including golf carts, in any parking lot, space or area of Town Park or Friendship Park, who is not present in the park at all times while the motor vehicle is so parked,” the ordinance states.

In order to show the town is serious about protecting the parking spaces, anyone found parked at Town or Friendship park in violation of the ordinance faces a $100 fine for a first offense, a $200 fine for a second offense within 12 months of a first offense, and a $500 fine for any subsequent offense within 12 months of a second offense.

If passed on second reading, code enforcement or law enforcement deputies will be authorized to inquire of all persons who are within Town Park or Friendship Park if a given parked motor vehicle belongs to them, or is currently under their control.

If a town code enforcement or law enforcement deputy cannot locate the owner or person having custody of the parked motor vehicle, then the motor vehicle shall be deemed to be parked in violation of this section, the ordinance states. If the motor vehicle has no registered owner, such as with a golf cart, the owner of the golf cart shall receive the violation. 

Commissioner Jim Murray said he agrees with the reworked ordinance. “We need to put a stop to folks using those spaces to go to the beach or using it for whatever they want to do.”

However, one resident noted a lot of people utilize the Friendship Park lot to go to Town Hall; he asked whether the commission wanted to address that in the ordinance.

While there was no comment on the issue raised by the resident at the meeting, it could be addressed when the issue returns to the commission for a second reading.