INDIAN SHORES — The Town Council took a closer look at the second reading of two ordinances that previously passed unanimously on their first reading last month.

One ordinance included a time change to the prohibition of leaving obstructions on the beach overnight, and another ordinance providing for metered parking were both reviewed Oct. 11.

The ordinance known as “Leave no trace” that prohibits leaving unattended items on the beach overnight had the time changed for the period obstructions on the beach must be removed.

The prior ordinance’s time directed that unattended items were not to be left on the beach from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The amended ordinance changed the time from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. in order to allow the turtle patrol to proceed with their daily check on the beach during daylight.

When opened to public input on the issue, one citizen said that her guests like to put their beach set-up out around 6-7 a.m., go back for breakfast, and then return to the beach after breakfast. Another citizen suggested that the morning time should be changed to “dawn” instead of a specific time that may not equate seasonally with daylight.

Council member Mike Hackerson explained that the town’s public services “can’t get on the beach until after the turtle patrol leaves around 7-7:30 a.m.” 

Councilor Michael Petruccelli, who had voted in favor of the ordinance at the September meeting, changed his vote after hearing public input on the subject, and voted against the ordinance at the second and final hearing. 

“It seems that the town is making its citizens suffer for a species (turtles),” said Petruccelli.

In response, Vice Mayor Diantha Schear said, “It’s federal law (turtle protection); it’s not that Indian Shores is being nice to the turtles.”

The ordinance passed 4-1 in favor, with Petruccelli the dissenting vote. Hackerson had the last word regarding leaving unattended property on the beach. 

“We (Indian Shores) frequently clean up abandoned property that’s often left on the beach, not just overnight but that has been there two and three days or longer,” he said.

The other ordinance providing for metered parking and removing reserved parking that passed unanimously on its first reading last month did so again with a vote of 5-0 on its second and final reading. All town-owned parking lots will have metered parking installed to allow for consistency in the town.

Parking meters will be payable from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily, and parking will be free from 5 p.m. until midnight. Overnight parking is prohibited unless otherwise designated. Designated parking for disabled persons will not be metered.

Exceptions to the metered parking will include town employees, and residents and property owners with a properly displayed permit. The council will adopt a resolution for the process of issuing permits, the designation of reserved parking spaces, and the permit fee, if any.

Fines for parking infractions will run $50 per incident.