REDINGTON BEACH – Town commissioners gave preliminary approval June 20 to parking restrictions along some streets in an attempt to deal with beach visitors seeking cheaper parking.
The ordinance, as initially proposed, would allow resident-only street parking from 155th Avenue north to 164th Avenue east of Gulf Boulevard to include First and Second streets. Residents of that area would be issued parking permits that would be affixed to their vehicles.
Commissioner Fred Steiermann had requested the ordinance because of complaints by residents in the neighborhood that out-of-towners were parking along the neighborhood’s streets to gain access to the beach across Gulf Boulevard.
However, Steiermann told his fellow commissioners that after taking a “second look” at the area along Second Street, he now wanted that section of the street removed from the ordinance.
Steiermann said he had reconsidered the parking restrictions on Second Street because of the inconvenience it would cause residents there.
Commissioner Tom Dorgan said he had problems with portions of the ordinance. He preferred that parking not be allowed at all on the avenues between Gulf Boulevard and First Street because the lack of sidewalks along those streets created dangers for pedestrians.
He said that was particularly true on 161st because of the traffic light at Gulf Boulevard. There is no sidewalk along the avenue and residents walk up to the light, making that section a “dangerous and very narrow street” for pedestrians.
Steiermann noted that if all parking was banned along 161st Street down to Second Street, residents of four houses would not be able to park on the street.
Mayor Nick Simons told audience members the ordinance was deemed necessary because the increase in parking rates at nearby beach communities was causing beach visitors to seek free parking in Redington Beach, where they blocked traffic and parked on private property.
The changes in the proposed ordinance were approved unanimously.
Simons asked Town Clerk Missy Clarke to post the proposed ordinance on the town website. A final vote will be in several weeks, he said.
In other action, the commission agreed to move the scheduled Wednesday, July 4, meeting to Thursday, July 5. The regular commission meeting will be cancelled, and a budget workshop will be held instead.