BELLEAIR SHORE — The town will soon be allowing beach activities that had been banned for years. A new ordinance, passed on first reading by the Town Commission at its Nov. 19 meeting, lets beachgoers ride their bicycles on the beach, and also to use rafts, kayaks, paddleboards and other non-motorized watercraft.

The law removing prior restrictions on beach behavior in Belleair Shore will take effect when the ordinance is passed, as expected, on second reading at next month’s town commission meeting.

The move to reduce the list of activities banned on the beach has been talked about for months. Commissioner Steve Blume said at the June commission meeting, “If we have something on the prohibited list that we don’t object to, why have it on the list?”

Blume admitted he had taken his prohibited paddleboard to the beach.

Blume also said he favored allowing bicycling and non-motorized watercraft because “the times are changing.”

Still banned on the town’s beaches will be motorized and electric bicycles and motorized watercraft. Also, food or cooking, alcohol, fires, dogs, camping, littering, or possession of any glass or metal beverage containers will not be allowed.

Noise restrictions toughened

While allowing more beach activities, the town also passed a tougher noise ordinance, which includes decibel limits for the first time. That was prompted by resident complaints about a “party house” where loud music “goes on for hours and hours and hours,” Commissioner Deborah Roseman said.

The new law allows 72 dBA, a weighted decibel level, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., which drops to 55 dBA in the overnight hours from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Town Attorney Regina Kardash said the revised noise ordinance is in line with laws of surrounding communities.

But resident Doug Seith, a neighbor to the house that prompted the complaints, said the allowable decibel levels should be lowered.

“I think 60 is a lot more reasonable,” said Seith. “The challenge we are facing is the noise level is sustained” and goes on for a large part of the day and night.

“Having a chain saw (noise level) for 30 seconds is not a big deal. But a chain saw from 7 in the morning until 11 at night is a big deal,” Seith said.

The noise ordinance, with decibel levels to be allowed, will be discussed again at next month’s commission meeting, when it will be up for a second and final reading, Mayor Robert Schmidt said.

Town has new address

For years, the town has been receiving mail at a mailbox located at one of the beach accesses. That will change, Town Clerk Barbara Colucci said.

Colucci said she was told the mail can no longer be delivered to the beach access.

The new town address is P.O. Box 8, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785. The box is located at the Indian Rocks Beach Post Office, Colucci said.

Elections coming

Commissioners Steve Blume, Dorothy Niewiarowski and Raymond Piscitelli are up for election this year, Colucci said. Piscitelli is retiring, she said, and will need to be replaced.

Town residents wanting to run for a seat can pick up an application and election packet from Colucci, who can be reached at 727-593-9296. The qualifying period runs from Dec. 10-23.