BELLEAIR BLUFFS -- Belleair Bluffs commissioners struggled Monday night at their regular meeting over the question of an establishment's serving of alcoholic beverages and wound up tabling the matter for further discussion.
The issue centers on the Farm House Restaurant on Indian Rocks Road. It was formerly the French Hen and controversy has surrounded both businesses in respect to the serving of alcohol.
In one instance, several years ago, the French Hen was given a variance that limited the area in which alcoholic drinks could be served.
The issue came up again with the 500 foot rule that says alcohol cannot be served within that distance where another business sells alcohol.
The commission agreed to turn the problem over the Pinellas Planning Commission and abide by its findings.
The PPC said the Belleair Food Mart sold only packaged alcohol which was different, under the law, than the Farm House's open sales where the alcohol is consumed on the premises.
Therefore, the PPC said, the variance was no longer in effect.
This report kicked off an hour and a half of discussion by the commission which finally ended in a decision to table the issue and discuss it at the next workshop meeting, December 13.
The commission will meet before then, however, because of the situation created by a developer who wants to put townhouses behind the Albertson super market.
Among other problems with that idea, is that the commission has not even addressed the issue. The developer failed to show up for two previous meetings where it might have been discussed.
The developer says he is losing great sums of money because of the delay in the project, a delay apparently of his own making.
There will be a special meeting next Monday (November 22) to take up the question.
With the Christmas holiday quickly approaching, the city will have decoration contest with three categories -- homes, condos and businesses.
The Rotary Club has donated the cost of six lamp posts for the city park, adjacent to the city hall. The cost, $1,800, will pay for the 11 foot lamps, but the city will have to pay $6,000 to have them installed.
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