Belle Harbor Questions Security for Sandpearl Boat Slips
By Anne McKay Garris
CLEARWATER - Docks, proposed for the Beach Recreation Center waterfront, will be discussed, again, by the Clearwater City Council at the meeting on Thursday, September 4. The docks will be built by the Sandpearl Resort and all but 15 of them will be leased to Sandpearl condo owners, or other nearby residents. The other 15 will be used by the Clearwater boating public and another 3 will be used as day slips for customers of the Sandpearl.
When the original location and number of docks were opposed by the Sandpearl's neighbor, the Belle Harbor Owners Association, the design was altered to reduce the number of slips from 57 to 42 and move the docks eastward to prevent interference with Belle Harbor's docks.
Although this is accomplished in the revised proposal, the board of directors of Belle Harbor are still concerned that the agreement clearly states, "Neither the City nor Developer shall have any obligation to provide on-site security at the Boat Docking Facilities."
"Belle Harbor has a 65 foot slip marina and our board continues to be faced with several challenges regarding security related issues," reports the Belle Harbor board in a letter to the City. "We believe the City of Clearwater should ask the Developer the following questions. How does the Developer intend to maintain any sort of civilized marina where there are absolutely no rules? If there is a breach of the rules, what law enforcement agency will use which tool to address the problem in an expedient manner?"
A spokesman for the City described a plan to post emergency contact numbers for public safety and environmental protection agencies on both the public and the private docks. The Belle Harbor board requests that rules of behavior similar to the ones stated in the leases of Clearwater Marina docks, be included in the Sandpearl leases.
"We strongly believe that this marina will require the presence of on-site security personnel to enforce the rules and ordinances associated with its operation," concludes the letter. The proposal currently envisions only a security person on duty at the Resort to respond to any problems at the docks.
Other entities are questioning other issues in the Sandpearl docks permit. Considering expected increased use of the parking when the library opens there, The Clearwater Beach Association questions allowing the docks to be built with no additional parking to service them. Although the plan has an elaborate system of rules in the lease agreements and transportation from the Resort to the slips, the fact is this rule, like others in the City, will only be enforced on a "complaint" basis.
Regardless of the final make-up of the dock plan, permits from both the County officials and other state agencies will still be necessary before construction can begin.
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