Curfew to be Set for Public Docks
by Carl Wagenfohr
CLEARWATER - The City Council will be voting tonight on an ordinance that will establish a curfew on the use of city-owned day-use public docking facilities.
The operating hours of day-use slips became an issue during the September 6, 2007, City Council meeting when approval was given to the Sandpearl resort to construct a 42-slip dock near the Clearwater Beach Recreation Center. Twenty-seven of the slips would be leased to Sandpearl residents or guests, with the remaining fifteen available to the public for day-use on a first-come first-served basis.
Residents of the Belle Harbor condominiums, located just across the cove from the approved docks, objected to the proposed operating hours of 5 a.m. to midnight. They feared that potential disturbances could be created by the late-night revelry of transient users of the public docks, negatively impacting the residential character of their neighborhood.
The Council approved the docks during their September 2007 meeting, but directed the City Manager to bring back an ordinance that would limit the hours that the docks could be used.
Seven months later, that ordinance is finally being proposed.
It addresses both the docks adjacent to the Island Way Grill, and the docks that have been approved at the Clearwater Beach Rec Center. Boats would not be permitted to occupy the public day-use slips between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., except in an emergency or as authorized by the City Harbormaster.
Ken Robulak, President of the Belle Harbor Homeowners Association, said earlier this week that the proposed curfew hours are acceptable to his community.
But Robulak was unhappy that the City and Sandpearl have not come to terms on how the facility will be secured. "We're disappointed that we have not seen a comprehensive security plan for the marina," he said.
The first reading of the proposed ordinance will be presented at tonight's City Council meeting, 6 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers.
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