Upcoming Developments in Belleair Beach
By Kari Jo M. Rodgers
BELLEAIR BEACH - During the last commission meeting, council members were trying to decide what actions to take so that they could better keep resident boats safe in the Marina. Council members have since decided to lock the Marina gates, and give each boat owner two keys. There will be a $25 deposit for each key. If a key is lost, the resident will be charged a $50 replacement fee.
In other news, boatlifts will be installed at Marina Slips 10 and 17. The catwalk at Slip 15 will also be extended to equal approximately 44 feet in length. In relation to the matter, Councilmember Kathy Mortensen asked “if this would have an impact on people being able to get in and out of their slips?” Deborah J. Zimmerman, Licensee, answered that it would. To ensure that the project goes smoothly, council members decided to add the 38 feet to the existing length, while making sure that they maintain all required permits.
Mayor Lynn Rives also announced that the city is required to have 78 parking spaces to meet requirements for the Beach Renourishment project. The larger space used for individual spaces needs to be a ½ mile from the furthest point of the Beach Renourishment project. The Mayor further explained that although these parking spaces are necessary, they do have the option of charging a parking fee. Since residents pay city taxes, they would be able to park in these spaces for a discounted rate. One resident asked, “what happened to the idea of meters being given to the city by the county, and then splitting the profits?” Mayor Rives responded by saying that the new proposed way was the easier solution. In reference to the county giving the city meters, Mayor Rives commented “he doubted the county was going to give anyone much of anything in the current market.” City Attorney Paul Marino suggested that they make sure parking spaces are approved under the resolution. Doing this would ensure that violators would not be able to challenge a parking ticket if they didn’t have a parking pass.
Another pertinent matter discussed was the upkeep of city property. Mayor Rives said that he saw dead branches left in the park after Memorial Day. He emphasized to council members that they needed to make sure everyone was keeping up with basic city maintenance.
Towards the end of the meeting a resident who works as a volunteer for the Turtle Watching Group at The Clearwater Marine Aquarium addressed council members about some citizens not wanting to turn off their lights during turtle season, due to safety concerns. Citizens were told that it was okay to use red lights, since turtles are not able to see red lights. It is illegal to have other colored lights turned on at the beach, because it is thought by scientists that sea turtles use the moonlight as a guidance to find their way back to the ocean. Artificial lights are liable to confuse the turtles sending them in the wrong direction towards parking lots and roads.
To continue to learn about these and other important matters, be sure to stay updated by reading the Clearwater Gazette.
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