The Ongoing Saga of the Clearwater Beach Parking Garage
By Anne McKay Garris
The choices on where to put a parking garage on South Clearwater Beach began to narrow this week as Mark Searcy, the realtor the City of Clearwater had engaged to assemble property for a parking lot, reported that one of the property owners has begun to think about withdrawing his parcel from the offer. With the new hotel density just passed by the city, he feels it might be more marketable to developers than previously supposed.
The City Council postponed buying either of the parcels Searcy assembled. They were interested in a last minute proposal by a developer who wants to build the parking garage on his property and lease it to the city.
Meantime, at a meeting on Tuesday, the Clearwater Beach Association board of directors voted to ask the city not to build any parking garages on Clearwater Beach, but to build one in town on less expensive property and provide public transportation to the beach. Over the years, successive boards of the CBA have asked for the parking garage in town with public transportation to the beach.
The argument on Tuesday night was that no parking garage on the Beach could be large enough to adequately accommodate all the cars on certain occasions, and there would also be times when a parking garage for beach use only would stand empty, which might not be the case if it were in town.
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