St. Pete Beach City Update

Mayor’s Open Office  

Newly elected Mayor Alan Johnson is holding bi-monthly Mayor’s Open Office meetings at the St. Pete Beach Public Library on the second and fourth Monday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. The first meeting was held on April 24, and the next two meetings are scheduled for May 8 and May 22.

City Government  Recognized

As St. Pete Beach celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, the city was recognized with a certificate by the International City & County Management Association (ICMA) for 60 years as a council/city manager form of government at the beginning of the April 25 city commission meeting.

Parking Issues

After a first reading at the April 11 city commission meeting, the Final Reading and Public Hearing of Ordinance 2017-04 was passed unanimously by the commission at the April 25 meeting. The ordinance amends chapter 82 – Traffic and Vehicles of the City of St. Pete Beach – which issues “C” and “D” parking decals for non-residents who own property in the city. The changes, based on the area of the city in which property owners reside, is in response to concerns regarding seasonal property owners not having their vehicles registered in the state of Florida. The ordinance amendment allows residents to obtain a “D” decal whether or not their vehicle is registered to their Pass-A-Grille address. All properties north of the Don Cesar and south of 37th Avenue would no longer be entitled to “D” permits but would instead be issued “C” permits.

The commission also addressed how parking violations should be handled, noting that some people going to the beach for an entire day will park illegally, choosing to pay the fine if there is no legal parking available.

“Beach parking is becoming more of a challenge,” said Commissioner Ward Friszolowski.

Currently, parking violations result in a $30 fine. However, according to the city ordinance, violators can be ticketed for every two hours they are illegally parked. The question of the availability of manpower to enforce this, and other considerations needed to be researched before any action could be discussed, so the commission decided to take the measure under advisement and discuss at a future meeting.

“If people start getting ticketed and have to pay $30 every two hours, that’s an expensive ticket,” said Commissioner Rick Falkenstein.

Pass-A-Grille Way Project

City Manager Wayne Saunders told the commission that the Pass-A-Grille Way project completion is running on schedule.

“We’re still looking at substantial completion by July,” Saunders said. “The curbing and sidewalks have gone in, which means the asphalt is next.”

The continuous Sunset Way detour in the North Zone will remain if effect from 30th Avenue to 28th Avenue until both lanes of Pass-A-Grille Way in that same area can be paved. In the South Zone, the makeshift speed bump between 27th Avenue and 28th Avenue has been replaced by the city with a standardized speed bump to deter traffic from bypassing the detour route.

Boat Thefts

Commissioner Melinda Pletcher warned everyone of a “situation” involving a boat theft in Vina del Mar. A new boat was reported stolen, and the perpetrator is suspected to be someone who is affiliated with the boating industry and could get keys made. In another incident, a resident reported seeing someone circling on a skiff, taking photos of their new boat.

Commissioner Pletcher cautioned residents to “be on high alert about your boats and keep your keys with you.”

Commissioner Falkenstein advised boat owners to turn the fuel off in their boat. Residents who see suspicious activity are advised to call the sheriff’s department non-emergency number with any information.

Upcoming Meetings

This month’s city commission meetings are scheduled for May 9 and May 23 at 6 p.m.

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