Village people push for resident parking mandate

Editor & Publisher

Following years if not decades of frustration emanating from the experience from having their community overrun with evening restaurant patrons, Village residents are pushing for a resident-only parking program.

The issue will be discussed by the Longboat Key Town Commission at the Feb. 18 commission workshop.

Other than traffic safety concerns from speeding vehicles and those who roll through stop signs, the real concern is reclaiming the public parking spaces for residents. In a recent resident survey, 216 out of 236 total Longbeach Village resident property owners said they support a resident permit parking program.

Further, the residents in the survey favor that such a program include all public streets within Longbeach Village.

Town staff has determined there is a total of 503 public parking spaces within the streets of Longbeach Village. Staff has also received concerns about the idea of resident permit parking from those who do not live in the Village and say that limiting parking would effectively turn the public boat ramp into a private boat ramp for Longbeach Village residents only.

Staff says they have also received concerns from the Mar Vista and The Shore restaurants that wish to have additional parking on the street remain available.

Town staff said that Village residents have referenced other local municipalities that have a resident-only parking program including the City of St. Augustine Beach and the City of Miramar.

Planning, Zoning and Building Director Allen Parsons, said that his staff is reviewing the rules and regulations that the two referenced communities have employed in the resident-only parking programs. Staff will also seek to determine how well the resident-only parking programs are working in other communities in Florida.

Parsons says there are a number of issues including how authorized or resident vehicles would be identified such as via decals or placards or otherwise. Parsons also raised the issue of if there would be one permit per residence or guest permits, and if there would be a fee associated. And finally, Parsons will raise the issue at the workshop as to which department would be responsible, what penalties or fines would be associated and other administrative concerns.

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