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Date of Issue: December 13, 2007

Putt-putt scores approval on Bridge Street

Miniature golf is coming to Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach.

City commissioners last Thursday unanimously approved a proposal by Jacob Spooner to put in an 18-hole putt-putt attraction adjacent to his business, Bridge Street Bazaar, at 117 Bridge St.

Architect Mike McCaleb described the course as being designed in an “old Florida” style. It will feature an “ice house,” water features on the course, a barrel-style water tower and a rocking-chair porch for patrons - or, perhaps more importantly, grandparents - to relax while youngsters play.

“All the business owners on Bridge Street are for it,” Spooner told commissioners. “They believe it will draw some traffic. After growing up here, and working at the Beach Bazaar since I’ve been 15, all I’ve heard is that there isn’t much to do on the Island after the sun goes down. This will look like a park.”

The appearance of the miniature golf course was a concern to many. Commissioner John Shaughnessy said there had been several e-mails to the city stating that any type of carnival-type atmosphere did not fit into the general ambiance of the old-Florida look of the city and Island.

Spooner said he believed the miniature golf course would benefit the Island. “I think it will draw families here,” he said.

Businessman Mike Rappaport suggested that patrons of the park be issued wrist bands with the rules printed on them - no rowdiness, no loud noise and the like.

Former Mayor Connie Drescher, who lives just down the street at the Pines Trailer Park, said she believes the course would be an addition to the city. “I’m in favor of it,” she said.

Commissioners agreed, and approved the planning and zoning board’s recommendation on the property, including stipulations that parking on the south side of the property, 12 spaces, would be allowed use by the public.

McCaleb said construction would begin soon.