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Mainsail submits temporary parking plan

By Jennifer Glenfield, Islander Reporter

Rebar markers pose a safety hazard for people walking through the Mainsail Lodge property to reach charter and tour boats. Islander File Photo

Better late than never.

As the Holmes Beach city commission readies to review the final site plan for Mainsail Lodge on June 24, a plan for temporary parking passed through their hands May 29.

The issue of inadequate parking for charter boats operating from the Mainsail marina was brought forward by Commission Chair Judy Titsworth. According to Titsworth, patrons of the charter and tour boats based at the marina have been parking in surrounding business’ lots.

Titsworth resides on Sunrise Lane on the south side of the project.

City clerk Stacey Johnston said in addition to the already operating boats, some boats may be operating without clearance from the city, and at least five applications are pending to rent slips at the marina.

The commission tasked Tom O’Brien, superintendent of public works, with contacting Mainsail Lodge planners and setting a deadline to establish a temporary parking plan before any construction begins.

Titsworth also cited safety concerns with parking in the grass, which is surrounded by 2- to 3-foot tall rebar markers for utilities and foundation pilings.

“The concerns were directing people around construction. The changes here are to add precautions for public safety,” said O’Brien. “The parking will be relocated or reconfigured as construction progresses.”

Titsworth had concerns for the city’s obligation to public safety related to the temporary parking plan.

O’Brien said the city’s obligation is to “observe and advise” of safety hazards, and it was the responsibility of the property owners and what their liability insurance dictates to ensure safety.

The parking plan distributed to commissioners included a rope fence between the parking spaces and the marina.

The plan has 25 parking spaces to accommodate 75 boat passengers, based on seating available on the boats operating at the marina. The city’s required ratio is one parking space for three boat seats.

Johnston cautioned commissioners that the temporary plan was based on the permitted charter boats and does not account for the boats operating without clearance or the pending applications for other charter operators.

“Tom and staff need to work together to make sure they don’t rent more slips, or more seats are added. More than 75 seats, and they’re going to be in trouble,” said city attorney Patricia Petruff.

The commission also asked O’Brien about facilities for patrons during operation hours. He replied that the “sales office,” now being used as a marina office, is open until the last charter returns for the day.

According to Petruff, under the settlement agreement that was signed March 17 by the city and Mainsail, the developers have 90 days from that date to submit their final site plan, landing on June 15.

The commissioners will review the site plan at their 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, meeting at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

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