Final reading for Anna Maria parking elimination approaches

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A “No Parking” is posted on Spring Avenue in Anna Maria during the coronavirus pandemic. The prohibited parking area near city hall, 10005 Gulf Drive N., may be codified Nov. 12, after a final public hearing and vote on an ordinance cementing the prohibitions. Islander Photo: Ryan Paice

Parking spaces on Anna Maria Island are scarce.

And they could become scarcer.

Anna Maria city commissioners will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at city hall, 10005 Gulf Drive N., to hold a second and final reading for an ordinance to codify parking changes made during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes are a response to Holmes Beach’s closure of all street parking earlier this year in an attempt to discourage people from visiting beaches under a state safer-at-home order to prevent the spread of the virus.

Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy reported that Holmes Beach’s parking changes resulted in a wave of beachgoers heading to Anna Maria for beach parking.

So, the city prohibited parking along sections of many of its roads, including Pine Avenue, North Bay Boulevard, Poinsettia Road, Alamanda Road, Gulf Drive, North Shore Drive, South Bay Boulevard, Spring Avenue, Palm Avenue, Willow Avenue, Mangrove Avenue, Oak Avenue, Park Avenue and Seagrape Lane.

“No Parking” signs were posted along the roadways, notifying people they were implemented under a resolution passed during the city’s ongoing local state of emergency.

Details for the prohibited parking areas can be found on the city website at www.cityofannamaria.com.

The ordinance would codify the changes, which have reportedly benefited pedestrian safety, traffic and preservation of drainage infrastructure.

While islanders have derided many proposals to limit parking on the island — including Holmes Beach’s recent changes — there has been little feedback for Anna Maria’s.

Murphy wrote in a Nov. 6 email to The Islander that the city had received no complaints from its residents regarding the proposed ordinance, which received no public comment Oct. 22, during its first reading.

Murphy wrote that the ordinance would permanently shut down 88 parking spaces, but did not detail how much unmarked right-of-way parking area was included.