Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge's ruling threatens off-site parking for Caddy's

TREASURE ISLAND — Sunset Beach residents won a major battle this week in their long-running fight against Caddy's bar and restaurant.

Circuit Judge Anthony Rondolino has effectively ordered the city to shut down most of Caddy's parking lots.

In a strongly worded ruling Wednesday, he told officials to enforce parking lot regulations on Sunset Beach. He said City Manager Reid Silverboard and Neal Schwartz, the city's building official and code enforcement officer, "have failed to carry out their lawful ministerial duty."

Silverboard, who had yet to see the order or discuss it with City Attorney Maura Kiefer, declined to comment Friday.

Caddy's is a popular gathering spot for weekend and holiday beachgoers who crowd Sunset Beach, sometimes in the thousands. The beach bar currently provides 200 parking spaces where it is located at 9000 W Gulf Blvd., and on seven other off-site properties.

City codes currently prohibit parking on those off-site lots and officials are considering changing those parking lot regulations to allow limited off-site parking. But with any final decision months away, the city is holding off any enforcement of its commercial parking codes until then.

The judge's ruling changes that — and could have an enormous effect on Caddy's business.

Closing the disputed parking lots would leave the establishment with only 45 parking spaces on its original property, according to Caddy's owner Tony Amico.

Although the order takes effect "immediately," the city will have a chance to argue against its becoming permanent during a hearing Sept. 7.

The crowds that Caddy's draws have irritated and angered Sunset Beach residents, who complain of heavy traffic, blocked streets and driveways, drunkenness and obnoxious behavior — including beachgoers urinating in residential yards and conducting sexual trysts among the beach dunes.

Responding to resident complaints, the city restricted public parking in Sunset Beach neighborhoods on weekends and holidays, banned beer kegs on the beach, and increased weekend law enforcement.

And bar owner Amico hired off-duty law enforcement, installed portable toilets and regularly cleans the beach.

But that wasn't enough for 15 Sunset Beach residents who sued the city and Caddy's over parking lots they claim are illegal. Caddy's has since been dropped from the lawsuit.

Rondolino's order states the residents "have the clear legal right to the relief sought."

For the residents, that "relief" is nothing less than forcing the city to close down parking lots adjacent to or near Caddy's.

City Commissioner Alan Bildz, who represents Sunset Beach, argues the effect of Wednesday's ruling on Caddy's is "debatable" since for most of the bar's 40-plus-year history the business operated only with the original parking spaces.

"Caddy's is the nicest bar there, closes early and I think people would support him if he followed the law," Bildz said. "Tony Amico is fighting against the neighborhood."

He then suggested Caddy's should consider moving to the now vacant Buccaneer Motel gulffront property in the center of the city.

Amico, however, doesn't sound like he is ready to move off Sunset Beach any time soon.

"I spent millions to buy those properties because the city asked me to provide more parking for my customers," Amico said. "I will defend myself to every extent of the law."

Judge's ruling threatens off-site parking for Caddy's 08/21/10 [Last modified: Saturday, August 21, 2010 4:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Two Kissimmee police officers killed; Jacksonville officers shot


    KISSIMMEE — Two Kissimmee police officers were shot and killed Friday night, and one person was taken into custody, authorities said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of
  2. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  4. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.
  5. Despite pain, woman in court faces ex-boyfriend who lit her on fire



    Sheron Pasco sat in the wheelchair as her mother pushed it toward the man in the orange jail suit.

    Sheron Pasco, 39, relies on the help of her mother, Tranda Webb, 62, as she recovers from the burns covering her body.