Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Treasure Island shifts line in sand on alcohol ban

TREASURE ISLAND — The lawsuit filed in 2011 against the city of Treasure Island by 66 plaintiffs questioning the city's efforts to block alcohol consumption on the beach may soon be dropped.

One of the plaintiffs, Atul Shah, owner of Atcost Liquors & Beer at 9861 Gulf Blvd., recently approached the city about dropping the suit if the city would agree to move the northern boundary of the restricted area that includes his store farther south to 99th Avenue.

Treasure Island currently restricts the possession and consumption of alcohol on a section of Sunset Beach on weekends, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., from early February through September.

Shah, who has been a business owner for 20 years, said his "sales were down dramatically" since sales were banned to try to control unruly beach crowds during spring break and summer vacations.

"It has literally cut my sales in half," Shah said. "We are definitely struggling to accept this ban with open arms."

City attorney Maura Kiefer presented a revised ordinance Tuesday to city commissioners, saying the police chief doesn't object to reducing the size of the regulated area. Commissioners approved the ordinance on first reading after Kiefer said the other plaintiffs will be asked to sign a settlement saying they won't pursue further action against the city.

Atcost Liquors and the 7-Eleven at 9695 Gulf Blvd., as well as a large group of residents, wanted the restrictions rescinded. Tim Driscoll, attorney for the group suing the city, has said the ban violates a 1986 city referendum that tossed out an earlier ordinance that prohibited consumption of alcohol on public property anywhere in the city.

Kiefer, however, argued that it did not violate the city's charter because it was a "partial regulation of time and places" where drinking would be restricted.

For years, weekend drinking and lewd behavior among beachgoers led to complaints and even a lawsuit to force the city to enforce parking regulations in an attempt to discourage beach crowds.

Sunset Beach residents complained about heavy traffic, blocked streets and driveways, drunkenness and obnoxious behavior, including beach visitors urinating in residential yards and sexual trysts in beach dunes.

In 2009, a proposed 60-day ban on alcohol on all the city's beaches was rejected amid strong opposition from residents in other parts of the city.

Treasure Island shifts line in sand on alcohol ban 03/23/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 22, 2013 5:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'What Happened'? Clinton memoir sold 300,000 copies in first week


    Despite being met with decidedly mixed reviews, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's new memoir about the 2016 presidential campaign, sold a whopping 300,000 copies in its first week.

    The new memoir by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sold 300,000 copies in its first week.
  2. After Irma topples tree, home sale may be gone with the wind

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — To house hunters searching online, the home for sale in St. Petersburg's Shore Acres neighborhood couldn't have looked more appealing — fully renovated and shaded by the leafy canopy of a magnificent ficus benjamini tree.

    Hurricane Irma's winds recently blew over a large ficus tree, left, in the yard of a home at 3601Alabama Ave NE, right, in Shore Acres which is owned by Brett Schroder who is trying to sell the house.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings


    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham


    The Rays open their final roadtrip of the season tonight in Baltimore, and - continuing the theme of the week - willl cross paths with another familiar face, INF Tim Beckham.

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.
  5. Unemployment claims double in Florida after Hurricane Irma


    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 23,000 last week to 259,000 as the economic impact of Hurricane Harvey began to fade.

    Homes destroyed by Hurricane Irma on Big Pine Key last week. Hurricane Irma continued to have an impact on the job market in Florida, where unemployment claims more than doubled from the previous week.
[The New York Times file photo]