TREASURE ISLAND — The city has officially shifted the northern boundary of its beach alcohol restriction area, effectively ending a lawsuit by 66 plaintiffs.
By moving the boundary a few hundred yards to the south from the Island Inn to 99th Avenue, the lawsuit will be dropped, City Attorney Maura Kiefer said.
City commissioners approved the ordinance revision last week despite a plea by several residents to leave the restricted area alone.
"There are a lot of single family and multifamily homes there and they don't want urinating in their yards," resident Kevin Johnson said. "Leave it the way it is."
But commissioners said settling the lawsuit by shifting the boundary on Sunset Beach, where alcohol is restricted on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from early February through September, was necessary.
"This is a good deal for the city," said Commissioner Alan Bildz. Commissioner Tim Ramsberger said the police chief said he doesn't have a problem with moving the boundary "and that carries a lot of weight."
Bildz said the city should keep an eye on the issue and be ready to move the boundary line back if more problems occur.
One of the lawsuit plaintiffs, Atul Shah, owner of Atcost Liquors & Beer, 9861 Gulf Blvd., had approached the city about dropping the suit several months ago if the city would agree to move the northern boundary that includes his store. He said his sales had been cut in half since the restriction went into place in 2011.
But a handful of residents protested the move, saying rowdy behavior had improved since the restrictions were instituted.
About half of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit signed a document agreeing not to continue the lawsuit if the boundary change was made.