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Madeira boat slip restrictions sought

Tired of terrible traffic backups on the Madeira Beach Causeway, commissioners are looking to the water for some relief on the road.

Commissioners are considering an ordinance that would prohibit any additional commercial boat slips in some areas of the city.

"We do have a traffic problem on both sides of the bridge," said City Commissioner Dewey Leigh at a meeting Tuesday night. "We should not increase the problem with more boats that need the bridge opened."

Leigh said that if the city could prevent 40 or more potential boat slips on the north side of the bridge, at least the problem would not get worse.

This ordinance, if adopted, would not affect slips rented to or by people who live aboard their boats.

That, Leigh said, is another issue, and one the city has been grappling with for more than a year.

But this ordinance could be a problem for a marina owner who has many live-aboards docked there. Barry Loft, owner of ABC Marina, got the go-ahead from commissioners more than a year ago to increase the size of his marina.

One of Loft's attorneys warned the city that after all the time and money Loft has spent to expand his marina, he would need to recover damages somehow.

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