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Date of Issue: January 28, 2009

Temp mooring regs OK'd

Bradenton Beach city commissioners approved a first reading of stop-gap regulations for the waters that the city controls.

The ordinance, which is scheduled for a second and final reading on Feb. 5, is intended to provide tools for the city to police the waters until an anchorage and mooring field plan is in place and a harbor master is hired.

The commission’s vote for the first reading took place during a meeting Jan. 22 at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

 “This comes out of the fact that the city changed its boundaries to pick up the mooring field area,” said city attorney Ricinda Perry. “That area is being utilized and we have found that there are some sanitary issues and behavior that needs to be curbed.”

The city is at work on drafting a master recreational boating plan that will involve adopting regulations for the mooring field, but Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale, the city pier management team and members of the advisory ScenicWaves Committee have said interim rules are needed.

“Right now, we are without the teeth,” Perry said.

The ordinance, referring to state passage of a bill extending Bradenton Beach’s boundaries 500 feet into Sarasota bay and the Gulf of Mexico, states, “The city would like to exercise its police powers for law enforcement in the city waters.”

The measure then outlines rules for boats in the area:

• No watercraft shall be operated at a rate of speed causing waves that damage docks, seawalls and other property.

• Major repairs of vessels are prohibited in the mooring field area.

• A vessel with people aboard and anchored, moored or docked in the same location for 72 hours, is presumed to be a liveaboard vessel.

• The city will establish a Marine Anchorage and Mooring Field Committee that includes two waterfront land or business representatives, two boaters and two environmental community representatives.

• No person shall discharge raw or treated sewage from any vessel.

• No person on any vessel or on land may throw garbage or waste into city waters.

• No abandoned, derelict or wrecked vessel shall be allowed in city waters.

• Mooring of vessels overnight is permitted on a mooring buoy within the city’s mooring field area, located south of the Historic Bridge Street Pier.

• No one may operate a business from a vessel occupying a mooring without permission of the city commission.

Commissioners unanimously approved the first reading.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved a request from city project and program director Lisa Marie Phillips to hold a “Car Fit” event to promote driver safety at city hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 1.

• Approved a proposal to hire Lynn Townsend and Associates for engineering on a stormwater swale excavation and installation at 27th Street North and Avenue B. The cost of the work is not to exceed $5,000 and will be shared with the city of Holmes Beach.

• Approved the first reading of an ordinance that would allow some matters that now go before the city’s board of adjustment to either go before the BOA or a special master for review.

The ordinance was drafted in an effort to help control city expenses, Perry said.

“The BOA hearings can sometimes become quite costly,” she said. “And exceed the amount of application costs.”

Commissioners said the ordinance would not eliminate the BOA, but instead provide an alternative means for hearing a request for a variance or an administrative appeal of a city decision.

• Approved payment of invoices for $1,492.78 and $1,687.96 to J&H Diesel for vehicle repairs.

• Approved a resolution expanding the city’s community redevelopment agency by two members, and approved a resolution appointing CRA District resident Connie Drescher and CRA businessperson Ed Chiles as those members. (See separate story.)

• Authorized the mayor and Bradenton Beach Police Lt. John Cosby to attend the Governor’s Hurricane Conference in Fort Lauderdale May 10-15.

• Approved a special event application for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event at Coquina Beach May 16-17.

• Approved a special event application for the fourth annual Redfish Tournament at Coquina Beach from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 6.

• Approved payment of a $11,406.25 invoice from M.T. Causley Inc. for building department services.

• Approved a yearly mutual-aid agreement between the city and other local law enforcement agencies, including the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton and Palmetto police departments.

• Approved a yearly child-abduction response team agreement for mutual aid between the city and other law enforcement agencies.

• Approved a final reading of an ordinance for the city’s franchise agreement with TECO/Peoples Gas, which has run a new natural gas pipeline into the city.

The next commission meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

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