Boundary expansion OK'd by legislature; Gov. Bush next
The Florida Legislature held it off to the near last-minute, but both houses have approved expansion of city of Bradenton Beach boundaries in the Gulf of Mexico and Anna Maria Sound.
The blessing of the Florida Senate last Thursday follows a House of Representatives nod to the city-limit extension. Final approval must be made by Gov. Jeb Bush.
"Jeb called me today and said he would sign it," Bradenton Beach Mayor John Chappie joked last Thursday on the non-controversial legislative measure.
The boundary expansion will be limited to "extra-territorial law enforcement powers" out to 500 feet offshore, meaning that city police would have limited law enforcement authority there.
Full boundary powers will take place only for those waters to be included in the city's proposed mooring field, an area south of the city pier off Bridge Street in Anna Maria Sound.
The city has been discussing boundary expansion for several years in order to better enforce marine-related laws in the near-shore waters. City limits currently end at the water's edge.
Once approved by Gov. Bush, the question will go before voters in the form of a charter amendment, probably this November, for final adoption.