Controversial Holmes Beach parking construction bill heads to DeSantis’ desk

The City’s Mayor is asking for citizens to get to reach out to the Manatee County Commission
WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Jun. 14, 2023 at 9:34 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - HB 947, a bill that will allow Manatee County to construct a parking facility and amenities within the City of Holmes Beach, is heading to Gov. DeSantis’ desk Wednesday.

The Mayor of Holmes Beach had previously written a letter to Gov. DeSantis asking for him to veto the bill. The bill, filed by Florida Representative Will Robinson, allows the Manatee County government to construct a parking garage in the City of Holmes Beach. The county owns the land at the end of State Road 64 where there is currently a public parking area and access to the beach. However, the area falls in Holmes Beach.

The City of Holmes beach, however, passed a resolution banning parking garages and it’s been a contentious fight for months.

Mayor Judy Titsworth urged Gov. DeSantis to veto the legislation as it violates the Charter and Comprehensive plan of the City.

“The local bill was presented as a solution to combat a parking problem which simply does not exist, and construction of the garage will only exacerbate already congested roads not just within the city, but throughout Anna Maria Island,” reads the request sent to the Governor’s desk last month.

Over the last two years, the city has cut available parking spaces from around 2,400 spaces to around 1,300 spaces. That was because residents were complaining that traffic was out of control. The city cites zoning restrictions, arguing a parking garage would only add to the traffic headaches, anywhere it was built. Read the bill here.

The City of Holmes Beach also posted a plea on its social media last night.