FL - Holmes Beach removes over 1,000 beach parking spaces. Residents and visitors are not happy
HOLMES BEACH, FL - A significant reduction in street parking is facing backlash from visitors and residents in the city of Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island.
City officials are working on a plan to remove on-street parking in residential neighborhoods, which would result in the loss of more than 1,000 parking spaces located within a quarter-mile of the beach. The city had previously banned all beach access parking in April, using the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of county-owned parking lots as a reason to implement changes.
“For years, we’ve been trying to limit how parking overflows into neighborhoods. I said while City Hall is closed, we should look at other options,” said Mayor Judy Titsworth. “Our concerns are not only trash that’s thrown in neighborhood bushes and stuff, it’s so many cars and noise and people are complaining that it’s only getting worse.”
The effort began in March when Holmes Beach Police Chief William Tokajer set out to research which changes would work best to solve the problem. His plan, which removes 1,102 of the available parking spots within a quarter-mile of the beach, ignited a social media firestorm.