Change in Outside Seating Ordinance!

The City of Holmes Beach Code Enforcement is charging us with being in violation of ther outside seating ordinance. We are told to appear at a hearing on Monday, July 16 at 10 a.m. to answer their charges and also possibly be fined $250.00-500.00 a day. Within just the last few years the City passed an ordinance allowing for only 8 seats outside for restaurants in Holmes Beach, unless you provide a costly site plan showing you have enough parking to account for over the 8 seats. This ordinance did not take into consideration what originally had been allowed throughout the years and the \"grandfather clause.\" Our family has owned this land and building for over 50 years and originally had and were allowed at least 4 tables with benches allowing for at least 16 people to sit and eat outside. We are a \"grandfathered\" business, as acknowledged by the City. We have repeatedly asked Code Enforcement Officer, Nancy Hall, to show us why we, therefore, are not being allowed to have more seating than the 8 (under the \"grandfather clause.\") To date, we have received nothing in that regard. We feel the City needs to revise their ordinance that only allows 8 seats outside for restaurants in Holmes Beach. By limiting restaurants through parking requirements the City is not considering the \"grandfathering\" nor taking into account the number of people patronizing restaurants that ride the trolley, beachgoers walking, cyclists, etc. When any establishment has the outside space, it should be able to utilize it properly for outside seating. Our neighboring island communities of Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria, and Longboat Key have certainly allowed their restaurants to have more than 8 seats outside. Thousands of tourists visit our island every year to enjoy the climate and beaches, and the local people live here for the same reasons! Anyone been to Key West lately Observe the outside seating everywhere. Our City leaders need to start listening to the people who live, work here, own businesses, pay high taxes, not to mention those who visit and support our economy and jobs.

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Skinny\'s Place:) please visit: wwww.myspace.com/skinnys52 or www.floridasecrets.com

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