Island parking ordinance on the table at commissioners’ meeting next week

April 12, 2019
By Marcy Shortuse

Changes to Boca Grande parking may be coming soon, as Lee County Commissioners will be addressing potential revisions in our parking ordinance on Tuesday, April 16 at their regular monthly meeting.
The “Statement of Purpose” for Lee County Ordinance 91-35 was to “prohibit or restrict parking in certain areas of Gasparilla Island, and to amend the provision relating to unauthorized parking on all roads and parkways within Gasparilla Island.”
Known as the “Boca Grande/Gasparilla Island Parking Ordinance,” this document was created in December of 1991.
According to Lee County documentation, “the proposed ordinance reflects discussions and meetings with the Boca Grande Parking Committee and County Staff to address unauthorized parking by vehicles as well as parking restrictions to be applied to buses and recreational vehicles.”
Changes to the document include language in Section Four, “Parallel and Angle Parking Regulations,” which is proposed to be changed to “Angle parking may be permitted on streets and/or roadways within the Lee County portion of Gasparilla Island …” The word “unincorporated” was omitted just before “Lee County.”
In Section Six, “Specific Parking Prohibitions,” proposed changes to the verbiage include the addition of a “C” category regarding the parking of vehicles in or upon the streets and right-of-ways listed. This category includes  “Harbor Drive from 1st Street North to 4th Street; except for Lots 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 Harbor Drive Waterways Subdivision, on the west side of Harbor Drive. Lot B, Harbor Drive Waterways Subdivision, on the east side of Harbor Drive; and Lots 11, 12, and 13, platted Block 24, Addition to Boca Grande Plat, on the east side of Harbor Drive.”
A Category “D” has also been proposed, which includes “Belcher Road on the south side, east of the State Park entrance.”
In Section 7, which includes “Areas for Public Parking,” proposed changes include the following: Buses and recreational vehicles may only park at the following location: East Railroad Avenue between 5th Street and 7th Street. Buses and recreational vehicles are prohibited from parking anywhere else within the boundaries of Gasparilla Island.”
The Boca Grande Parking Committee is comprised of private residents and business owners from within our community with diverse thoughts and opinions on island parking.