An ongoing feud between Holmes Beach city officials and Manatee County regarding plans for new parking is resolved…somewhat.
The County will be moving forward with a large new parking structure on Manatee Public Beach land that the County owns, exercising their rights to build on the land without having to secure final approvals from Holmes Beach.
Here’s what the new garage looks like in it’s early stages of planning.
No matter how you feel about it personally, Holmes Beach will be getting a 1,500 space parking garage, terraced seating and some other amenities within a 3 story, 36′ tall structure. The garage will comply with Holmes Beach building height restrictions. Manatee County’s plans call for construction to take 18 – 24 months.
The parking garage will take over land currently used for the existing 400 space surface parking lot at the beach, and will offer a nice drive-up / drop-off area along the beachfront where existing restaurants, stores and public restrooms are located.
The new garage adds on to other County-driven parking expansions for Anna Maria Island. Another public parking project, this time an expansion of a surface lot, is under delay at Coquina Beach while it waits to re-open and free up public parking that was blocked during the improvements.
The County has complained throughout the years of negotiations that the city of Holmes Beach “lacked the spirit of negotiation” in allowing more parking for off-island visitors. The County’s final position on the matter of parking, after Holmes Beach cut back on the number of public street parking spots in 2020, was that they felt they had no other solution than to build the garage to ensure that people can access the beach.
Florida State House Bill 947 allows the County to build on their land within the Holmes Beach city limits, with the bill being signed into law on June 23 by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
What Business Owners Think
Some local business owners have taken a strong position against the parking garage and against the county overstepping Holmes Beach’s elected officials and approval process for new projects within the city limits. As with most issues that have turned into political hot potatoes, a lot of people in positions of power have their feelings hurt and are feeling disrespected.
Our hand-crafted island cocktails at Hurricane Hanks. A creative way to resolve any differences.
What do we think? We think everything will be…just fine. The public, including Anna Maria Island residents, will end up with a lot more public beach parking and a more efficient use of the county lot at Manatee Public Beach. Core Holmes Beach will get more traffic in an already very-congested zone, and they’ll have to work with the County to continue to try to make moves to handle the volume of traffic in general.
Make sure you swing by Hurricane Hank’s on your next trip to Anna Maria Island. We’ve been serving up incredible dining experiences since we first opened our doors back in 2000. Our mission has always been to provide our guests with unforgettable moments, whether you’re a local or a visitor to Holmes Beach and Anna Maria Island. Over the years, we’ve carefully curated a menu that features our customers’ all-time favorites alongside tantalizing new dishes. We believe in using only the finest ingredients, allowing their natural flavors to shine through in every bite.
We’re located at 5346 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach. We have parking!