MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Parking frustrations are soaring on Anna Maria Island over plans to build a garage in Holmes Beach.
A bill that would clear the way for the county to implement the proposal is currently awaiting a signature from Gov. Ron DeSantis, but several locals are fighting back.
Morgan Bryant created a petition asking the governor to veto House Bill 947.
The petition already has more than 2,700 signatures for a city that only has a population of about 3,000 people.
“When you’re driving over the bridge and you’re a tourist what’s the first thing you’re going to see,” asked Bryant. “A parking garage? That’s horrible,” said Bryant.
If HB 947 is signed it would allow the county to build a parking garage on the county beach access site without any permit, approval, or consent from the city.
“In addition to being an eyesore, it’s just taking the rights away from the city and the locals,” said Bryant.
The parking garage could double the number of spots available at Manatee Public Beach, but the proposal is already stirring up heated debate.
“You can’t get a spot in this parking lot at all,” said Maria Febbraro. “It’s horrible. You have to go around and around, and they don’t have enough handicap spots either.”
While Bryant waits for DeSantis to make a decision, she’s also starting to worry about future development that could take shape.
“I’m concerned that developers are going to be able to come in and build skyscrapers,” said Bryant. “Then we’re going to be no different than Miami.”