St. Pete Beach leaders to vote today about alcohol on the beach

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – If you like to sip pina coladas while sunbathing at the beach we’ve got great news for you, legal drinking may be coming to St. Pete Beach.

City leaders will be voting today on a proposal to loosen drinking rules for hotel guests staying on the beach.

But there’s one catch that is angering many residents, you must be a hotel guest in order to drink on the beach.

The proposal has been met with criticism from many St. Pete Beach residents who argue that as taxpayers, they should also have the legal right to drink on the beach. But commissioners say most residents believe that the public should not have access to alcoholic beverages on the beach.

If the ordinance is passed, resort hotels would be able to serve alcohol to guests on the beach as long as they’re on the hotel’s property, providing they’re a guest or in the company of a guest. The guests would then have to register with the hotel and wear a wristband, according to city officials.

Earlier this month, commissioners voted unanimously to place the ordinance for a second reading, and made two slight changes to the original proposal.

Now, according to the ordinance, businesses must have a special permit that will be concurrent with their business licenses that must be renewed every year and alcohol can now be served in a cart. The original ordinance said alcohol must be served on foot.

The second vote and public hearing will be at the city commission meeting Tuesday at 6 pm.

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