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Three more residents sue to halt new Caddy’s on St. Pete Beach

Residents argue the restaurant would create disruptive noise and boating traffic.

Three more St. Pete Beach residents are suing the city over permits it granted to Caddy’s for a new boat-up bar and restaurant.

Caddy’s is planning its sixth location at 5501 Gulf Blvd. at the site of the shuttered Silas Dent’s Steakhouse. The rear of the building has a dock and the restaurant is planning an open-air section of the restaurant where diners can enjoy the sea breeze and views.

But residents took issue with plans arguing it will lead to excessive disruptions from boats and create too much noise, particularly late at night.

Residents John Barkett, Ed Stapor and Mark Majeske filed a second lawsuit against the city arguing its permit for Caddy’s to renovate the building are inconsistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.

All three residents live on 55th Avenue in St. Pete Beach and their waterfront properties are all located on the same inlet as the proposed Caddy’s. Stapor and Majeske each paid more than $1 million for their homes and Barkett paid nearly $1 million, according to property records.

A fourth resident, Donald Shutz, also lives on the block. He filed the first suit against the city earlier this month, which led to the city issuing a stop-work order on renovations. Caddy’s is fighting the suits, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Both lawsuits argue Caddy’s plans are in violation of the city’s comprehensive plan and therefore are invalid. They specifically mention boating traffic that would be too intense a change for the property’s small dock despite the fact that Silas Dent’s Steakhouse also used the dock.

The residents also argue Caddy’s has not established a strong enough noise mitigation strategy to keep music and chatter from the restaurant from interrupting their private lives. Caddy’s would have one open-wall area they say would cause noise from the restaurant to resonate through the small inlet amplifying noise across the water and into people’s homes.

The inlet is flanked on the south by several waterfront homes along 55th Avenue, to the north by condos and to the west by the proposed Caddy’s and retail shops. All of the homes along the inlet have docks and outdoor entertainment areas.

Caddy’s five existing locations include its flagship restaurant on Sunset Beach, downtown St. Pete, Gulfport, Bradenton and Indian Shores. Owners are planning a seventh location in Madeira Beach.

This isn’t the first time the restaurant has had to navigate the legal process. Caddy’s was at the center of a lengthy legal battle in 2009 and 2010 against the state over whether or not the restaurant owned the beach behind its property. The state ultimately ruled it didn’t because the beachfront there is frequently renourished after erosion from strong storms, a process which uses public dollars. After that legal battle, Caddy’s original owner Tony Amico sold the restaurant to its existing owners, SFMB Treasure Island Partners, which also owns MacDinton’s Irish Pub.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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