Here are four new things Daytona leaders are considering
by Eileen Zaffiro-Kean, The Daytona Beach News-Journal
Daytona Beach city commissioners batted around possible changes to Bike Week and Biketoberfest at a meeting last week, and next month local residents will have a chance to share their ideas on what they think would improve the two biker parties.
If commissioners do decide to tweak any rules, it wouldn’t impact this year’s Bike Week, which runs from March 3-12.
Here are four things city commissioners are contemplating changing for the future:
Approved biker rally locations could change
The city has a map that shows where it’s OK to have Bike Week and Biketoberfest activities such as bands playing on outdoor stages and itinerant vendors selling everything from turkey legs to jewelry.
The map still shows some streets that no longer have Bike Week and Biketoberfest festivities, such as Beach Street between Bay Street and the Main Street bridge, included in the areas eligible for special privileges during the events. And the map shows streets such as International Speedway Boulevard east of the Halifax River, where at least some business owners want the right to have vendors and paid parking lots during the two annual biker parties, outside the approved areas.
Commissioners will decide if they want to redraw the map to officially exclude some areas that once drew big crowds during the biker celebrations, and add new areas that could join the party.
Daytona Beach yards could become paid parking lots
City Commissioner Ken Strickland, whose zone includes the beachside north of Seabreeze Boulevard, has thrown out the idea to let homeowners who live near Main Street and Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard sell parking spots in their yards during Bike Week and Biketoberfest.
Strickland wants to give residents who put up with noise and other unpleasantries that come with the biker parties a chance to make a little money. He also wants to make it less lucrative to let a vacant lot sit empty all year except when it’s being used by people willing to pay for a parking spot during Bike Week and Biketoberfest.
A few city commissioners have expressed concerns about the idea, and some of them said they would like Police Chief Jakari Young to weigh in on it.
Parking lot standards could change
Commissioners have also discussed whether parking should be allowed on unimproved lots during Bike Week and Biketoberfest. They’ve talked about whether the lots should meet city standards for lighting, irrigation, landscaping, level surfaces and drainage.
Deputy City Manager Jim Morris said it can get expensive to meet city codes for permanent parking lots, and land owners would probably look at the amount of money they invested and drop any plans for using the property for new development.
City Commissioner Stacy Cantu maintains that the beachside severely lacks adequate parking, and she would prefer to see the city relax its parking lot standards to create more available spaces.
Vendor buildings could face code crackdown
The commissioners’ examination of biker event policies could also lead to more buildings coming into code compliance, and becoming more attractive to year-round tenants. Currently, businesses that want to operate in a building year-round have to bring it into full compliance, but the structures Bike Week and Biketoberfest vendors rent for only a week or two just have to meet fire codes and other life safety standards.
Some buildings vendors use, for example, don’t have handicap-accessible entrances and restrooms.
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