Treasure Island surf shop wants to install a camera for surfers to watch waves

Some have concerns about privacy

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. - Treasure Island’s Sunset Beach has long been a popular surf spot.

“People call constantly when there's a swell, when we get a cold front or some sort of weather system. All the surfers want to know if the surf is up," Joanna Braddock, manager of Suncoast Surf Shop.

To give surfers a better idea of real-time conditions, the owners of Suncoast Surf Shop on Gulf Boulevard want to mount a camera so surfers can watch waves online.

"The conditions change very quickly and people want to know if it's rideable," Braddock said. "They want to know if it's still out there, if we've had a morning swell by 11:30, if the tide has changed. It might be better it might be worse."

The surf shop wants to install the camera on top of the Sunset Beach Pavilion, considered one of the best spots for surfers on the west coast of Florida.

But before the camera goes up, city leaders must approve.

Mayor Robert Minning wants to make sure the camera isn't violating the privacy of beachgoers.

"We want to make sure that if it goes in, it goes in properly," Minning said. "You don't want a camera that's able to rotate 360 degrees. You don't want to be able to focus in and zoom in on a private residence."

"Certainly we don't want to invade anyone's privacy. Our whole motivation is to enhance our community, not to be an offense to it," Joanna said.

City leaders also want a sign posted letting people know about the camera.

If both sides come to an agreement, the mayor believes commissioners will approve.

The camera would be installed and maintained by the surf shop and its partners, costing the city no money.​

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