MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — If you're caught walking around John’s Pass Village drinking alcohol, you could be fined or arrested. But, that might soon change thanks to a new proposal that will make most of John’s Pass village a wet zone.
That’s good news for tourists like Annette Roberts and her family. They come here every year, and they love it. She said the one thing that could make her experience better is being able to legally stroll around drinking her frozen margarita while spending her money at the shops.
“It’ll make it a little more comfortable,” she said. “Get a little more walking in, and a little more sun.”
She’s not the only one who supports the idea. Most city leaders do as well, including Mayor John Hendricks.
“I have to say that’s probably a great idea because everyone is already doing it,” he said.
The ordinance will make most of John’s Pass Village a wet zone except for Gulf Blvd. and Pelican Lane. The city’s community development director, Linda Portal, introduced the proposal. She said Gulf Blvd. is too busy and already prone to accidents. Since Florida has the highest rate of pedestrian accidents, it’s best to not include Gulf Blvd.
"Pelican Lane is a residential street," she said. “We don’t want partying in the residential area.”
There are some homeowners who are on the fence about this proposal because they believe this could lead to more issues.
George Lewis, the owner of the Friendly Fisherman, disagrees.
“I operate another business in Treasure Island where they do allow open liquor and it’s never been an issue there,” he said.
Most supporters believe this will be beneficial for everyone in the long run.
“That’s what John’s Pass is all about, having a good time and enjoying the beautiful outdoor environment,” Capt. Dylan Hubbard said. “Enabling people to move freely inside the pass is going to be good.”
The proposal still has to go through a formal reading and vote before it’s approved.