Gandy hangout I.C. Sharks may be in hot water with neighbor over parking

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Two dueling businesses on the St. Pete side of Gandy Boulevard are taking their competition to the courtroom. The Getaway, a waterfront tiki bar and boat rental service, is suing neighbor I.C. Sharks for encroaching on its parking. I.C. Sharks also has a tiki bar and boat rental service as well as a sea food market.

According to public records, owners of the Getaway are accusing I.C. Sharks of unauthorized use of its property by allowing patrons to park on its land. The lawsuit alleges I.C. Sharks only has parking capacity for 10 vehicles, including staff, but serves hundreds of patrons.

The Getaway also argues I.C. Sharks has built a bar and seating area as well as grease traps on property owned by the Getaway and is using submerged property the company owns to build slips for boat rentals and a refueling station.

The documents filed in court allege that I.C. Sharks constitutes a “public nuisance” and has committed “continual trespass” onto the Gateway’s property, which is “causing permanent and ongoing interference with the Getaway’s lawfully operating business.” The lawsuit also claims the parking encroachment onto the Gateway’s property constitutes “great potential liability.”

The Getaway lawsuit claims the negligence by I.C. Sharks to provide adequate parking or a traffic plan causes frequent accidents as patrons enter and exit the property located along a busy section of Gandy Boulevard approaching the Gandy Bridge. The complainants reference a 2012 Pinellas County Code Enforcement case against I.C. Sharks.

The complainant writes in court documents that attempts to negotiate a resolution to the complaints have failed.

The Getaway is asking the courts to order I.C. Sharks off its property, award damages that the Getaway has suffered “by reason of the trespass onto its property,” to pay applicable attorney’s fees and “any other relief the Court deems just and proper.”

Due to pending litigation, I.C. Sharks owner Brian Storman could not respond to the allegations against his business, but told SaintPetersblog he believes he’s done nothing wrong.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email