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County staff and sheriff’s office to seek solutions to ‘event house’ issues

Jun 6th, 2013 | 0

By DOTTY NIST

Gerry Demers, interim county administrator, recently requested direction from the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on the possibility of county staff working with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office to develop proposed amendments to the noise ordinance. These would be for procedures that would help with enforcement of the ordinance in connection with “event houses.”

Demers brought up the idea at the May 28 BCC regular meeting at the Walton County Courthouse.

Walton county currently has a noise ordinance applying to the area south of the bay. There is also a noise ordinance applying specifically to the Grayton Beach area.

The properties referred to as event houses are homes in residential areas that are rented out on a short-term basis and used for wedding receptions and other occasions involving large groups.

Demers explained that he was seeking direction from the BCC on the possibility of county planning, administrative, and code enforcement staff getting together with the sheriff’s personnel and attorney on ways to amend the ordinance so that code enforcement would be able to work better with deputies to enforce the ordinance. He noted that event houses and related behavior have been an ongoing issue both for code enforcement and for the sheriff’s office.

Demers suggested the setting up of a focus group in connection with the matter.

District 5 Commission Cindy Meadows commented that she thought a focus group would include citizens.

Demers received direction to move forward with the cooperative effort.

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