New BCC to decide on changes to Beach Activities Ordinance [PREMIUM]

CHANGES MAY be on the horizon for the Walton County Beach Activities Ordinance, which regulates use of the beach and conduct on the beach and other water bodies and includes rules for beach vending.

Story and photo by DOTTY NIST

The newly-constituted Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) will be taking on the task of deciding on possible revisions to the Walton County Beach Activities Ordinance.

This county ordinance regulates use of the beach and conduct on the beach and other water bodies and includes rules for beach vending.

Presented on Oct. 27 at Freeport Commons with reports from two Beach Activities Ordinance public workshops held earlier in the month and a summary of ordinance revisions suggested by staff, the BCC opted to put off action on any revisions until after the new commissioners are sworn in and the new board is seated. (Swearing in of newly-elected officials is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Nov. 16 in the BCC Boardroom, Walton County Courthouse.)

The commissioners voted to schedule a special meeting at which they are to decide on any Beach Activities Ordinance changes that county legal staff would then draft into a proposed revision ordinance. The meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Dec. 8, in advance of the 4 p.m. BCC regular meeting at the Walton County Courthouse.

Contained in materials presented to the BCC at the Oct.27 meeting were recommendations by Tony Cornman, Walton County code compliance director providing for suspension or revocation of vendor permits in instances of repeat violations.

Also, rather than recommending an expansion of the managed beach vendor program that was operated at most of the regional beach accesses this year, Cornman set forth two other options for consideration. One of these was to put out bids for vending at the public beach access areas and the other was to hire seasonal county employees to provide vending in these areas.

These options would not affect vendors’ ability to contract to provide their services on privately-owned beachfront property.

Among other recommendations, Cornman also suggested that a maximum number of set-ups be assigned for site specific vendor permits.

The Beach Activities Ordinance-related materials provided to the BCC at the Oct. 27 meeting, including the recommendations, may be viewed online at: https://tinyurl.com/yyko5z8s