PCB City Council Delays Vote on Scooter Bans

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. -

Ordinances to ban scooter rentals have business owners on edge as they wait for a decision.

Thursday's Panama City Beach City Council meeting lasted five hours after the council decided to table the ban on scooter rentals overnight effective immediately, and a complete ban over a period of three years.

The overnight ban would prohibit all scooter operations after 5 p.m.

The council motioned to table both of them during its second reading.

"Well I'm glad they did. I believe we brought them factual evidence which kind of goes against what they're trying to say," said California Cycles owner Colleen Swab.

Swab said there were issues with police reports. 

"I believe that the tickets, the complaints that weren't actually complaints. There's a lot of things in that meeting that wasn't as it said it was going to be," said Swab.

PCB Mayor Mike Thomas also said there were conflicting figures on what it would take to recover investment from these businesses.

"They brought up the fact that there was some different prices on vehicles than what we studied on, and I want to make sure that everyone was getting the same figures and the right figures. We want to be accurate with what we're doing and we want to be responsible," said Thomas.

However, Thomas believes the council should've moved forward with the overnight ban.

"That was the one they wanted postponed, I personally think we should have gone ahead with that one because the figures that we're looking at won't have anything to do with the ordinance at all," said Thomas.

PCB Police Chief Drew Whitman said the city has tried to write ordinances like this for years.

He said it's due to the scooter rider's behavior.

"The main thing is they get impatient being in traffic because they spent all that money and they want to ride it. They see an open lane on the right that's a bike path, and they take it and it's dangerous," said Whitman.

Swab said she can at least make money without restrictions over Memorial Weekend.

"Had they gone ahead with this ban, they would have [taken] thousands of dollars. This is our busiest weekend and they know it," said Swab.

The ordinances are set to be on the agenda for the next meeting.

That meeting is scheduled for June 6th, 9 a.m. at the City Hall Annex.


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