Walton County Commission Makes Beach Activity Changes

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. - In Walton County, the Board of County Commissioners took an in-depth look at its beach activities ordinance on Tuesday, making some critical changes. 
First, the Commission limited all tents and canopies to 6 by 6 cubic feet. They also banned any beach equipment within 15 feet of the tow of dunes uniformly as well as equipment within 15 feet from the water's edge - but only regional and neighborhood accesses. 
The Board increased beach vendor fees from $500 to $750. A new requirement calls for access to the beach in the middle of vendor set-ups.
"We don't want to make these rules but we have to when people don't abide and be respectful of their neighbors," said Commissioner Cecilia Jones. "That's the bottom line."
Some of the biggest changes included the special event beach permit fees, from a $50 flat rate to a sliding scale.
"Most of the events that I cater, these people would run from it," said one vendor. "It wouldn't even be an option."
The final scale ranges from $50 to $1,000, depending on event size. A new regulation also bans special events within 100 feet of active turtle nests and requires a parking plan for all special permits.
In addition, commissioners passed new regulations for generators on the beach as well as banned steel blade shovels for most people, minus some professionals.

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