Walton County Commissioners talk beach activities ordinance

By Maggie Solomon | msolomon@wmbb.com

Published 07/26 2016 04:56PM

Updated 07/26 2016 04:56PM

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Back before the Walton County Commission Tuesday morning was the controversial ordinance banning beach obstructions. This time, the conversation turned towards how - or even if - to enforce it. 
 
"I asked the Tourist Development Code Officers to not issue citations for violations on our amended Beach Activities ordinance as it related to fences," said Mark Davis, the County Attorney. "And just for clarification, to put any rumors to rest, I made that decision. Nobody called and told me to make that decision. I made it as part of what I considered general litigation strategy."
 
The county was recently served with two lawsuits relating to the ordinance. One lawsuit claimed the ban - which includes signs - infringed on the plaintiff's First Amendment rights. Davis originally asked TDC Code Enforcement not to write any citations pending the litigation but rescinded that instruction the day after. Tuesday, he posed the question to the board - if the county should write citations. 
 
"I'm of the opinion we move forward with the enforcement of it," said Commissioner Bill Chapman. "Hopefully we'll get additional voluntary compliance. And let this thing be addressed albeit the federal court or the county court."
 
The Board decided to move forward with enforcement, including the potential to write tickets. 

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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