PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City officials are working to adopt an ordinance that will regulate boat ramps and city parks.
On Thursday, they held a workshop to get the communities input.
During last month’s meeting, Panama City commissioners proposed an ordinance that would regulate unlicensed commercial activity at the city’s boat ramps and parks.
This would fall in line with the changes the county and Panama City Beach made in their policies.
“The problem is the beach and the county closed all of their stuff at the same time, so then everybody had to come to use something at the city and so that exacerbated the situation and we had some complaints from citizens who couldn’t park or have access with all of this commercial activity going on,” Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki said.
Private boat owners complained the problem is causing congestion, noise, and trespassing violations.
The proposed ordinance said no commercial activity is allowed except for St. Andrews Marina and the downtown marina.
They’re also considering charging businesses fees to use the boat ramps.
Some charter captains shared their concerns
“If you are going to do this you need to guarantee our space to us. We need to know the city is going to be there for us and they are not going to collect these fees and then all of the sudden it’s gone,” a charter captain said during the workshop.
Panama City Commissioner Josh Street said Thursday’s discussion will lead to changes in the proposed ordinance.
“We are really trying to find the best arrangement that we can to work with all of these operators, these captains and just have a better policy and process to do business in the city,” Street said.
“I think we will probably adjust the amount of commercial activity we still have to get a handle on it. We don’t want it to be a money grab,” Brudnicki said. “We just want to make sure that we can control the situation where there isn’t too much going on there where the citizens lose access.”
They are hoping to propose the refined ordinance sometime within the next few months.