WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Walton County is looking to add more parking along beach roads. Both residents and county government spoke in favor of creating street-side parking on Scenic Gulf Drive and parts of HWY 30A.
“That might be the best idea of the day,” said Danny Glidewell at the Sept. 11 Board of County Commissioners meeting.
The board approved a motion to start the engineers on the parking project but no funding has been dedicated to the cause. The county does own the land in question.
More beach parking is something some members of the community say is needed.
“One, it’s safer. You’ve got designated parking that’s far enough off the roadway. And it also looks esthetically much, much better and it gives an opportunity to plant some trees in the islands like you see, we’re a big proponent of landscaping everywhere that we possibly can,” said Leigh Moore with non-profit Scenic Walton.
Currently, white chain fences are blocking no parking zones. Where the fences end, grass damage begins.
“So the cars are parking between the road and the grassy area turning it into nasty looking dirt,” said Donna Johns, Walton County District 4 Commissioner.
The plan for the parking is to copy what is done at the Whalestail on Scenic Gulf Drive. It would be to install concrete pavers both on the north and south sides of the roadway and create a five-foot barrier for pedestrian and biker safety.
“And we get it,” said Moore. “It would be nice if it was just a grassy median or a ride away and it kind of has that natural look and everybody loves that, but we’ve gotten to the point where the density, the level of visitor visitation is just making that very difficult to maintain.”
Tourism development dollars paid the majority of the parking development at Whalestail.
Approval of plans and a contract will come at a future meeting.