Walton Co. beach activities ordinance going through modifications

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WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Beach rules are changing again for Walton County residents and residents.

Vendors and residents gathered over the past few days to talk about those modifications. Every year beach code compliance holds workshops to get feedback on their ordinance.

Code compliance is looking at several issues from the way beach furniture is stored to bonfire regulations. Many vendors attended the meeting bringing their ideas for modifications to the rules.

“It’s going to happen quickly,” said Code Compliance Director Tony Cornman referring to changes.

Cornman and his staff meet with the public to discuss the beach activities ordinance, it is a collection of county-made rules and regulations.

“Our commissioners have told us, anything we want to change we have to have it in by January 1, so we’ve got to get busy,” said Cornman.

Vendors steered the conversation asking about permit citation changes, which was a new addition last year. The new system will work like a driver’s license, each company will get points added to their permit before it gets suspended.

“Of course the vendors are always concerned about that,” he said. “But we don’t want to suspend anybody’s permits, we just want to gain compliance.”

One of the ways they could get suspended is if they don’t follow regulations on covering beach chairs and umbrellas. The proposal changes the current boxes to canvas coverings.

“We are going to start phasing out some of these big wooden boxes, they get waterlogged they get so heavy it’s hard to get them off of that beach, and of course we want to get them off of the beach whenever the storms are coming,” said Cornman.

When it comes to beach bonfires, Cornman and his officers say they have seen excess debris left behind. Some are even dangerous.

“Permit holders would just bury their debris and then somebody comes along after them and just steps on it,” said Cornman.

The idea is to create tighter restrictions for bonfire cleanup and making the start time four p.m. There may also be changes ahead for tent lovers.

“So we are looking at changes to our tent ordinance,” said Cornman. “We’ve had some suggestions from both vendors and citizens about just getting rid of tents.”

Right now, tents must be ten by ten or smaller.

“Only gives us two months to get everything done,” said Cornman.

Cornman and his staff will be writing up proposals to give to county commissioners before any changes are made. They have until January 1.

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