Amending Ordinance to Ban Signs, Ropes, Fences on the Beach

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by WMW, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. MRBS

    MRBS Beach Lover

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    Sad. Maybe we venture elsewhere for vacation. I hope the revised ordinance goes through and that beach front owners can really rely on the county to enforce its laws against behavior already prohibited.
     
  2. sunspotbaby

    sunspotbaby SoWal Insider

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    I walked the beach at Whales Tail the other day. The private beach signs are EVERYWHERE. Welcome to Destin, everyone!
     
  3. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    The local firm is most likely involved with certain property owners and that makes sense. But they would not be involved in the info on the postcard or the public posting shown on Facebook. Or here. I think that's what their post was about.
     
  4. Johnny Z

    Johnny Z Beach Crab

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    We need this. Signs, ropes and chains left on the beach should go to the dumpster like other litter. The stuff is ugly and creates safety problems by inhibiting movement of beach patrol vehicles. It is often put where it clearly is on the public domain and poses hazards to people and sea life. The county needs to make sure our beaches remain beautiful for everyone's sake, including those with the bad taste to clutter them up.
     
  5. wastinaway

    wastinaway Beach Comber

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    Even if they don't "endorse or approve" the ad, it's not hard to figure out why they were included in it. They've been advertising in the margins of the SoWal forum for a month encouraging homeowners to contact them about their rights. I've attached a screenshot of their ad in the margin as I read this exact thread...
     

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  6. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    All the good deeds on Earth should not make one above the regulations.
     
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  7. Rainlr

    Rainlr Beach Fanatic

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    Here is a copy of an e-mail I received from Ms. Jones . If you are unable to attend the meeting this afternoon please e-mail the commissioners to voice your opinion on this important issue. Or better yet do both!

    chabill@co.walton.fl.us

    joncecilia@co.walton.fl.us

    comsara@co.walton.fl.us

    meacindy@co.walton.fl.us

    imfbill@co.walton.fl.us



    Dear Friends,

    Your support on an issue of significant importance to Walton County would be appreciated.


    Several months ago, I asked county staff to draft an ordinance for review, discussion and hopefully approval by the Board of County Commissioners. The purpose was to strengthen Walton County’s beach rules to prevent signs, ropes, chains and fences from littering our treasured coastline. Our talented staff did significant research and work to revise our current Beach Activities Ordinance that is fair and reasonable however, the changes will remove these obstructions from our beach. These revisions also support our Leave No Trace Ordinance.


    Taking a stand on this issue became imperative after hearing from constituents throughout Walton County that they no longer feel safe or comfortable on our beaches. Residents wanted action; they’d been asking for action and I decided to take the lead.


    After driving the coastline with county staff it became clear why residents are so concerned. There are fences that extend to the waterline, along with rusty chains (in some cases), in addition to clearly dangerous signs. The safety of children, of emergency vehicles and of our wildlife (including our beloved sea turtles) is at risk.


    Quite frankly: if we don’t take action – now – our beach will soon look like a junkyard.


    This ordinance is up for discussion tomorrow night (Tuesday at 4:00 pm at the South Walton Courthouse Annex). Please come in support of these ordinance revisions.



    Because of Florida’s Sunshine Laws, I am not aware of the other commissioner’s stand on this issue so please come voice your opinion to the other commissioners on the impact that these obstructions are having on everyone’s lives. Also, if you know of someone that would come and support these revisions, please feel free to forward this notice!


    Before I took office, commissioners were quite eager to pass the “Scenic Corridor Standards”, a very long set of prescriptive regulations about what businesses along Highway 98 and County Road 30A can and cannot do in conducting business. The standards restrict or ban signage, construction, flags and just about every possible type of structure or item that was not deemed “scenic”.


    This ordinance simply asks the county to take a tiny fraction of those rules for our roadways and implement or apply them to our coastline. Our coastline is recognized around the world as being truly scenic and worthy of preservation and conservation.


    I may live in North Walton, however I raised my son on Eastern Lake, have grandchildren there now and as your commissioner, I represent all of Walton County. Again, please join me in taking a stand on this issue.


    Finally, I am proud to take the lead on these revisions because it is the right thing to do! I need your help!!


    God bless you and your family and thank you in advance,




    Cecilia Jones

    District 2 Commissioner

    552 Walton Rd

    DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433

    Telephone (850) 892-4020


    CJ/ecs


    Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law. You should note that most written communications to or from County officials regarding County business are public records that are available to the public and media upon request. Your e-mail communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.
     
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  8. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    God Bless you too C. Jones, God Bless...
     
  9. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Scenic Corridor? Are you kidding C. Jones?

    Have you seen the crap all along the scenic corridor? Toilets on 393 S.? Flags all along 98?

    Just another part of the Walton Two Step where the BCC will most likely pass this to appear as hero's, with no one to ENFORCE it.

    But that's the two step. Put it off to WCSO and / or Code Enforcement to fumble around with it for the rest of Summer, before you know it, it will be November elections with nothing changed either way.
     
  10. Jim Tucker

    Jim Tucker Beach Fanatic

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    Citizens should be allowed and expected to help keep the beaches clean of any and all manmade objects / litter.

    If there is no enforcement, as @John G is constantly harping about, then we are free to do so without fear. But I could see an irate beachfront owner causing problems so maybe we should do it in numbers.

    Can we start an official, sanctioned citizen task force to patrol and clean beaches? SoWal Beach Litter Patrol
     
  11. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    The fact Ms. Jones has led this "charge" should tell all of you that she is more interested in protecting her sons business than she is in protecting OUR beaches. Please note her letter says absolutely nothing about "beach vendors" or set ups left on the beaches that endanger sea turtles. (The turtle was a bit stuck in the dune fencing not to mention the chairs which the turtle actually bumped on her crawl.) (Image from SoWal Trurtle Watch)

    [​IMG]

    C. Jones also wrote,"God bless you"... you had me @ "an issues of significant importance" and completely lost me when you introduced God into your plea for help. Coming from you it was comical.
     
  12. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    Reply to Jones open letter in Walton Sun
    I agree ....BUT another step in my opinion needs addressing "Beach Vending". Most people walking to the beaches carry their own chairs and umbrellas they don't need vendors. When they arrive at the beach it's either RENT or Be Gone, so they migrate east or west and stopping at the first opening....since vending has taken over in the last few years land owners east and west are seeng more and more tourist/locals behind their homes..Hence, their signage.
    You can't fix one without fixing both. I know one of the Commissioners has family highly involved in vending maybe this person should not participate in these hearings.
    Thanks
     
  13. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    Walton Sun open letter:
    Dear Friends,

    Your support on an issue of significant importance to Walton County would be appreciated.

    Several months ago, I asked county staff to draft an ordinance for review, discussion and hopefully approval by the Board of County Commissioners. The purpose was to strengthen Walton County’s beach rules to prevent signs, ropes, chains and fences from littering our treasured coastline. Our talented staff did significant research and work to revise our current Beach Activities Ordinance that is fair and reasonable however, the changes will remove these obstructions from our beach. These revisions also support our Leave No Trace Ordinance.

    Taking a stand on this issue became imperative after hearing from constituents throughout Walton County that they no longer feel safe or comfortable on our beaches. Residents wanted action; they’d been asking for action and I decided to take the lead.

    After driving the coastline with county staff it became clear why residents are so concerned. There are fences that extend to the waterline, along with rusty chains (in some cases), in addition to clearly dangerous signs. The safety of children, of emergency vehicles and of our wildlife (including our beloved sea turtles) is at risk.

    Quite frankly: if we don’t take action – now – our beach will soon look like a junkyard.

    This ordinance is up for discussion tomorrow night (Tuesday at 4:00 pm at the South Walton Courthouse Annex). Please come in support of these ordinance revisions.

    Because of Florida’s Sunshine Laws, I am not aware of the other commissioner’s stand on this issue so please come voice your opinion to the other commissioners on the impact that these obstructions are having on everyone’s lives. Also, if you know of someone that would come and support these revisions, please feel free to forward this notice!

    Before I took office, commissioners were quite eager to pass the “Scenic Corridor Standards”, a very long set of prescriptive regulations about what businesses along Highway 98 and County Road 30A can and cannot do in conducting business. The standards restrict or ban signage, construction, flags and just about every possible type of structure or item that was not deemed “scenic”.

    This ordinance simply asks the county to take a tiny fraction of those rules for our roadways and implement or apply them to our coastline. Our coastline is recognized around the world as being truly scenic and worthy of preservation and conservation.

    I may live in North Walton, however I raised my son on Eastern Lake, have grandchildren there now and as your commissioner, I represent all of Walton County. Again, please join me in taking a stand on this issue.

    Finally, I am proud to take the lead on these revisions because it is the right thing to do! I need your help!!

    God bless you and your family and thank you in advance,

    cid:image003.jpg@01D16E08.FEE613E0
    Cecilia Jones
    District 2 Commissioner
    552 Walton Rd
    DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433
    Telephone (850) 892-4020
     
  14. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Totally agree that the vendor issue is very critical to protecting our beaches and must be strictly regulated. Recently read that the city of PCB is cracking down hard on vendors.
     
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  15. Seadune85

    Seadune85 Beach Lover

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    How is this benefitting C. Jones son? It's my understanding that the majority of the beach vendors seek to partner with those gulf front owners that own to the MHWL and operate on those "private" beaches. If that be the case it seems customary use would hurt her sons business more than "protect" it...I don't have a dog in the fight...just my 2 cents...
     
  16. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    The only thing C Jones is interested in (in her very own words) is " to prevent signs, ropes, chains and fences from littering our treasured coastline." C. Jones letter says absolutely NOTHING about customary use. Where there are chains, signs and fences there are no vendors and those owners have made it abundantly clear they DON'T WANT vendors on what they believe is their private beach. In fact they have made it abundantly clear that they don't want people even walking on the sand. Of course customary use would hurt her sons business because it gives the majority of the people back the rights that private owners have tried slowly to chip away at...customary use!!

    All C. Jones has really done is write a letter making it appear that she has single-handedly tackled this issue on her own using "God" as her moral compass to deflect attention away from the beach vendor issue which is only part of the problem.
     
  17. Seadune85

    Seadune85 Beach Lover

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    The letter doesn't specifically say customary use but why else would she want to remove ropes, chains and signs...and it has apparently been a while since you have walked the beach in sowal because on the south side of most of those private property signs sits vendor setups that the property owner has requested to keep the majority of people off of their property. All the vendors have signed contracts by the homeowners for those properties to give them exclusive rights to set up chairs or water sports or whatever else they would like to do with it I guess. Most of the vendors are good people just trying to feed their families but just like with anything it only takes one or 2 bad apples to make the whole bunch seem bad. I personally know c. Jones son and he is a great young man who works extremely hard to provide for his family. Although I do not know his stance on customary use or signs etc I do know that it is completely unfair for him or his business to be constantly brought up on this forum by a certain few. He has no control over what his mother says or does and was operating both of his businesses long before she was on the bcc. Maybe you all should get to know him and ask his opinions on the matters before you bring him into his mother's fiascos.
     
  18. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    So a vendor sets up on property (that the alleged owner claims he owns but has offered no proof of) at the property owners request to keep people off the beach?? WTH has that got to do with customary use? Oh, in a word...NOTHING...but it does make it part of the problem!

    Sounds to me like there is more than one fiasco here and more like a mother son duo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  19. Seadune85

    Seadune85 Beach Lover

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    I understand you may have a problem with mrs. Jones but what has her son ever done to you....it's seems you see everything as just one big conspiracy...when frankly her son tries to stay as far away from politics as possible. Ask anyone that knows him and they will tell you what an upstanding young man he is and that he operates 2 very reputable, honest and fair businesses and makes the guest of sowal his top priority while they are here. As a matter of fact I have heard him on more than one occasion say that he can't wait till his mother gets out of politics. It brings him nothing but headaches such as this....people on a forum whom he's never met constantly throwing his name in the mix simply because of who his mother is. If u have a problem with her..fine...a lot of people do...but for Petes sake leave the kid alone unless he has done something to you or you personally know of his wrongdoing.
     
  20. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    You spoke of the "wrongdoing" yourself. The fact that he has teamed up with alleged private property owners to set up beach chairs no one actually uses, to prevent people from walking on sand the homeowner actually doesn't own is part of the problem!

    But let's take the fact that C. Jones is his mother out of the equation...what he is doing as a vendor PREVENTS customary use and that is the HEART and SOUL of the problem!
     

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