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

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

  1. JBBeached

    JBBeached Beach Comber

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    I would imagine there are quite a few beachfront owners who can't sit in front on their house. I can only get a spot if I go put chairs out very, very early. Even then, if I only put out a couple of chairs people move them. They either throw them up higher on the beach or lay them down and proceed to sit where the chairs were set up. Some of the vendors are completely rude when you remind them that they are not to set up in front of the houses.
     
  2. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    I'm betting they wouldn't like it if you moved their chairs.
     
  3. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    That just says (and exposes) it all.
     
  4. Dave Rauschkolb

    Dave Rauschkolb Beach Fanatic

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    I have been vigorously vocal in print and at the workshop on the need to enforce the Beach Activities ordinance in deference to the Beachfront homeowners concerns; that is very well documented. The lack of enforcement is why it has come to this. All this is being addressed by the BCC and Code Enforcement finally.

    I believe beach vending should be very closely regulated; I personally believe there should be either no vending at all on public beach acceses or only a small portion should be leased to one vender with strict limits (rent a chair, set up a chair; no pre set ups)

    Regarding Customary use within the limits of the Beach Activities ordinance people should be allowed to traverse and enjoy any beach as they have been doing since man walked upright. Fishing, sitting, throwing a football, behaving civilly with respect to any others should be allowed on any beach. Customary use is not a taking of private property, it allows for access through and on private property on beaches. And in Walton County that access should be allowed under the regulation and enforcement of the Beach Activities ordinance. I too have beachfront homeowners who are my friends and I am currently in dialog with one to make this situation better. Whatever the outcome it should be fair for the beachfront homeowners and the public so we may all go back to enjoying the beach instead of fighting over it.
     
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  5. Dave Rauschkolb

    Dave Rauschkolb Beach Fanatic

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    There are three states that have adopted Customary Use doctrine. There is no reason why we can't in Florida. Our leaders just have to have the will and not buckle to the legal challenges of a few.
     
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  6. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Dave, why so quick to give WCSO a pass on Enforcement, but you'll call out BCC and Code Enforcement (not that I don't agree they both are culpable).

    WCSO spends big money on Beach Patrol Unit, with trucks, jet skis (2 new this year), small boat (never used), atvs, etc.

    What is their function in all this?

    We have life guards funded and SWFD does all the medical (quite well too).

    So why do we have a WCSO Beach Patrol Unit? Do they not enforce State Law and Local Ordinance by their very design and definition ? They have an SOP outlining how (or how not to) handle beach trespass issues....

    I'm confused
     
  7. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

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    I think it will ultimately fall on citizens to take back our beaches. To let people know - visitors and vendors and anyone else - what is acceptable and what is not. I wouldn't be surprised to see a "beach posse" spring up. Good beach ambassadors who are our on the beaches to help, but also have the confidence to stop bad behavior and get a quick response of police backup when needed.
     
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  8. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Shocker.

    Did you know that in addition to the Gulf of Mexico Walton county has 3 times the shoreline called the bay; plus multiple rivers, streams and other waterways. Sorry all that equipment isn't in front of your house for you to personally verify it's usage. As for the boat it is used from time to time and I have personally helped push it over sandbars during one of those launchings for an emergency.

    TDC code enforcement was created to take over calls and patrolling of violations of Beach activities ordinance so the Sheriff's can work real crimes. I'm not saying glass on the beach isn't a real crime, but I'd hate to be in the bank getting robbed to find out a deputy was dealing with Mr. Touron who doesn't know you don't take glass near water.
     
  9. Jenksy

    Jenksy Beach Fanatic

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    They're now called Yeti people.
     
  10. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    Hey, watch it there bud:banging:
     
  11. Jenksy

    Jenksy Beach Fanatic

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    I know of no bigfoot or skunkape brand cooler that costs more than my refrigerator. So you are OK.
     
  12. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

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    image.jpeg


    I'm cross-posting my reply from another thread in the All About SoWal forum as I think it can reach an audience of some of the community members is like to hear from in this thread as well. Sorry for the redundancy.

     
  13. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    I was hoping to hear from Dave R as to his reasoning, but yours is also welcome.

    While your assessment of the waterways is correct, FWC does most of the patrol / work on Bay and Rivers here. You won't find a WCSO person out there, unless it's a search / rescue. The boat sits at the S. Walton substation, just like our helicopter that hasn't been used because there is no pilot.

    There are six beach patrol officers when full staff. Currently, there are 5 because one has been called up to DFS for his "computer knowledge" as it seems the new (over 6 months old) computer reporting system we bought, isn't working all that well...

    If TDC code enforcement was created to enforce, they obviously don't do that.

    That argument has been raised by many posters and I. The report they put out in 2015 shows their "productivity" or lack there of.

    Verbal warnings were the bulk of their "work". They need to be issuing citations and collecting fines, generation revenue $$$, to put back into our community.

    So we have layers of government enforcers, but no enforcement...???

    Enough is enough.

    The Walton Two-Step at its finest!
     
  14. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    How do we fix these issues John G?
     
  15. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Apparently anonymous whining online.
     
  16. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    Identifying problems is important but many of these issues john g are internal workings of the Sheriff's Office. As I have pointed out previously the only remedy to "fixing" these things is to change administrations and since the current sheriff is running unopposed, which is a first in this county as far as I know, I guess the vast majority of citizens agree with those policies. I cannot work up a great deal of energy to beat my head against the wall when I cannot change anything. But if there is other remedies I am always willing to listen.
     
  17. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    1) Encourage Code Enforcement to actually do their jobs and enforce the codes. They turn a blind eye any opportunity they get. I'm told one officer has also told beach goers that he supports Customary Use, which is fine, but not on the clock of the tax payer. There are TDC Beach Ambassadors that can "educate".

    2) Create a Revenue Plan to know where money from the fines (Fine$, not Warnings) will go and how it will be used. I could write enough tickets for Glass on Beach, Dogs on Beach W/O Permits, etc., in one weekend to fund a new position for the summer. TDC Code could also be given authority to write parking violations at the beach access and the surrounding areas. We loose so much money by not enforcing parking and allowing people to park every which way on the road. (Special thanks to Leah with Citizens Services of WCSO. She actually works but only gives the 48 hour warning stickers).

    3) Ensure that our courts (Local Judges) will support the fines and enforce their payments. I've yet to see how much money of the Spring Break Fines was actually collected. Will TDC fines be enforceable or do the tourists just tear them up and laugh?

    4) Look at the salaries of the current staff. Are they earning what they are paid? Is there a performance evaluation that rewards the employee for actually producing results OR are they paid to look the other way and not ruffle feathers? I bet they all have "10's" in each review category, just like 90% of the County Employees do. Yet, we continue to have problems with no solutions.

    5) Since WCSO is apparently going to get a pass on their role in Enforcement, perhaps some of their authority can be transferred over to Code Enforcement and maybe even the life guards. I've talked with many life guards and they DO NOT call in infractions (Glass, Dogs, etc.), even though they occur right under their guard chairs. A culture of Respect the Rules of the Beach is needed and all employees of the County (TDC, SWFD, Etc.), should be active stewards of that and be Proactive about it. Kids look up to the guards and if they see them turn a blind eye to an infraction, what type of message does that send?

    6) We need to stop rewarding bad behavior and poor performance and start to "punish" / discourage, the bad behavior and correct poor performers / workers to perform to higher standards as most of SoWal expects of its government workers.
     
  18. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    Not bad ideas but only #1 and part of #2 can be accomplished by the BCC. The sheriff would have to grant CE the ability to write parking tickets which is not likely. As far as #3, no one forces judges to do much of anything. #4,5 and 6 are the purview of the sheriff or SWFD and not likely to happen. My advice is to work on #1 and the revenue plan mentioned in #2. Or run for sheriff or the fire board.
     
  19. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Thanks for the constructive feed back Danny, I appreciate it.

    no one forces judges to do much of anything. #4,5 and 6 are the purview of the sheriff or SWFD and not likely to happen

    That's one of the main problems...no one wants to do anything...
     
  20. Marmot

    Marmot Beach Lover

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    NWF Daily News article: link below

    Signs, fences on Walton County beaches still intact
     

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