1. Trouble logging in? Send a message with your username & email address for help.
    Dismiss Notice

No more bonfires?

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Matt J, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,910
    Likes Received:
    2,201
    That's right, there's apparently a movement afoot to ban any and all beach fires.

    Why? Well because a few people have illegal bonfires and some have simply dumped the contents of their burn barrels in the sand.

    My question for the county is where is the enforcement? Bonfires aren't 5 minute occurrences, they take time to even get a fire started on the beach in any amount of wind. So where are the PAID enforcers? I personally have yet to have a bonfire and not have a deputy, code enforcement or even once, an actual fireman, request my permit.

    If you are opposed to the ending of a tradition that dates back to Native Americans, please email info@swfd.org along with your county commissioners.

    District 1
    Bill Chapman
    chabill@co.walton.fl.us
    835-4860
    District 2
    Cecilia Jones
    joncecilia@co.walton.fl.us
    892-4020
    District 3
    Bill Imfeld
    imfbill@co.walton.fl.us
    892-4204
    District 4
    Sara Comander
    comsara@co.walton.fl.us
    835-4834
    District 5
    Cindy Meadows
    meacindy@co.walton.fl.us
    231-2978
     
  2. BeachArkie

    BeachArkie Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Seagrove
    So once again rude and inconsiderate people are ruining it for the law abiding folks!
     
  3. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    24,911
    Likes Received:
    2,343
    Location:
    South Walton, FL
    That's just ridiculous. Bonfires are already difficult enough, getting permit, the right container, etc. Clean up is essential of course and can be easily tracked or enforced, if needed, through permitting. More and more we have to getaway to the east to enjoy the wild beaches with our dogs and bonfires.
     
  4. BeachArkie

    BeachArkie Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Seagrove
    I thought the whole reason for the permits was so they could squash any non-permitting bonfires and have a record in case someone left a mess.
     
  5. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    297
    Once again there is that word - ENFORCEMENT...

    Finally, people are realizing there is none. No enforcement causes offenders to break rules as there are no consequences.

    Many Condo Associations have documented (quite well) numerous violation of the burn barrel issue (being left on beach, dumping out burnt wood in dunes, etc.). SWFD tracks the permits but enforcement is not their responsibility. It's TDC Code Enforcement...

    I don't know where the enforcers are, but they are not doing their jobs and this was a talking point this entire summer.

    Don't know if anyone noticed, but Publix started selling a portable, do it your self, bonfire kit at the entrances...
     
  6. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    186
    I doubt there is an easy or even a good solution. Which usually means eliminating the problem by banning. Maybe the fee should be higher, education and enforcement could be afforded. And/or have the TDC be responsible for cleanup on occasions where jerks don't do it for themselves.

    The fact is we have to get control of our beaches. They need to be public, and well taken care of. Regular litter cleanups, holes filled, items removed, no signs, and very few vendors (if any). Our beaches should be highest priority. I don't know why they aren't taken care of as well as our State Parks. Let's hire beach rangers!
     
  7. outofadream

    outofadream Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    18
    Excellent suggestions. How do we get these things done?
     
  8. BeachArkie

    BeachArkie Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Seagrove
    We already have "beach rangers" and spend millions on personnel and equipment to patrol and maintain our beaches.

    Is there actually a problem with bonfires, or are people just complaining? Since a bonfire is very visible and lasts for hours I find it ridiculous that there isn't adequate enforcement.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  9. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,910
    Likes Received:
    2,201
    A public records request will get you all of the citations written by code enforcement. Few if any are ever actual citations, with most being warnings. Odds are amazingly good that if it is a citation it's a local.

    Again I don't know why the TDC is policing the beaches it sells. I'm sure there's a fear that the idiot tourist with a bonfire surrounded by dogs and people drinking from glass might not come back if they're fined and I'm cool with that.
     
  10. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    297
    Matt J:

    110% right on the money on this one. The TDC Code Enforcement Officers are really good at issuing "Warnings".

    They go so far to actually relocate the offending vendor to a less visible location to issue the "warning" so the touron's don't see it.

    I've watched this take place at Ed Walline where they relocate to Gulf Place parking lot, behind the bank.

    They are quick to hit the locals in the pocket book. How about some equal enforcement?
     
  11. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    186
    Yeah but TDC people act like they are servants to tourists and would never want to offend. That's fine but not necessary. We should be polite and firm to guests. We should serve the beach. Not the visitor. Park Rangers know the best way to serve people is to first serve the environment. Set rules and make people follow them or leave.
     
  12. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    24,911
    Likes Received:
    2,343
    Location:
    South Walton, FL
    Hate to lose the beach to crowds, and now to crowds of chair vendors and then lose privileges like bonfires. We've already lost dog rights.
     
  13. 30ABeachDreamin'

    30ABeachDreamin' Beach Comber

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    The beach is most people's income. I would hate to loose something that is the only way people make money.
    BUT I also think that more policing of the beaches in some fashion needs to happen. An active presence if youwill.
    I live on the west end of PCB. Yet, I see more and more each year the beach situation getting out of control both in Bay and Walton.
    Bay will gladly take your dogs, and bonfires. Sadly since Bay wont take much initiative on the beach hopefully we can follow in the doot steps of any Walton county decision.
    Its sad we must police what we all love and enjoy, but the sad truth is people do take advantage and those are the ones needing shut down.
     
  14. Beachlover2

    Beachlover2 Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Messages:
    795
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    SoWal
    I have been to 2 beach bonfires in the last few weeks by Pompano Joes. When we went to the one on Oct 3rd there were 5 groups with fires.No one came out to check on permits/compliance etc. The one we went to Oct 17th there were a total of 4 bonfires going - once again no one showed up to check for permits. There were 2 weddings that night - one released about 50 beach balls after the I dos - half of which ended up floating away in the gulf. The other was set up for the reception including dance floor - the next morning I saw hundreds of cigarette butts tossed in the sand from the wedding goers there. Enforcement is key - how can you have a highly visible area like the access by Pompano Joes not being checked for compliance. This isn't a bonfire behind some beach house - this is a public beach access.
     
  15. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    297
    ENFORCEMENT, ENFORCEMENT, ENFORCEMENT - There is NONE. We pay TDC Code Enforcement gobs of money to write warnings and make friends with vendors.

    Time to disband the TDC, privatize it with people who will do their jobs and enforce rules.

    I believe the balls being released (plastic) could also been seen a littering... 50 balls is a bit much.

    I would suggest taking some photos and sending them to commissioners. I'd also send them an Email that documents you did not see anyone checking permits. That's TDC Code's Job!!!
     
  16. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    24,911
    Likes Received:
    2,343
    Location:
    South Walton, FL
    Looks like the real issue is weddings and events leaving trash on the beach. Recently saw a photo of tons of fake flower petals littering the beach after a wedding. And beach balls? So much more damaging than ashes from a bonfire.
     
  17. Geo

    Geo Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,750
    Likes Received:
    1,391
    Location:
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL
    Just sent the below email to our commissioners...

    Please ya'll- let's choose our battles. I get the impression that entitled 30Aholes are moving here and are lighting up the BCC and WCSO switchboards complaining about some of the things that make our area so special.

    PLEASE SEND EMAIL TO OUR COMMISSONERS REQUESTING THAT THEY NOT END OUR WONDERFUL BEACH RITUALS so that the complaints from the vocal few don't end up ruining it for everyone.

    *********************************************


    Esteemed Commissioners:



    I read on Sowal.com that Walton County is considering ending bonfires on the beach. If this is a rumor then please disregard. But if it is being considered then I am writing to request that WE DO NOT END THIS WONDERFUL TRADITION.



    I moved here 10 years ago because of the beauty of the beach but moreso I moved here because of the lifestyle. I love being able to walk my leashed pet. I love being able to enjoy an adult beverage at sunset. I love being able to drive out on Grayton and spend the day playing with all our gear. And I love having beach bonfires.



    With all due respect- let's not take the fun out of our way of life.

    THESE ARE OUR RITUALS.

    I can only assume that if this is being considered it is likely a result of a few very vocal citizens complaining to your offices. But I implore you to seek other solutions (e.g. more strategic enforcement against bad apples, a thorough examination of bonfire vending to determine if this is actually the cause of problems, etc.) before we simply make changes that punish those of us just trying to have a nice time with our family and friends.

    Please let's choose our battles and focus on the issues that plague us that truly matter.

    Regards, GW
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  18. Misty

    Misty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,787
    Likes Received:
    468
    You have NO IDEA just what all they ENVISION for the rest of us! If jdarg and others have their way SoWal will secede and no one north of the bridge including rednecks and tourists will be allowed on the beaches of Walton County.

    Just join their closed group and see for yourself...

    Log into Facebook | Facebook

    DESCRIPTION
    This is a page for people to share ideas, thoughts, correspondence and contact information about A Vision for Walton County and Our Quality of Life. Please be constructive. The Administrators may remove posts that are deemed inappropriate or that do not pertain to Walton County and its Quality of Life and Vision. All members must be approved by Administrators. We ask also that all interested people sign in as a person, not a company or anonymous screenname.

    Note to Posters: Please refrain from name-calling and inappropriate language and posts that are not constructive to the discussion. This is not a Message Board; it is a Group Page designed for a specific reason. We welcome all points of view as long as they are offered in what we deem to be a constructive manner--if they are simply offered to inflame, offend, or name-call, they will be deleted.
     
  19. justhavinfun

    justhavinfun Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Eastern Lake
    fascinating.... all around!!:dunno:
     
  20. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    186
    This message board is a lot more civil, helpful, and free than Facebook. All viewpoints welcome.
     

Share This Page