Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by beachma, Aug 19, 2018.
So why can’t 30A impose similar regulations?
If you go back to the first post and look at my picture of our small umbrellas and chairs sandwiched between the wall of vendor chairs and umbrella’s you can clearly see how anyone with their own set up is shut off from the water’s edge...AND there was NEVER a day that all of those chairs and umbrellas were occupied. We were quoted a price of $400+ dollars for the week when we inquired on the price for 2 chairs and an ummbrella. The water’s edge may not be completely necessary for a group of adults...but we are a family with 8 children who prefer the beach over a pool and keeping tabs on them in the water is absolutely necessary.
I understand that the beach chair issue is somewhat separate from the customary use issue, but it is obvious that beause of the signs posted by beachfront owners declaring “private beach property/no trespassaing” that vendors make sure that they claim all of the “undeclared” space for their setup.
I understand wanting to be close to the water when there are children involved. I also agree that unoccupied chairs are a problem. My husband and I don’t usually come to the beach until after 10 A.M. and then sometimes we stay for a few hours and then return later, so our chairs would be vacant at times. As far as the cost, we rented from Burke’s this past April for $165 for a week. I don’t know the perfect solution or compromise that will please everyone. However, I do know that as tourists we treasure our time on 30A.
30a is a road. Walton County is the government. The politicians are in the vending biz.
The customary use/beach issue IS the umbrella issue that is the subject of Beachma’s experience in this post because the beach chair vendors are crowding out the beachfront both in front of private property (with or without the permission of the adjacent property owners) AND on 50%+ of the beachfront at the Walton County public beach accesses.
I’ve visited the area for over 30 years and stayed in beach front units, inland condo, and inland homes, and my family, friends and I have set up in front of private properties where we’ve stayed as well as county public beach accesses and state park beaches. In all of these except for the state park beaches, we’ve seen the increasing “taking” of the beachfront by the beach chair vendors! They take up more and more of the beach - at public accessesdue to vendor-friendly regulations that GIVES them 50% of that government land, and in front of private property either with contracts or by knowing which owners aren’t present and/or claiming that “customary use” is also a vendor right!
But this trend is a major contributor to the larger customary use conflict; as the vendors take more and more land, that leaves less beachfront land for non-chair renting beach goers to set up, pushing them into the front of private properties.
No one should have to “pay” $25-$40 per day or $165-$400 a week to be able to sit in chairs with an umbrella on the beach if they bring and set up their own chairs and umbrella, whether it’s at a county-owned public beach access, private condo or home, OR even a full-service “resort” if all of the beach is public! You can buy nice backpack chairs for $25-$30 each and an umbrella for $20-$25 at Costco or Sam’s, and use them again next year! Spend that $165 on a nice meal with drinks at a 30A restaurant!
I know 30A is a road!
I understand the “taking” of the beachfront by the beach chair vendors is definitely a problem, but hauling chairs, umbrella, cooler, etc. to the beach is not my idea of a relaxing vacation nor is it easy to do as you get older (we are in good shape,too). We have backpack chairs that are very lightweight but they sit too low to the sand, Also, we have had too many umbrellas damaged by the wind.
I understand, and to each their own, but for our family of 4, we’re able to haul our backpack chairs, a cooler and umbrella, and whatever boards or floats the kids want, and we actually like the adjustable functions of the Tommy Bahama chairs more than the rental chairs, plus we like the freedom to be able to sit in our chairs until sunset, which you can’t always do with rental chairs since they come through and take them down. Same with Beachma’s group - they wanted to be able to set up how they wanted and per their needs.
I am 65 and my husband is 63, so it used to be easier to haul stuff to the beach. My husband has had a complete shoulder replacement and a knee replacement, hauling stuff and even simply traversing the sand is more of a challenge than it used to be. I feel as though some of you are not understanding this issue at all. We want to be respectful visitors, but we also want to be respected as tourists.
Perhaps the politicians need to be voted out of office. Isn’t this a conflict of interests?
You can be respectful visitors and be respected as tourists. I completely understand your needs for renting chairs that a vendor sets up for you. I am not calling for beach chair vendors to be shut down, just asking that they not take up so much of the beachfront with unoccupied “ghost” rentals.
But many of us can also be respectful visitors and respected as tourists even if we bring our own chairs. How is it not respectful for people to bring their own chairs?
Fortunately one of the culprits of that relationship just got voted out!
I did not mean to imply that you were being disrespectful ... my apologies. It just seems from many of the posts that those of us who rent chairs are part of the problem. I agree rules and regulations for the vendors need to be put in place and enforced. There must be some way to compromise.
No, and I didn’t meant to imply that y’all are part of the problem, because if you’re renting them and sitting in them, then you're putting the chairs and the space they’re on to good use. It’s more of the ghost chair setups that some of the vendors place to claim unneeded space with some type of wall or fortification or those who try to push rightful users (with their own chairs but wh were there first) out of the way.
What is the problem with bringing a towel to the beach? Seems a bit much to need all the stuff. There are vendors who sets up living rooms for people - sofas, big screen TVs, blenders .... ridiculous.
Nothing at all, but if someone wants to take a chair and sit in it, and an umbrella, that’s fine too, as long as they take it all when they leave and leave the area as it was before they arrived.
The very simplest soulution that does not exclude anyone who needs a chair set up is not to set up the chairs and umbrella’s until those patron’s come down to the beach and rent them on the spot. If there are rentals that span the week, set up the chairs only after they bring down a card or voucher each day. This simple system puts everyone on an even playing field, if you get down to the beach at
7 AM, you get a front row seat...if later in the day, you pick a spot that is available. My husband and I arrived at a very popular restaurant that would not seat us until everyone in our party arrived...it’s an accepted practice and they are definitely not losing business because of it!
I agree, but this would cause the Mafia to hire more people...someone would have to be there ALL day to setup your chairs when you arrive and remove when you leave...most of these kids ( who also fight amongst themselves over sand) just setup and then leave the area and troll all their setups ALL day seeing if someone has decided to sit in an empty chair and then they ask you to PAY up.....
I actually was talking to a code enforcement officer two years ago who said some kid wanted to start a vendor business but didn’t have any money for required insurance. The kids said if the officer would allow him to work the beach for two weeks he could make enough money to pay for the insurance that is required. The officer told me that he allowed The kid to operate for a couple weeks without insurance until he could become qualified. Also I’ve had and Enforcement officers tell me that if He writes a Vendor a violation and issues a ticket the vendor will probably fight it and the officer would be forced to spend a whole day in a court room which he didn’t want to do so he was in issuing FINES.....
Maybe fifty locals should band together every morning and set up their personal chairs and umbrellas in a straight line then leave before the vendors arrive.
What we saw throughout the week at the Ramsgate access was the vendors worked an hour or so starting at 5:45 AM doing their set up...between 2 and 4 guys. They set up a white folding table and made a shelter at the edge of the dunes with umbrellas at the access when they were finished and sat there the rest of the day...ALL day. At 5:00 PM or so, they would take down the set ups, store their chairs, umbrellas and table at the dune edge and call it a day.
Separate names with a comma.