SANTA ROSA BEACH — Every spring, Walton County accepts applications for coveted beach driving permits. And every year, hundreds of applications are received.
However, only 150 applicants are given a permit.
This leaves a few hundred people disappointed. Anthony Woolf is one of them.
Woolf would like to see another tier added to the lottery system that would issue permits for driving on the beach only in the off season. Toward that end, on July 11 he will ask the county commissioners to set up a focus group to work out the details to make it happen.
"A second-class permit would allow those of us who did not win the first time to access the beach when no one is there," he said.
Woolf said he won a permit in 2009 but has not won since.
"Much of the year the beach is not utilized," he said. "We should maximize use of the beach."
Winners' names were drawn May 15. They had 30 calendar days to purchase a permit at the Walton County Administration office and receive their decal.
Applications must be submitted with proof of residency by either voter registration or a driver's license.
There are about 800 permit holders who are grandfathered in, Administrative Clerk Candy Posey said.
"To be grandfathered in you must have maintained a permit every year since 2011," she said.
Permits are also issued to handicapped drivers and 15 charter boat captains who launch off Grayton Beach.
Posey said sometimes lottery winners don't purchase their permit, and when that happens that spot goes back into the lottery.