Parking predicament: Efforts to fix residential parking problem draw fire at planning commission

Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 03:32 PM.

Shipman noted that while existing houses would be grandfathered in, there is no guarantee with that because replacing part or all of a house or selling it would take away the grandfathering. Hence, all would be vulnerable due to the amount of tropical tempests this area sees.

The only areas that would be exempt would be those developments under a DRI, such as Seaside, WaterColor, Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach, and Sandestin.

"I am concerned this has come about too rapidly," said Shipman. "The county needs to look at overall traffic and parking, then develop public transportation for tourist season.”

Urban designer Mark Schnell also spoke at the meeting.

Schnell said South Walton has a seasonal parking problem. But he feels the biggest problem is the attitude that one size fits all. Schnell said what is proposed in the ordinance is far more significant than he has seen in large urban areas.

"A lot of places are dropping parking amenities all together in favor of encouraging walking," he said. "We need to look at parking solutions that do not include large parking lots. When you require every house or business to do this, you get us to looking more like Destin and Panama City. Grayton would not look like it does if it had a parking lot."

Schnell pointed out that while some might not want cars to park in front of their house, the county does own the right of way.

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