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

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

"The last thing we want is parking lot after parking lot. We have a parking problem because we are so desirable. We need to keep this area special and unique," said Schnell.

Mary Nielson said she believes there needs to be a separation in thought process and separate rental houses and vacation rentals from residents who live here, but she believes using square footage as a determining factor is the only way to do it. She said she has seen individual bedrooms that would sleep six people, thanks to bunks, and when a home will sleep more, more cars come with them.

"I would love for everything to be walkable, but that's not reality," she said.

If short-term rentals are the problem, Shipman suggested identifying which ones those are.

Commissioner Wayne Dyess said they are not allowed to treat rental properties differently.

Debra Stone of the Frangista community in Miramar Beach is begging the commission to do something.

"We have large, huge homes that take up a whole lot and there is no place to park," she said. "The area was designed in the 1950s when there was no planning and development. We have no sidewalk and huge groups of families come down and fill up these houses and walk the streets. Now the Villas of Frangista are being built behind us, which was originally planned for 72 homes, but now is well over 100. My concern is for safety. There are big cement trucks and trucks of all kinds coming down the road. We can't get out of our driveways. Maybe this ordinance should not be countywide, but in the tourist areas."

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