Visitors may pay dog fee for beach access: Final approval sought Jan. 8 for beach activities law

Published: Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 05:45 PM.

Another clarification will deal with beach vendors.

Those gathered at the third public workshop, held at the South Walton Courthouse Annex, were focused on this aspect of the ordinance: Some were concerned about protecting the beach and some were concerned about protecting the businesses.

Sharon Maxwell, head of the South Walton Turtle Watch, wanted to make sure turtles would have space to nest around the white vendor boxes.

“Stacks and stuff must be 10 feet apart,” she said.
She also asked that there be educational efforts about turtle watch for visitors asking them not to set up before 7 a.m. during turtle season, May 1 to Oct. 31, to give the volunteers of the watch plenty of time to identify and mark nests.

The vendors gathered did not find this part troubling, as they wait for the OK to set up beach chairs and other conveniences, but they were vexed that the county reiterated a ban on the use of electricity in vendor huts on the beach. The vendors use the electricity for credit and debit card transactions, mostly.

Demers said any permits for running electricity to the beach must go through the state.

“We legally can’t issue a permit to allow you to do that,” he said.

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