Beach Vending: Beach vending activities have been a major irritant to the community for many years and contributed to the customary use controversy. TDC actions have improved the situation, but there are still problems. What is your vision for resolving this issue?
Philip Cryar - District 1 - Republican
We could possibly implement a lottery system/rotational system to allow vendors the chance to sell their service/product on the beach while not overcrowding. This would free up room on the beaches and lessen the impact on the natural resources around the beach.
Lisa Johnson - District 1 - Republican
Did Not Respond
William "Boots" McCormick - District 1 - Republican
Till the customary use controversy is settled in the courts, I do not see what power the county has over the Private Property Owners as to what and how much vending they allow. As to the County own public access . At this time with the limited space the country actually controls, I think ALL vending activities need to be limited on the county beach.
Mike Barker - District 3 - Republican
Look at different ways to permit vendors, with enforceable guidelines, and have strict enforcement to include revocation of permits.
Teddy Stewart - District 3 - Republican
Did Not Respond
Tony Anderson - District 5 - Republican
Did Not Respond
Debbie Heard - District 5 - Republican
I served on the TDC Beach Management Committee when the current beach vending ordinance was written. At that time our committee came up with good solutions that were not implemented as they went further up to the BCC. I would like to see beach vending scaled back on the beaches with vending from the "top" for regional & neighborhood accesses & private homes. Permits only being issued for beach vending where there are large condo complexes & resorts such as Seaside, Watercolor etc.... Otherwise chair sets would only be delivered to the beach when rented. Vendors would be responsible for clean up of permitted area or around delivered setups. Only permitted areas would be allowed boxes on the beach and ONLY large enough for the number of chairs permitted and limited equipment. Placement of rented chair sets would be redesigned with room for those not renting chairs to have adequate space and good location for setup of personal belongings. Strict enforcement of the vending ordinance. Permitted vendors would NOT assume the role of security for said resorts and condos complexes. Vending from the "top" worked here for many years. It can work again.
Dr. Carolynn Zonia - District 5 - Democrat
As a member of South Walton Turtle Watch, I have met and worked alongside many wonderful Beach Vendors. But vendor practice and vending permits are not uniform. The Managed Vendor Program has been successful in preventing ghost chairs and the race to the water’s edge. This program makes vendors more accountable as well. I would like to see expansion of this program across our Beaches. I think we need to look at how these contracts and permits are being structured, and if the County is going to get a portion of the rental set-up fee, that should be earmarked for infrastructure improvement for that corresponding neighborhood. This year the TDC is funding paid Beach Ambassadors to explain the expectations of guests on our Beaches at the time of their arrival to the beach. I would love to see this program expanded to include each public beach access. These workers would have an assigned stretch of beach, and could assist with beach management like locations for tents/canopies on the beach, filling in deep holes and directing folks to recycling.
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