Proposed used car lot ordinance raises concerns from business owners

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Panama City Beach City Council meeting had the first reading of a proposed ordinance regulating used car lots Thursday, which brought a lot of concern by business owners who would be affected.

The proposed ordinance would limit where car lots could be located and how far away from single-family residences they could be located. Another concern was the minimum size of the lots, which was one acre.

The ordinance also included vehicle rental and repair businesses. The council heard from numerous people affected by the new rule and after further consideration decided to table the issue until all the concerns were addressed.

Councilman John Reichard described one of the restrictions, "If it's a used car lot alone, the ordinance that we saw today [Thursday] was a thousand feet a new car lot, a new car company would be five hundred feet. So, I think we're going to look at that because a thousand feet is a long long way and would only leave a couple of places in the city of Panama City Beach a car lot could go."

The new ordinance also brought up issues about being grandfathered-in and how it affects insurance coverage if the companies are not in compliance with the new proposed ordinance.