C.R. 393 May Become Part of Florida’s Scenic Highways Program

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The Walton County Planning Department, along with the organization Friends of Scenic 30A have been trying to get County Road 393 included into the Florida’s Scenic Highway Program.

The application was initially delayed due to economic issues.

But the program has reopened in the past year and the county is hoping state officials will sign off on the request.

To become part of Florida’s Scenic Highways Program, the roadway must meet certain criteria, promoting conservation and economic benefits.

County officials say 393 meets those requirements.

"I would like to add that the Florida Scenic Highway designation does not add any new restrictions or any regulations what so ever to a scenic corridor,” said Vivan Shamel, of the Walton County Planning Department. “Except for no new billboards are already not lawful south of the bay."

County officials also say having the Gulf Cemetery recognized as a historic landmark and participation by the Bayou Arts Center has enhanced the area.

But the process is more than just recognition.

"It also allows for potential grants and funding from other sources that we would not be able to obtain without that scenic highway designation,” said Shamel.

Local business owners also believe it will be an asset to South Walton.

"I think any way we can attract more tourism to the area is a great thing,” said Brandon Shaw, Owner of Sand Dollar One Vacation Rental. “Another scenic highway is just another thing that will attract more people, especially people that like to get out and drive and look at scenic things."

The next step is for the planning department to submit the application to the Florida’s Scenic Highways Program for final acceptance.

Shamel also plans to submit Highway 393 for inclusion in the National Scenic Highways Program.