Local Officials Handling Requests for Special Permits

PANAMA CITY BEACH- Panama City Beach officials are reminding people about the different permits they need during spring break.

"We have a special events permit that's if you already have a business on the beach or in the limits of Panama City beach you can apply for a special events permit. That allows you to put on concerts or anything that's not normal for your business," said Chief Drew Whitman, Panama City Beach Police Department.

Getting this permit is a three-step process. They have to go through the police department, the fire department and building department.

"After the three steps there, I sign off there, the fire chief signs off and the building chief signs off and it goes to the city manager to make sure everything is in place before we issue a special events permit,” said Whitman.

The police started issuing special event permits about five years ago, because organizers were holding concerts and events, without police knowing about it ahead of time.

“We didn't have the right amount of officers out there to protect the community or visitors,” said Whitman.

Spinnaker Beach Club's entertainment coordinator David Treace has been handling the venues permits for many years.

"A few years ago they said hey we need to start permitting these things because spring break is getting so much bigger,” said David Treace, Spinnaker Beach Club.

Spinnaker was issued a permit for one of its main stage floors that runs from inside their venue to outside. The club also had to secure special permits for it's beach zip line, vehicles, and tents.

Everything from Jet Ski rentals to golf carts, need to be cleared first by police.

“If they don't have a permit we tell them first, hey we don't have a permit to operate inside the city limits. We never had an issue after that and we just close up and leave or they just come up here and follow the guidelines," said Whitman.

Officials say if a business doesn't want to do a special events permit, then it has to get a parking lot permit.

But that only allows a couple of tents to be set up on the property.