South Walton Parking Assessment Meetings Continue

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Walton County Tourist Development Council officials hired a consulting firm called AVCON to study the parking problems in South Walton.

AVCON has decided to present the findings, and take public comment during three meetings.

The first took place Tuesday, involving the area around Scenic Gulf Drive, Dune Allen, Gulf Place, Gulfview Heights and Blue Mountain Beach.

AVCON officials talked about the number of extra parking spots they could create, and also urged county officials to consider clearly marking parking areas, installing parking meters, designating parking lots and taking right of way to create new parking.

Residents didn't seem impressed.

"We are trying to slap Band-Aids on problems that come up, at some point we need to take a step back, and see where are we headed, where's capacity,” stated on South Walton resident.

AVCON also suggested better public transportation methods.

"Part of our summary in our overall assessment will be to recommend a beach access shuttle. Providing the shuttle for beach-goers to the regional beach accesses, because a lot of the other beach accesses can't fit shuttle buses,” said Tonia Nation, Development Management of AVCON.

But residents say they want long term solutions.

"I haven't seen it identify what is needed 5, 10, 15 years down the road,” said Jim Richard, Owner of Stinky’s Fish Camp.

AVCON officials welcomed the residents' thoughts, ideas and comments, saying it will help them devise their final recommendations to the county commission.

The next parking assessment meeting will be held Tuesday July 8th at the South Walton County Annex.