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Inlet Beach residents voice concerns over ordinances, and possible violations

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 7:45 PM CDT
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INLET BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Neighbors tell WJHG there’s a property on Winston Lane that’s acting like “a private beach club,” but there’s confusion over whether that is allowed.

A single-family home in inlet beach is causing controversy with its neighbors.

“This is, quite frankly, way outside the character of the neighborhood,” resident Michael Sher said.

“The Pointe,” which is on the corner of Highway 98 and 30A, is operating a private beach club by renting beach chairs to visitors, Sher said.

Walton County ordinances allow beach vending. But neighbors are concerned because this area is zoned residential.

"What they are saying is that the activities happening on this property, that beach vending, is exempt from being a business," said Sher.

This brings lots of traffic to their neighborhood and causes security concerns, said Sher, “it’s dangerous because there’s just not enough room for all the pedestrians, bikes, the cars that we have over here.”

Walton County's director of planning, Mac Carpenter, said they issued a cease operations order to the owners of 210 Winston Lane and asked them--and the owners of the pointe-- to appear at a code enforcement hearing.

However, there is some confusion about the beach vending ordinance, and who can actually provide beach services.

"Our commission has chosen to make an exception for beach vending activities outside of the zoning ordinance," said Carpenter.

Locals said problems like this go back years, and they want solutions.

“Beach vending is an important part of our tourist economy, however, some residents may wish there was more regulation,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter added the owners have to apply for the appropriate development order to continue business.

"The possibility of that occurring on this parcel is probably pretty slim," Carpenter said.

When we stopped by the property on Winston Lane to ask questions, no one was home.

Carpenter said the code enforcement hearing is scheduled for this August.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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