Beach Activities Ordinance changes and recommendations to be discussed

Published: Jan. 23, 2021 at 10:41 PM CST
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During the off-season, Walton County leaders take a look at the beach activities ordinance to see what changes can be made to make the next season better.

This year, one of the items that could be amended has to do with beach vending and how so-called “ghost chairs” are monitored.

“A ghost chair by definition is a chair that is put out that no one has rented and the vendor is just hoping someone sees them and calls them and tries to buy it,” said Charles Galloway, CEO of Fire Vibe, Inc.

One of the changes the board may consider is developing an app, which vendors would use to rent out their products, similar to how ride-sharing apps work.

Galloway said this would help solve the “ghost chairs” problem.

“You know, there’s no records, there’s no protocol for how each vendor is supposed to put the chairs out, with this app, the county wants to require all transactions, they must go through the app, so that gives code enforcement the ability to, if a chair is on a beach, there better be a corresponding transaction,” said Galloway.

Galloway is a lifelong Walton county resident and said he’s designed an app that would make transactions easy for customers and vendors.

“We think something like this would really set us apart as a county, it would really make us more of a high-end destination, because what do people do when they come on vacation? They want things done for them,” Galloway said.

Walton County commissioners will eventually choose between working with their current app developing partner “Zehnder,” or competitively bid the project.

After the proposed changes to the beach activities ordinance are presented to the board, there will be a public hearing, which is currently scheduled for February 15.

More information on the proposed changes can be found here.

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