Panama City Beach laws stretch to unincorporated Bay County

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 5:27 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The lines can sometimes seem blurry between Panama City Beach and unincorporated Bay County. That is why at Tuesday’s commission meeting, county leaders voted to mimic some of the city laws outside the city limits.

This year’s spring break chaos caught the attention of Bay County Commissioners.

“Our old days of spring break are long past us and so when we have these little issues arise, we sit down with law enforcement and our neighboring cities and try to figure out some solutions,” Commissioner Philip “Griff” Griffitts said.

Three of those solutions are three ordinances enforced in Panama City Beach that county leaders are bringing over to the unincorporated areas.

“This is what the Beaches Special Treatment is on as we call it. So it’s West Bay Bridge to Philips on the bridge to Hathaway Bridge,” Griffitts said.

They’re starting with putting a stop to parking lot parties.

“If I’m a business owner and I have a closed business and there are people loitering in the parking lot, I want law enforcement to check on them,” Griffitts said. “So now we’ve just given them the ability to make arrests or issue tickets.”

They’re also saying “no” to noise nuisances.

“So it’s more portable sound devices, the boom boxes if you will,” Griffitts said. “It was more geared towards that today. That and automobiles.”

Scooter rentals will now be prohibited from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, which only impacts one company.

While these laws stem from spring break events, they will be enforced year-round. All three ordinances are effective immediately.

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