If folks in Destin aren’t careful, the world’s luckiest fishing village soon could become the world’s nosiest fishing village. Just last month, we learned that some city officials want to essentially outlaw large-scale construction projects. Now, others want the city to tell people to clean out their carports.
We’re not kidding.
The Destin Area Chamber of Commerce is pressing the City Council to toughen the city’s code enforcement regulations. The idea is to make everyone — not just businesses but private homeowners, too — toe the line in beautifying the city.
Here, according to a Monday story by the Destin Log’s Matt Algarin, is some of what the chamber has in mind:
Cars should be parked on a paved surface. No more parking on your lawn.
Boats in front yards should also be parked on a paved surface. And the chamber thinks one boat is fine but three or four are an eyesore.
Blue tarps, which sometimes are needed after a hurricane causes roof damage, shouldn’t be on roofs for more than a year.
Carports should be used for cars, not what the chamber terms “five years’ worth of unsellable” garage-sale junk.
In other words, the chamber wants city officials to tell taxpaying, law-abiding residents where they can park their cars at home, where they can park their boats and how much stuff they can store in their carports before it has to be taken away.
You’ll notice that none of this has anything to do with improving public health or safety. It’s all about somebody’s notion of what looks good.
And, of course, it’s about government being a busybody.
“As we continue to promote economic development, we want our city to be attractive to prospective businesses and their employees,” chamber representative Bill Lindsley told the council.
Call us old-fashioned, but we believe a city is attractive when it encourages individual freedom, when City Hall minds its own business, and when clipboard-toting bureaucrats don’t nose around private homes counting boats and looking for grass under cars.