DESTIN – The City Council on Monday unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance to prohibit certain commercial activity in Destin’s parks.

Before the vote, councilmen Chatham Morgan and Tuffy Dixon mentioned that some people have been renting out personal watercraft at certain city parks. Those types of non-permitted rentals, as well as the rental of pontoon boats from Destin parks, were the impetus for regulating commercial activity in the parks, City Manager Carisse LeJeune said.

According to the proposed ordinance, commercial activities consist of “any sale, rental, service, lesson, instruction tour or other activity conducted by any person or entity other than the city, or city employee(s) or contractor(s), for which there is charged any fare, fee, rate or other consideration, or which is otherwise conducted directly or indirectly in connection with any business.”

Commercial activities, with some exceptions, also include: the provision or receipt of any rental commercial watercraft, such as pontoon boats, personal watercraft and kayaks; the picking up or dropping off of customers of any rental commercial watercraft; and the loading or unloading of customers, watercraft of any type, and related items.

After receiving feedback from various stakeholders in recent weeks, the council is leaning toward allowing, by permit, two small weddings per day at both the Shores at Crystal Beach Park and June White Decker Park beach accesses.

In other business Monday, the council:


Finalized a new five-year contract with Waste Management. The new agreement takes effect Oct. 1 and includes cost decreases for all residential customers as well as many commercial customers.
Approved paying $29,854 to Orlando-based Tetra Tech for preliminary engineering and design services for a pathway/boardwalk that would run under the Marler Bridge and connect to the planned Calhoun Avenue/Zerbe Street pathway and existing HarborWalk Village boardwalk. The firm’s work will be paid for with money that Destin Harbor Place Condominiums is required to provide as part of the state’s “Net Positive Public Benefit” program. The money essentially is meant to offset the impact to the Destin Harbor from Destin Harbor Place’s proposed docking facility expansion.