SHALIMAR — The Okaloosa County Commission will be asked Tuesday to approve the proposed makeup of a committee that would review and suggest possible changes to the county’s Crab Island ordinance.
The commission approved the ordinance last July in light of concerns about the number of floating businesses at the island north of Destin's Marler Bridge and the unregulated distribution of alcohol by some of them.
The ordinance that regulates various island activities took effect last November. Its various regulations include a prohibition on the sale, distribution or consumption of alcoholic beverages on floating commercial structures or vessels.
Certain watercraft such as pontoon boats that are rented for private use, charter boats and sunset cruise vessels are exempt from the regulations.
The ordinance also established the “Crab Island Entertainment Area.” Floating commercial structures can stay anchored there between dusk and dawn from March 1 to Oct. 31 this year as long as their owners meet various requirements.
However, starting Nov. 1 all such structures will have to be stationed between dusk and dawn at marina or dock, within a permitted mooring field or on private property, including submerged lands.
The Sheriff’s Office has been asked to enforce ordinance.
The suggestion to have a committee help monitor the ordinance came from Commissioner Nathan Boyles. He has said the panel will consider input from various Crab Island “stakeholders” and determine whether any adjustments should be made.
The county staff recommends the committee consist of five members: a city of Destin appointee, a Destin Area Chamber of Commerce appointee, a Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce appointee, a Crab Island vendor and a resident at-large.
The staff also recommends that a representative of the Sheriff’s Office serve as an ex-officio committee member.
“If the composition of the committee is acceptable to the board, we would solicit nominations from the corresponding groups for your review and final approval at an upcoming meeting,” Deputy County Administrator for Operations Greg Kisela said in an agenda request to the commission.
Tuesday's meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. at the County Administration Building in Shalimar.