SHALIMAR — Beachgoers who visit James Lee Park in Destin received some good news Tuesday.
The Oklaoosa County Tourist Development Council approved an agreement with Destin officials to expand the county-owned sion of the park’s parking lot. Pending the County Commission’s final approval, the lot would be expanded with 21 golf-cart spaces and 16 additional automobile spaces.
The golf cart spots would be the first ones at the popular park at 3510 Scenic Highway 98 and would help increase the lot’s total number of parking spots to 201. New crosswalks also would be installed during the project.
“We definitely need this expansion,” Tourist Development Department Director Jennifer Adams said after the meeting in Shalimar. “That parking lot gets filled up by 10 in the morning.”
She said the work likely will take place around September at the end of the busy summer season.
“This will be great," TDC member and Destin City Councilman Parker Destin said. "A lot of people recreate by golf cart.”
Part of the enlarged parking lot would encroach on the city’s right of way, but the proposed upgrades would not change the commercial square footage of the existing park, according to county information.
The current TDD budget includes $300,000 for the proposed expansion. In the fiscal 2020 budget, department officials plan to set aside $200,000 for a complete asphalt overlay of the parking lot.