DESTIN — The City Council on Monday adopted an ordinance that requires all public and private pay-to-park facilities to collect parking fees at the exit of the facility or within a designated parking spot in the facility, instead of at the entrance.
The ordinance, which aims to decrease traffic congestion on U.S. Highway 98, took effect immediately.
After discussing the ordinance at length during previous meetings, the council voted on it without discussion on Monday. Councilman Cyron Marler cast the lone “no” vote. No one from the public commented on the matter.
Violators of the ordinance could face a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
The issue came to the forefront last June when HarborWalk Village began charging a $10 parking fee at its entrance, causing traffic to occasionally back up onto U.S. 98. It had previously been a free parking lot.
In other business, the council adopted an ordinance that clarifies a part of the city Land Development Code that bans various kinds of wheeled vehicles from being driven on beaches in Destin.
Language was added that makes the ban apply to all beaches, whether public or private, within the city limits.
The only exceptions to the ban are baby strollers weighing less than 100 pounds, wagons/wheelbarrows/hand-carts/pull-carts that are pushed/pulled by a human, and wheelchairs weighing less than 300 pounds.
Destin officials say driving on the beach is aesthetically displeasing, dangerous to beachgoers and harmful to the ecosystem.
Violators of the ban could face a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.