A majority of the Destin City Council supports proposed revisions to Okaloosa County's floating structure ordinance.
DESTIN — Several proposed revisions to Okaloosa County’s floating structures ordinance that regulates much of the commercial activity at Crab Island were approved by a majority of the City Council Monday.
The summertime party spot known as Crab Island is a submerged island in Choctawhatchee Bay and is just north of the Marler Bridge and west of Destin’s city limits.
One of the proposed ordinance revisions calls for requiring all vessels or floating structures that ferry people to and from Crab Island to pick up passengers from a properly permitted and licensed private commercial facility.
Earlier this year, Councilman Parker Destin noted he saw a vessel unlawfully ferrying people between Crab Island and the Air Force-owned stretch of beach located just south of the Marler Bridge.
Another proposed ordinance revision involves the county potentially issuing not more than 15 annual licenses to commercial vessels/ floating structures whose owners want to operate at Crab Island.
Also, effective Jan. 1, 2021, except for the potentially limited number of floating structures that receive a license, floating structures might be prohibited at Crab Island and in other waters under the county’s jurisdiction.
The proposed ordinance revisions recently were approved by the county’s Floating Structures Committee, and county officials now are asking the council to endorse them, City Manager Lance Johnson said at Monday’s meeting.
Councilman Rodney Braden, who represents the city on the Floating Structures Committee, made a motion to support the changes. It was approved in a 5-1 vote, with Councilman Cyron Marler casting the lone “no” vote.
Councilman Chatham Morgan was not present for the council’s brief discussion on the possible changes.
The County Commission plans to discuss the recommended revisions at a workshop set for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the County Administration Building in Shalimar.