'A pretty dramatic shift': City leaders weigh outdoor storage regulations

Staff Reporter
The Destin Log
Under the proposed ordinance regarding outdoor storage, this picture shows a property that would not be in compliance, based on the location of the boats and trailers and the number of vehicles in the yard.

When it comes to Destin's overall appearance, city leaders would like to clean it up a bit, especially in its neighborhoods.

"One of the issues we are dealing with now is residential properties that have an accumulation of vehicles, an accumulation of boats and jet skis, and trailers and such," City Manager Greg Kisela said. "The challenges we have, and the complaints we hear a lot, are the other types of vehicles that clutter up some people's yards."

To show the full impact of the problem, a series of photos were shown on a projector during Tuesday night's City Council meeting. The photos showed properties littered with cars, boats, trailers and sometimes garbage.

To remedy the problem, proposed regulations would limit the number of vehicles a resident or occupant is allowed to store on their property. Originally, it was discussed that the limit be one operable boat and/or jet ski and one operable construction trailer and/or recreational vehicle. The proposal does not count cars in a driveway.

To be in compliance with the proposal, the boats/trailers/personal watercraft would have to be located in either the driveway of the home or the side yard, which is the "yard area" closest to the driveway.

Ultimately, city leaders voted unanimously to limit the number to one RV and two "others," which could be either personal watercraft, a boat or a trailer/utility trailer.

While there was talk about some potential issues that could surface, overall city leaders were on the same page with the desire to clean up Destin.

Councilman Tuffy Dixon mentioned that not all properties would have the appropriate space to store items due to setbacks.

For her part, Councilwoman Sandy Trammell said the city may want to consider having some items hidden.

"If we are going to put anything in the side yard, then the side yard should be fenced," she said, noting that some people's homes are very close to their neighbors.

The proposed ordinance will be reviewed by the city's local planning agency before coming back to the city council at a future meeting. Any proposed ordinance would have to be approved on two readings before the city council.

"This is a pretty dramatic shift from where we are today," Kisela said. "It's not perfect, but it's a start."