"Lack of enforcement "and" No visitor dogs on the beach!"
These are two statements you might have heard at Tuesday's Walton County Commission meeting about the proposed beach activities ordinance.
It was meant to clarify language, but the proposed changes had people talking; protesting the potential for visitor's dogs on the beach that this ordinance would allow.
Many specifically highlighted enforcement issues.
"We just can't seem to get enforcement in this county, so I think that everything in here has to have a valid enforcement method, policy and procedure," said one resident.
Commissioner Bill Imfeld was outspoken about the ordinance, agreeing that there's a need for better enforcement.
"This seems to be adding another layer of bureaucracy to the situation. I don't know that all these things will still be enforceable as written here," said Imfeld.
This ordinance is like a giant umbrella, covering all things related to beach activities, but the biggest topic of discussion focused on visitor's dogs.
The ordinance proposes charging visitors a monthly fee to bring their animal on the sand.
Currently no visitor's dogs are allowed on South Walton beaches, but residents say that doesn't stop tourists from bringing them on and not cleaning up.
"I have six grandchildren who are between six months and six years of age. I don't want to let them put their face in the sand and come up with poop on it," said one resident.
Residents pleaded for the section to be removed, others called it a "joke" if, it too, wouldn't be properly enforced.
Commissioner Sara Comander was swayed.
"After reading the emails and listening to my constituents, I have changed my mind. I really feel we should take that out," she said.
Ultimately, the ordinance was sent back to the drawing board to be tweaked and brought back before the commission on January 22nd.