Beaches Near Businesses and Private Homes Could Soon Ban Public

A new state law could restrict the public from using the beach near hotels, condos, and other property.
A new state law could restrict the public from using the beach near hotels, condos, and other property.

SEBASTIAN – The beaches along Florida’s coast may soon see a major change that could mean restrictions to the public.

On July 1st, it will be up to private businesses and homeowners to restrict the public from using their portion of the sand from the high tide water line up, making the dry sand adjacent to their building private while the wet sand will remain public.

Who could do this? Several businesses, including condos, hotels, and private homes could soon be restricted from the public.

Most beachgoers we talked to do not agree with this policy. They feel that the beach should be available to anyone to walk wherever they want.

Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a bill allowing hotels, condos, and other commercial property owners to put up signs or even secure their section of the beach by roping it off, if they choose.

Some private property owners believe it’s a good policy that will protect them. One property owner says it’s critical to protect his private property since he already pays taxes on it.

The new controversial law is the first of its kind in the country and goes against Florida’s long-standing policy of customary use, which says that beaches belong to the public.

This means that a person walking in dry sand on the beach may have to make a U-Turn if a property owner has it roped off.

The law could also mean giving up your perfect spot along the shore if a private property owner asks you to move.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.