Walton County Revises Beach Resolution
Yes, you can sunbathe on Walton County beaches.
Walton County Commissioners revised their beach reopening resolution Thursday afternoon after some confusion and consternation following their original resolution which prohibited sunbathing and limited beach activities to walking, jogging, fishing, swimming, paddle boarding, surfing, and boating.
The revised resolution allows all normal beach activities allowed under the Walton County Waterways and Beach Activities Ordinance — in other words business as usual.
The commission did not make it clear what “sunbathing” was defined as. When one caller asked for clarification over Zoom video conference Commission Chairman Bill Chapman responded, “Heck, I don’t know, lady.”
Thursday, the commission held an emergency resolution to provide some clarity. Chapman started the meeting with an apology for his behavior.
“I did not maintain my composure and I sincerely apologize for the way I acted,” he said.
The new resolution passed unanimously. The beaches will still open Friday with no time restrictions.
Public comments came in from locals and visitors, mostly with questions about the ban on short-term rentals, which Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended indefinitely. As Chapman said, the order is above the county’s purview.
“We thought all last week it was going to be lifted tomorrow,” he told one property owner. “We don’t know if he’s going to look at in phase two or on a weekly basis.”