MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. (WJHG / WECP) – Whether you love sticking your toes in the sand, soaking up the sun, or swimming in the gulf, a day at the beach seems relaxing, doesn’t it? Well, it can quickly turn into a day of frustration when you can’t find parking, and it’s a constant problem in Walton County. But on Wednesday, county officials inaugurated new beach access.
This is one of seven plots the county has planned for beach access or parking. The properties have been purchased and will be maintained with a 5% tax collected on short term rentals in the area.
“It takes about four years to get that cleared and built, but we have four hundred feet of beach here, which is a huge number,” said Tony Anderson, County Commissioner for District 5.
That’s a huge number for a growing number of people.
“We realize that there are a large number of tourists and locals living here, so our population has grown by almost 20,000 over the past few years, so we want to support that as well. It’s an aspect of the quality of life, ”said Jason Cutshaw, director of the Tourism Development Council.
This new public beach access will include many amenities, including bathrooms, parking for cars, bicycles and golf carts, a lifeguard station and a wheelchair accessible ramp to access the beach.
“We built the walkway instead of steps so that people in wheelchairs can go down and most of our accesses we try to lay the mats so they can go to the beach without a problem. So that’s a huge thing and we’re proud to be a part of it, ”said Anderson.
“Let’s make the people who live here, the people who visit here, have a good experience,” said Brian Kellenberger, Director of Beach Operations.
Beach Access is slated to open to the public in June 2022. This will bring the total number of regional beach accesses in Walton County to 11.
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