No decision on ‘No Trace’ ordinance

No decision on ‘No Trace’ ordinance

No decision on ‘No Trace’ ordinance

Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:25 PM.

On Feb. 18, commissioners held a public hearing on the proposed “No Trace” ordinance., which would make it illegal to leave holes in the sand, tents, chairs, grills and other equipment on any county beach overnight.

The ordinance was proposed to protect nesting sea turtles, that can become entangled in equipment or in deep holes, and to keep the appearance of county beaches neat and uncluttered. The ordinance would apply to both public and privately owned beaches throughout the county.

When questions were raised about funding and enforcement of the law, a motion by Commissioner Pinki Jackel to pass the ordinance failed 3-2, with Cheryl Sanders, Smokey Parrish and Noah Lockley opposed.

Under the proposed ordinance, tourist lodgings would be required to display a copy of the ordinance at all times. Beach equipment would have to be pulled back in the evenings to the toe of the dunes, and could not encroach on vegetation or to the line of development if dunes and vegetation are not present.

Equipment not in compliance with the law would be collected sometime between sunset and 7 a.m., according to the motion. Jackel had asked for modification of an earlier version that called for collection between 7 p.m. and sunrise.

Josh Hodson, manager of Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park, said that the state has an existing protocol for beach clearance and he suggested to ordinance adhere to the state rule.

Commissioners questioned who would enforce the rule.

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