By Cindy Jackson
September 14, 2021
By a unanimous vote of 5-0, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved an ordinance that would maintain the “status quo” regarding beach driving and beach camping.
The “status quo” refers to an ordinance passed last year that placed restrictions on beach driving and beach camping.
That ordinance was a result of an incredibly laborious process that involved the work of a special committee, extensive public meetings and the receipt of close to 2,000 individual comments.
Ordinance 2020-31, established restrictions and regulations for beach use, recognizing that it also needed to be in compliance with the Endangered Species Act which states that no motorized vehicles shall be allowed on the Atlantic Ocean beaches between the hours of 9:01 pm and 6:59 am from May 1st through October 31st due to turtle nesting season.
That ordinance also specified that the BOCC would, at an advertised public hearing on or before October 31, 2021, determine the rules for beach driving and beach camping from November 1 to April 30th. And that it did on September 13, 2021.
As a result, current beach regulations adopted as part of Ordinance 2020-31 will remain in effect for an additional twelve (12) months.
No motorized vehicles shall be allowed on the Atlantic Ocean beaches in the unincorporated areas of the beaches of Nassau County between the hours of 9:01 pm and 6:59 am from May 1st of 2020 through October 31st of 2022. And, beach camping shall not be permitted or allowed between November 1st, 2020, and October 31st, 2022. The Board of County Commissioners shall determine, at an advertised public hearing on or before October 31, 2022, the rules and regulations for the next year.
The portions of the beach controlled by Amelia Island State Park are subject to their rules and regulations with regard to beach driving and camping.
The beaches of “the unincorporated areas of Nassau County” are Peters Point, Scott Road and Burney Park.