City of Naples working against the clock to protect beach access

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Naples Beaches

The City of Naples is taking the reigns while they still can. On Wednesday, council members passed an ordinance that could deter homeowners living along a beach, to block it off from visitors.

It’s called a customary use ordinance. Simply put, “customary use” means it’s been a tradition for the public to use the dry beach sand on privately owned beaches.

For example, if a homeowner on the beachfront tries to rope off a part of the dry sand, city officials could say they couldn’t do that because that area is “customary use”.

But, on July first, local governments will no longer be able to adopt a customary use ordinance. Instead of city officials enforcing customary use, now a judge will determine it. That makes it a little harder to establish public access.

The City of Naples’ attorney says it won’t affect beach goers as much as it might seem. It basically just gives the city a layer of protection in case a property owner sues them. If the city does get sued, they can point to their customary use ordinance they have on the books to help them.

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