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City of Naples passes its own beach access ordinance

Posted at 10:18 PM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 09:42:14-04

With just weeks until a state beach access law takes effect, Naples City Council passed a law making it easier for the public to access city beaches.

Earlier this year the legislature passed and Governor Rick Scott signed a law preventing local governments from passing ordinances that regulate beach access.  Disputes between land owners and the municipality would have to be worked out in court.

The law takes effect July 1st, but on Wednesday the Naples City Council passed an ordinance preventing private property owners from putting up any barriers which would obstruct the public's access to the beach or harass anyone using the public portion of the beach.

"What worries me is that a homeowner might be having a bad day and charge out onto the beach and threaten people with trespassing," said Graham Ginsberg, a Naples beach access activist.

But supports of the state law say those fears are unfounded.

"It's unconstitutional to privatize the beach in Florida," said State Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples).

An online petition opposing the state law has gathered almost 70,000 signatures.