Free beach parking expanded for northwest Florida residents

Northwest Florida
Free beach parking expanded for northwest Florida residents

Free beach parking expanded for northwest Florida residents

DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — The Destin City Council voted unanimously Monday night to extend free parking for city residents to more beaches and local parks.

Those that live inside the city limits can pick up a free beach parking pass at Destin City Hall. There is an online application to fill out before residents receive a sticker.

Free parking will be available at the following locations:

  • Marler Street public parking lot off HWY 98
  • Zerbe Street public parking lot off Sibert Avenue
  • Scenic Highway 98 in Crystal Beach
  • Gulf Shore Drive in Holiday Isle, Norriego Point

Councilman Johnny King pushed at the meeting to have the new free parking be effective immediately.

“I think this is an awesome thing,” said King. “I’ve talked to dozens of people who have requested this, especially when we went to the paid parking.”

“It’s a wonderful thing for residents. What it reminds me of is Walton County the way they have got the beach parking pass or beach permits. You see one of those it’s like ‘they are the real deal’, and I would take great pride in having one of these stickers on my car.”

Johny King, Destin City Council

The council also unanimously voted to create a separate funding account for paid parking fees. Since the implementation of paid parking in June 2020, the city has raised more than $500,000. The city council hopes to spend that money on existing and future parking facilities as well as transit stations.

“It’s very good to see what’s coming in and how we can potentially feed that back into our infrastructure and such.”

Dr. Prebble Ramswell, Destin City Council

The two motions passed with flying colors, showing a united front for those that call the Emerald Coast home.

“I think there are two wins here,” said Mayor Gary Jarvis. “For our residents, for our voters, this is a win-win.”

“The first win is what we just passed with the last motion with trying to provide even more parking for our residents and our visitors. It’s something that you see on social media, people complain ‘oh they are charging for parking,’ well yeah we are charging for parking to provide you more parking. So that’s one good defense. Number two is ‘oh by the way if you live here you get to park for free’.”

Mayor Gary Jarvis, Destin City Council

You can watch and review the Destin City Council meeting here.

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