Demonstrators push to keep beach parking in Fernandina

Petition to allow parking to remain has gathered 2,000 signatures

Demonstrators addressing Fernandina Beach commissioners they don't want to lose beach parking.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Demonstrators marched from Fernandina Beach to City Hall on Tuesday evening, telling commissioners they want beach parking to remain.

Beach parking became a hot topic about a month ago when Vice Mayor Len Kreger spoke up about the issue. Kreger has spoken out against beach parking following two incidents in which beachgoers were run over by drivers on the beach.

Kreger told News4Jax he wants to eliminate the 600 feet of parking that exists on Fernandina Beach at Seaside Park. He said beach parking raises safety and environmental concerns and that Fernandina Beach does not have a habitat conservation plan that deals with sea turtles.

According to Kreger, the city is going to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Kreger said his goal is to get the area managed properly and then have a vote on beach parking.

"I've got support from the city and more that don't want it," Kreger said. "I think it's time to eliminate it because of people. It's everyone's beach."

Demonstrators feel beach parking is not an issue and believe it should remain part of Fernandina Beach.

"It's been here forever and we are going to make sure that we save that," said Paul Lore, a demonstrator.

The city is supposed to complete a survey about beach parking and make a decision afterward. A petition to allow beach parking to remain has gathered over 2,000 signatures.