Fernandina Beach leaders could change beach parking

By Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter, Ashley Harding - Reporter

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - Hanging out on Fernandina Beach is a favorite pastime for those who live in and visit Nassau County. But city leaders are looking at ways to potentially limit beach driving.

It’s a move that has some beachgoers crying foul.

Fernandina is one of a few local beaches where you can drive on the beach, park your car and enjoy the sand and surf.

City leaders met Tuesday night to discuss some of the changes. One idea was to limit parking on Fernandina Beach to four-wheel drive vehicles.

City leaders decided to remove any language that would limit the type of vehicles that can drive on the beach from the ordinance. There was no decision to limit parking.

The ordinance would also ban joyriding, cruising or circling the beach. Additional penalties for getting stuck in the sand are also a possibility.

WATCH: Fernandina Beach leaders could vote on changes to beach parking

Beachgoers have shared mixed feelings about the discussion. More than 1,500 people have signed that petition in support of beach driving on Amelia Island.

"It’s dangerous. It’s unnecessary. It’s environmentally dreadful. It’s just totally unnecessary," Irene Neely, who has a home on the beach, told News4Jax on Tuesday. "(There's) plenty of public access to get to the beach and you can get to the beach, but you don’t have to drive on the beach. (It) ruins the beach. It ruins the dunes. It just doesn’t need to be."

But Joe Wing thinks beach parking is convenient.

"I think it’s a real convenience, especially for people who may have mobility problems," Wing said. "(It) really helps you get down here, unload your stuff, sit down and get to see the beautiful view of the ocean." 

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.