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Sheriff warns drivers about Alligator Point parking rules

(WCTV)
Published: Feb. 27, 2017 at 6:15 PM EST
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

April 3, 2017

ALLIGATOR POINT, Fla. (WCTV) -- The sheriff in Franklin County says drivers are ignoring new parking signs for beach-goers at Alligator Point.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office put up those signs to warn visitors against parking on private property. Since then, deputies have been towing those violators.

The sheriff says people are continuing to disregard the 'no parking' signs and it's a costly mistake. If your car is towed, you'll have to pay several hundred dollars to get it back.

More cars towed yesterday at Alligator Point. And people continue to disregard the no parking signs. We will continue to tow. Tow charged can exceed several hundred dollars.

Posted by Franklin County Sheriff's Office, A.J. "Tony" Smith, Sheriff on Sunday, April 2, 2017

By: Brittany Bedi

February 27, 2017

ALLIGATOR POINT, Fla. (WCTV) -- Alligator Point is a popular beach destination in for many local Floridians and Georgians. Beachgoers are not following parking rules, prompting changes by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Light up signs and permanent signs line Alligator Drive and nearby side streets.

The signs are reminding beachgoers about a parking ordinance in place.

Alligator Point resident, Dean Newman, has lived in his beachfront home for more than a decade.

“I do see a lot of littering, and people drinking heavily on the beach at the public access and leaving trash,” said Newman.

According to Newman, it’s become worse in the past couple of years.

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Sheriff’s officers tried to write parking citations as recently as President’s Day. After writing more than a dozen tickets, they say that the citations were ineffective.

“I had to send additional deputies out here to do it, so it took them away from other things that are maybe more important than doing parking,” said Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith. “If people would comply with the law, then I wouldn’t have to send extra deputies down here to write tickets. So that’s why we have the tougher stance so that people understand, ‘I really don’t want to go to Eastpoint and get my car’.”

Violators who park in areas marked “No Parking” will be towed at the owner’s expense. The enforcement will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sheriff Smith hopes it will encourage visitors to be considerate of residents and the community.

“Just follow the law, come here, enjoy our beaches. Treat our home like it’s your home and everything will be fine,” said Sheriff Smith.

Residents are also optimistic about the new parking enforcement.

“Just seeing policemen out here more often is encouraging,” said Newman. “For years we didn’t have much presence out here at all and people got the impression, there’s no law enforcement out here so we can do whatever we want.”

The Franklin County Sheriff’s office will put up more signs throughout Alligator Point. They are aiming to make it very clear where beachgoers can park for public beach access.

Aside from parking enforcement, Sheriff Smith says that there will be an increased officer presence. The Sheriff’s Office will be aggressively enforcing other crimes in the area, including underage drinking and burglary.