Residents concerned with illegal parking in Franklin County

Published: May. 18, 2020 at 12:12 AM EDT
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By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News

May 17, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Beaches have been open for over a week, and for the most part, beachgoers are following the social distancing guidelines.

In Franklin County, the crowds are not necessarily unwelcome, but the cars they arrive in are causing problems. There is a now a spike in illegal parking. Some are finding this annoying, while others are calling it a safety hazard.

Ken Clizbe, a resident in the Alligator Point neighborhood, says visitors have been parking in his yard and even in front of the fire station since the reopening.

As he puts it, "There is limited parking space down here and it is being over run."

He says the traffic his been non-stop and is unbearable.

Franklin County Sheriff, A.J. Smith has a message for anyone thinking of parking illegally in his county.

"It is going to be a very expensive day for the people who illegally park here," Smith said.

He is referring to the towing fees and ticket fines. The resulting penalties can reach over $100 for day-trippers who park outside of the designated areas.

On Saturday alone, the sheriff's office issued 17 citations and called a tow truck for 13 different cars.

Smith added, "We really want people to come and enjoy what is going on, but you can't be parking in people's yards, you can't be parking in the right of way, I mean it is just common sense."

"This is our home. Would you want me to come and do this to your home? Trash your beach and park in your yard? And that is really the issue, just respect," Ken Clizbe said.

The sheriff's office says it is looking into tweaking the ordinance to allow deputies to place boots on cars.

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