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Panama City beach bans umbrellas; beachgoers aren't having it

WJHG reported in May that the council initially proposed a law that would ban tents at the beaches because of conflicts with local hotels and adjacent properties.

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"(The owner of a local hotel) has a problem with the tents being on his section of the beach because they're being displayed by the neighbor. Therefore, he's asking to ban the tents so that problem would no longer be an issue that he has to deal with," Mario Gisbert, Panama City Beach;s city manager, told WJHG.

When tourists and local business owners complained and suggested that they would buy large umbrellas instead, the council decided to ban all shaded structures.

"I've always thought tents really help, especially when you have children. Due to the UV rays from the sun, it offers a little bit of shade and a place of comfort to go to," Clinton Ramey, a tourist from Alabama, told WJHG in May.

"I have children, and they have to get out of the sun,” Tracy Kreischer told The Panama City News Herald. "What if you have a little one? It’s too hot. It gets to be 100-and-something degrees out here without shade. You know, (a tent ban) is ridiculous."

The new law, which will have to be voted on twice before becoming law, would ban tents, bay shades and umbrellas from being used within 30 feet of the shore.

The Panama City News Herald reported that the council has stepped away from a previously proposal to ban 10-feet by 10-feet-wide tents on the beach altogether.

Although Councilman Hector Solis agreed with the proposal, he wanted baby shades allowed in the 30-feet buffer zone. The rest of the council decided to ban all shade structures in the barrier, saying that it would allow a clear path to walk along the beach.

Panama City Beach City Council backs off move to ban tents on the beach. Instead, it's decided to ban ALL shaded...

Posted by WJHG-TV on Thursday, June 9, 2016

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