Some Bay Area reps. reconsider law restricting beach access to public

New law takes effect July 1

TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Two Tampa Bay area lawmakers are now reconsidering their vote to limit public access on Florida beaches.  

Rep. Wengay Newton said he and his colleague, Rep. Joe Grueters, weren’t completely aware of the implications in the bill. They plan to introduce legislation to keep the beaches from privatization if the public is kicked off the sand.

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“I believe many of the property owners will be good stewards and allow people on the beach,” said Newtown.

The bill essentially makes the dry sand in front of condos, hotels, and homes private property. The wet sand is still available for the public.

Some Tampa Bay area tourists said they are against the new law.

“I think the public has the right to come and use these beaches, these are public in our mind, to say you can’t use all of the beach doesn’t seem fair in my mind,” said Diane Mills.

The bill is set to go into effect July 1. County-owned beaches will not apply to this new law.

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