Spring Break has officially commenced on Pensacola Beach. The hotels and rentals are filling up and the cars are beginning to line the streets. The Spring Break information campaign is being pushed by the SRIA, VISIT Pensacola, and the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce. Our neighbors to the east jumped-started their Spring Break by posting photos of shackled underage drinkers on their way to jail. It remains to be seen how effective our efforts on Pensacola Beach will be, but we hope that everyone can enjoy our beautiful beach in peace and harmony!
Meanwhile, the Board of County Commissioners intends to consider some sort of ordinance preventing fee simple title on Pensacola Beach. We were given the opportunity to review a draft, and offered our own draft ordinance, which would ensure public areas remain public and prevent over development. Now we wait to see when the item makes the agenda. At their last meeting, the Commission was asked to approve or veto a lease renewal for one of the so-called "perpetual" leases. Apparently the commission demanded a 30 day period to review any lease renewals passed by the SRIA. We oppose these actions since the leases are between the leaseholder and the SRIA, not the County commission. We are also concerned that while both the SRIA and the commission have been talking about making lease language more uniform, and streamlining the renewal process, the actual process requires the leaseholder to engage an attorney and draft their own renewal. Besides the unnecessary cost to the leaseholder, this process guarantees that each renewal will be unique, not uniform. We don't think that's a good idea.
The last issue that leaseholders need to consider is the future of the SRIA. The County Commission is questioning the need for the SRIA at all. Discussion of abolishing the SRIA came up at the March 7th agenda review meeting. Do you value having an SRIA board? We've been advised that since few leaseholders attend meetings, it's assumed that we don't care whether we have a board or not. If you value the SRIA, make your voices heard. Call or email your SRIA board and County Commission members and let them know how you feel.