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Walton County Breaks Ground on Two New Beach Parking Facilities

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. – March 22 – Members of the Walton County Board of County Commissioners and the Walton County Beach Operations and Tourism departments gathered this week to officially break ground on the Grayton Beach and 393 Beach Municipal Parking facilities.  

"The county commissioners decided several years ago that we needed to create more public beach access and associated parking for the residents and the visitors that come to our beaches. So, this is just a part of the puzzle," said Walton County Beach Operations Director Brian Kellenberger.  

“It's a great time in Walton County whenever we're digging dirt. That means we've gotten through the hard part, and we're at the last stage of construction. After that, we open up the facility for the public to use."

"Brian and his crew have worked hard to get us to this point, and I appreciate every one of them,” said District 5 Commissioner Tony Anderson at the Grayton Beach groundbreaking. “It's going to be a beautiful parking area. It's going to be efficient and big enough to carry the people we have here, and as Brian will tell you it's busy in the summer.”

The 6.995 acres of the  Grayton Beach parking facility was purchased in 2016 for $7.6 million.  It services the Grayton Beach public beach access and is expected to be completed in 11 months, according to Kellenberger, who anticipates keeping part of the parking area available to the public during construction.  

The facility will have 180 standard parking spaces, nine ADA spaces, four EV charging stations, four RV spaces, seven LSV and 30 bicycle parking areas, as well as restrooms, public transportation facilities and connectivity to the multi-use path.

The County Road 393 property, within walking distance of Ed Walline Regional Beach Access, was purchased in 2019 for $3.7 million and is approximately 2.3 acres. The project is expected to be complete in 10 months and will have 79 standard parking spaces with four ADA spaces, two EV charging stations and a large bicycle parking plaza, as well as a 971-square foot transit building with restrooms. 

‘We all have the vision to improve the area and improve our parking and so this is number two of four and we're so excited," said District 4 Commissioner Donna Johns at the 393 Beach parking groundbreaking. "We want everyone to have a safe visit when they come here. We want them to have somewhere to park.

“We're doing the best we can to make this the best area it can possibly be...watch it grow, watch it expand and enjoy it,” said Johns.

These are two of four planned parking projects designed to ease congestion along the 30A scenic corridor and be part of a future public transportation system. The other projects are: Driftwood Road Municipal Parking, steps away from Miramar Beach, and Miramar Beach Municipal Parking, located off Hwy. 98 in Miramar Beach. Eastern Lake Municipal Parking opened in August 2023 at the Eastern Lake RBA.

The properties were purchased and will be maintained using Tourist Development Tax, a 5 percent tax collected on short-term rentals in south Walton County.  Residents do not pay the bed tax unless they are taking a “staycation” in a local rental property or accommodations.   

Since 2016, the tourism department has spent more than $76 million on property acquisitions for beach access and parking expansion according to Tourism Director Matt Algarin.

More information about these and other Beach Operations projects is available at waltoncountyfltourism.com.  More information about beach and bay accesses is available at visitsouthwalton.com.

For photos of the groundbreakings please click HERE.