Over five months after the citizens of Mexico Beach voted in favor of a Leave No Trace ordinance, the M exico Beach City Council is still grappling with the issue.

Over five months after the citizens of Mexico Beach voted in favor of a Leave No Trace ordinance, the M exico Beach City Council is still grappling with the issue.

At the city’s last regular meeting of July on Tuesday, the council discussed a draft of a Leave No Trace revision, as well a draft of a new ordinance on beach vendors.

After a judge recently ruled in favor of an existing beach business against the city and issued a temporary injunction, the city moved forward with a slight revision believing that would be a more cost effective measure.

Pointedly, in issuing the injunction, the judge criticized the ordinance as too vague and likely unenforceable.

According to the draft document, the changes to Leave No Trace are necessary to lessen ambiguity and ensure that enforcement is reliable.

The draft changes also allow for the city to permit certain items to be exempted from the ordinance.

The council also discussed a draft of a proposed beach vendor ordinance.

That ordinance would allow the city to issue permits to beach vendors that provide for certain beach related items on the beaches.

Those vendors would have to be the owners of the nearest upland parcel, a lessee of that parcel or have written permission from the upland owner or lessee to provide a certain service or good.

The council will further review the drafts for discussion and input at the first regular meeting in August.

Medical marijuana and trash pickup

The council decided unanimously to table the second readings of Ordinance 670 and 671 until the Aug. 8 regular meeting.

Ordinance 670 would prohibit medical marijuana dispensing facilities within the city of Mexico Beach.

After last year’s constitutional referendum to allow medical marijuana was overwhelmingly passed by the citizens of Florida, the state gave little or no direction to local municipalities on the matter.

In March, the city of Mexico Beach enacted a 180-day moratorium on medical marijuana facilities in the city and at the first regular meeting in July held the first reading of its ordinance.

Ordinance 671 would bump up trash collection to two times per week, year-round, instead of the current pickup plan that scales down to one pick up a week during the winter months.

Mayor Al Cathey and other council members voiced concern that the short turnaround caused by a recent change in meeting schedule did not give enough time between readings for these particular ordinances.

The second readings were postponed until Aug. 8.

Building code

The council spent a great deal of time discussing building codes and the city’s Land Development Regulations (LDR).

Much of the attention was paid to what exactly the difference is between a mobile home and a pre-fabricated home.

Bo Creel, of EPCI Code Administration Services, was on hand to discuss his company’s role and responsibility in the matter.

EPCI is contracted by the city to inspect construction within the city.

According to Creel, the state minimum that constitutes the difference between a mobile home and a modular is quite low.

Creel also stated that while some construction doesn’t fit the aesthetics of the city, if that construction meets the standard of the code he must sign off on it.

Recently the city passed an ordinance which outlaws residential buildings that are composed of a visible metal majority.

That ordinance was brought into existence after council members voiced their opposition to recently constructed homes which they personally considered “garages.”

Creel stated that the two properties in question met engineering standards required.

As advice, Creel told the council members that legislation passed by the city of Port St. Joe may give the council a guide forward towards “architectural” standards.

Channel markers

Boaters in Mexico Beach may have recently felt like the channel markers into the Mexico Beach Canal may have gotten a little tight.

Capt. Chuck Guilford, a local charter boat owner, asked the council to look into the matter which he feels is “unsafe.”

Guilford, whose boats are on the large end by Mexico Beach Canal standards, said that a wave could easily push a boat into the marker when two passing boats create limited space.

According to Philip Hall, the city’s public works director, the markers, which were recently replaced, were put in the correct spot per Coast Guard instruction.

According to Hall, the last time the markers were placed, the length between the markers was extended by 20 feet from the 48 feet that was approved by the Coast Guard to 68 feet.

The public works director was asked to investigate the process of widening the markers past the current 48 feet.