Fight to save driving on Daytona Beach

- A court in Daytona Beach denied standing to two groups that hope to keep cars on the beach. It was all sun, skies, and surf, on Daytona Beach, Wednesday afternoon, but these days, there are fewer and fewer cars.

Paul Zimmerman is president of the Sons of the Beach, an activist group that wants to make sure Daytona Beach is always open to cars and drivers. He has strong words about this latest ruling.

“We're talking about removing cars from a two-mile stretch of the beach, probably some of the most valuable oceanfront property in our county,” Zimmerman said, “I think it's a miscarriage of justice, I think it's an outrage.”

A county law two years ago lets oceanfront developers close the beach behind their property to vehicles. In effect, this opens the door to a prime two-mile stretch of beach that could be pedestrians only. The Sons of the Beach are trying to fight the laws in court, along with the Fountain Beach Resort.

David Vukelja is a lawyer for the activists and the resort. “They have tiki bar set up on the beach that they say caters to the beach customers,” he said, “and driving on the beach is critical to them. “

People out on the beach said they could see both sides of the issue.

“What's the harm of a car on the beach?” Teddy Staller asked, “Daytona's been known for that for a long time.”

“I don't think it makes sense for them to drive up and down the beach. You have a pair of legs, you have a bicycle, you can ride,” said Jerome Salmon, “that would be even better than driving!”

No Volusia County officials were able to comment on this. Zimmerman says despite the setbacks, he and his group will continue challenging this law.

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