Expanding beach access to vehicles being weighed by Volusia County Council

On May 21, Volusia County Council members will discuss the future of parking and driving on the stretch of Daytona Beach between International Speedway Boulevard and Auditorium Boulevard.

Public beach driving has not been permitted on that portion of sand for more than two decades, but at the request of Volusia County Council Chair Jeff Brower, the possibility of bringing it back is being discussed.

The hotly debated topic draws split reactions.

"I’d like it," said Gary Mason, visiting from New Albany, Indiana. "You could drive down… take your tents, chairs, and you don’t have to carry them all – plus, you’ve got a place to park."

Kevin and Deborah Purcell, visiting from Allen, Texas, disagree.

"I’m against it, completely against it," said Deborah. "The ocean should stay the ocean – the natural beauty should stay."

"There’s not a lot of beach space either," Kevin added. "So, if you have more traffic, you have less room for people to lay on the beach."

Currently, Florida law allows local governments to prohibit beach vehicular traffic in areas where it was previously authorized, but it does not allow for local governments to expand upon – or reinstate it.


According to the county, in order to do that, state law would need to be changed – with a special law being enacted. That’s in addition to a federal permit amendment.

Sam Tedro’s brand-new pizza shop, Sam’s Coal Fired Pizza, sits on the dividing line. Cars are allowed on the sand to the south of his business on International Speedway Blvd. but not to the north. Even with beach access on one side, Tedro said it is limited.

"After 200 cars, they block if off," Tedro said. "If they open [the north side], it’s going to be great for business. Because if they get another 200 cars, that’s 400 cars. You figure you’ve got at least 800 to 1200 people who want to eat. And that’s pretty good for us!"

It may not be as simple as making the perfect pizza, but Tedros, who’s already looking to expand, hopes vehicle access to the beach will too.

No decision or vote is scheduled for the May 21 council meeting, but the discussion could give a more definitive idea of how the council plans to proceed.

The meeting starts at 4 p.m.  Stick with FOX 35 News for the latest.