12281621501?profile=RESIZE_710xThe arrows on this sign imply that the private beach extends to the ocean. It does not. Jerry Lower/The Coastal Star

By Larry Barszewski

A new Ocean Ridge ordinance regulating beach signs has been in effect for two months, but don’t be surprised if you visit the beach and don’t notice much of a difference with the “Private Property” and “No Trespassing” signs there.

Several of the controversial signs are still just as they were before, though time is about to run out for those not in line with the new rules.

Ocean Ridge police officers enforcing the new ordinance found only four properties with signs not in compliance in September. Certified letters giving the property owners 30 days to make the needed fixes didn’t go out until the first week of October, so Police Chief Scott McClure said officers will be back out the first week of November to see if any signs still fail to meet the new rules.

The new ordinance doesn’t regulate what the signs can say, only where they are placed, how they are positioned and how big they are.

Violation notices were sent to the Turtle Beach of Ocean Ridge Condo Association, 5101 N. Ocean Blvd.; McCormick Mile Beach Club, 6897 N. Ocean Blvd.; and to two Old Ocean Boulevard property owners — at 6000 N. Old Ocean Blvd. and at a beach parcel immediately south of Tropical Drive.

The new rules, adopted in September, say any beach sign has to be situated at the dune toe line, be at least 200 feet away from any other signs, face east-west, and be 18-by-18-inches or smaller.

McClure said Turtle Beach and McCormick Mile had signs too close together. A couple of the other signs were too large and several were facing north-south.

Beach visitors using the Tropical Drive access path are greeted street-side by a “Private Beach No Trespassing Please” sign, which doesn’t come under the new regulations because it isn’t on the beach itself. But once you cross over the dunes, many signs are visible along Turtle Beach to the north and along the parcel to the south.

As of Oct. 30, many of the signs were still facing north-south and at least one appeared to be seaward of the toe line.

“Never have I witnessed anything so ridiculous,” said one Tropical Drive resident spending an afternoon at the beach, who asked that her name not be used. “They’re an eyesore.”

Amanda Rider, who also lives on Tropical Drive, said it’s only the locals using the beach, because there’s no parking for out-of-towners.

“It’s pretty absurd that we the people that live here can’t use the beach,” Rider said.

A Turtle Beach resident out on the sand said the signs aren’t designed to scare away people relaxing on the beach, but to discourage rowdy parties that could disturb the condominium’s residents.

If a noticed sign still doesn’t meet the new regulations when police do their November checks, the property owner may have to appear before the town’s special magistrate in December.

Beach signs have been a controversial issue in town for years. Those concerns surfaced anew in February, when residents complained at a Town Commission meeting about signs at Turtle Beach, placed in the middle of the beach, that warned beachgoers away. The residents said the signs were intimidating and were discouraging people from using portions of the beach that were open to the public.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of The Coastal Star to add comments!

Join The Coastal Star

Activity Feed

The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Tuesday
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 6
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a photo
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in LANTANA
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in HIGHLAND BEACH
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted photos
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in ACROSS THE BRIDGE
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in GULF STREAM
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in SOUTH PALM BEACH
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in GULF STREAM
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in OCEAN RIDGE
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 3
More…