Walton County extends moratorium on e-scooter leases
DEFUNIAK SPRINGS — The Walton County Board of County Commissioners has prolonged a moratorium on the rental of “micromobility gadgets” — electric-powered stand-on scooters and related conveyances — till the top of April of subsequent yr.
Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to increase the moratorium, which covers the unincorporated areas of the county, to April 30, 2021. Initially enacted on Dec. 10 of final yr, the moratorium was at the moment set to run out in 270 days, which might have ended Sept. 5.
The moratorium was enacted to supply the county authorities with time to develop laws for the usage of micromobility gadgets on county rights of means, and likewise to develop laws and an software course of for distributors looking for to supply leases of such gadgets.
That work, in response to paperwork introduced to commissioners Thursday, has been stymied by the need for the county authorities to focus a lot of its effort in latest months on addressing the continued COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, the county has been working below an area state of emergency declared by the fee in reference to COVID-19.
Since that declaration, the fee and the county authorities administration have thought-about and brought quite a few actions, from a brief closure of the county’s 26 miles of private and non-private seashores — the seashores reopened Could 1 — to instituting masking necessities and temperature checks in some county workplaces. The fee has, nonetheless, stopped in need of enacting and even recommending any type of countywide masking coverage.
The extension of the micromobility moratorium will, in response to paperwork from Thursday’s fee assembly, “enable time for a board workshop and suggestions by the county’s mobility advisor.”
The county’s mobility advisor is NUE City Ideas, a Florida-based land use and transportation planning agency. In feedback earlier this yr on NUE City Ideas’ work within the county, the agency’s Jonathan Paul stated it’s trying past the usage of private cars to different modes of transportation.
“What we’re taking a look at is over the subsequent 20 years, how are there different methods that you could truly transfer round?” Paul stated in a video look with the county’s public data supervisor.
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The county’s curiosity in regulating micromobility gadgets is an outgrowth of state laws handed final yr that, at the very least initially, would have prohibited native governments from passing ordinances regulating how and the place e-scooters may be used.
The laws was later modified, and as signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, permits some native regulation of the gadgets.