Commissioner Piech “optimistic” ADA beach access mats will return soon – possibly in 30 days

Posted on October 4, 2019 by Romi White

Santa Rosa County District 4 Commissioner Dave Piech is praising the county engineering staff and Shelly Alexander, environmental programs coordinator, for working with state officials to expedite permitting for ADA beach access mats, which were removed mid-September due to a lack of state permitting.

“I’m optimistic they’ll be back soon,” Piech told South Santa Rosa News, adding that the process could take around 30 days. He noted it usually takes 3-6 months for permitting through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and that he was not yet a commissioner when the mats were originally installed.

Officials say that as a condition of the permitting the county may be required to remove the mats daily before nightfall during sea turtle nesting season. 

A Mobi-Mat is pictured; however, Santa Rosa County uses several different brands of ADA beach access mats (photo courtesy Mobi-Mat)

South Santa Rosa News first broke the news of the mats removal on September 14. The popular non-slip mats cost $8,200 and have provided a way for disabled persons to access the Gulf of Mexico shoreline.