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New bill proposes making many of Florida's beaches private


WASHINGTON (Circa) - In Florida, a new law could soon prohibit tourists from strolling along the beaches in the sunshine state.

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the Possession of Real Property Bill in February which gave privately owned homes, hotels and condos more control over their beachfront property, according to the Miami New Times. This legislation would kick the public off the land and goes into effect on July 1.

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This new law could have implications for Florida tourism economy as it will likely restrict visitors to specific areas and not permit people to walk freely along the beach.

The report states that the bill, also referred to has HB 631, deals with the "customary use" of the land. Meaning, the public could argue to use the property if they can prove it has customarily been used by the general public.

The Possession of Real Property Bill blocks cities and counties from creating new mandates that grant customary-use access, according to the Miami New Times. If a local government wished to dispute that some land falls under customary-use, they would have to argue for it in court.

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The report also says that this new law will not affect all beaches in Miami Beach because they are owned by the state of Florida. More than 60 percent of Florida's beaches are privately owned.

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