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Florida's public beaches won’t be so public anymore under new law

Starting July 1st, you'll have to pay more attention to the sand – is it wet or is dry?

Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law giving private property owners with beachfront property the option to allow people to use it or not.

This includes hotels and condominiums.

Starting July 1st, you'll have to pay more attention to the sand – is it wet or is dry?

If the sand is wet, you can use it as you please.

But if it's dry and behind a hotel, condo or private property, the owners could ask you to leave. Think of it as intruding on someone's backyard.

In fact, they could put up signs or even rope off their section of the beach, if they want.

Some beachgoers we spoke with agree with the new law.

“Homeowners have that right because they own the property and I totally agree,” says Irene Salvatore.

But others we spoke with on the beach are upset.

“I don't think the average person will benefit from it because they will tell you when and where you can stay on the beach. People like their spots. If you rent a house, you don't want to go six blocks down because they tell you to leave. I think It will be bad for tourism and the economy,” says Toni Descalzi.

This new law also strips local governments from enacting ordinances that oppose it.

if you don't move off someone's property or if you damage it, they can take you to court.

The new law is the first of its kind in the country and goes against Florida's long-standing "customary use" policy, which states that beaches belong to the public.

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