What was once a thriving gift shop, has become an eye sore in Fort Walton Beach.
- The property at 29 Walter Martin Road used to be home to PS Gifts (the business shut down years ago). Now, it is home to a number of code violations under the new property owner.
According to the City of Fort Walton Beach, the code violations started taking place over this past year. Last October, the city opened their initial code cases on the property shortly after it was purchased by the current owner.
NOTE: The Rynearson’s, who owned/operated PS Gifts, sold the building some time ago.
“The main thing we started seeing was outdoor storage,” said Growth Management Director Chris Frassetti. “There was an accumulation of stuff all over the property and inside as well.”
Frassetti says that when the city tried to work on the property owner to gain compliance, it was clear that he was not going to work with the city on cleaning it up.
- By February 2021, this case was brought before the code enforcement board.
- That gave the owner a deadline of February 20th to have the violations corrected.
They were not.
In March 2021, city staff brought the case back to the code enforcement board where they started imposing fines of $250/day until the property was brought into compliance.
- As of right now, the property is still not in compliance and has continued to go downhill, according to the city.
- Current liens on the property are $70,750.00 in fines just this year. These liens are from the City of Fort Walton Beach.
Frassetti told the city council on Tuesday night that his department has already worked with Fire Marshal and the FWB Fire Department.
“They’ve relayed their concerns to us as far as fire code violations for unsafe storage practices inside and outside the property,” said Frassetti.
What happens next: The council authorized a nuisance abatement which means that the city will be able to go and clean-up/remove the items in violation. Additionally, the foreclosure process will begin on the property.
The city expects to begin the foreclosure process sometime in January.