WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Seagrove Beach homeowner being fined for his three-story Trump banners was found in non-compliance with Walton County code Wednesday evening.
This comes after a Compliance Special Magistrate found the initial “Trump Won” banner in violation of the county’s land development code last month.
The homeowner will have to pay the total amount of fines accrued since being found in violation, which is $1,269, and then an additional $50 fine a day for as long as the home is in noncompliance.
The “Trump Won” and “Let’s Go Brandon” banners flying from Marvin Peavy’s 30A home have stirred up many residents in the surrounding area.
One of Peavy’s neighbors attended Wednesday’s code enforcement meeting as he believes the ordinance violates free speech.
“I can’t think of anything more beautiful than amplifies 30A than our freedom of speech,” Peavy’s neighbor Matt Morris said. “They talk about it being distracting but I think it adds to the beauty of it. That’s what our country was founded for and when you start to hamper our freedoms of speech, what do we have. So I think this is something that actually adds value to 30A, to be honest. Proud to be his neighbor.”
But not everyone sees it the same way.
“Well I just feel like Seagrove Beach is a quaint little beach community and people come here to relax and have a peaceful time and when they drive down 30A and they see a giant banner it just brings back the divisiveness in our politics,” Walton County resident Margo Yourick said.
A code compliance officer said the ordinance isn’t new and isn’t political in nature.
“It turned into a political thing which it wasn’t and still is not and it doesn’t matter what the banner stated, it’s a violation of the 30A scenic corridor sign code, and that’s what was established and that’s what the fines were based on,” Code Compliance Officer Charles Cronin said.
Peavy declined our request for comment, on the advice of his lawyer, but when we spoke to him in October he said he wasn’t taking them down.
“I’m here on the beach and I got a lot of traffic and people need to see what I believe in, that’s free speech and I wanted everyone to know I’m a Republican, and I’m supporting Donald Trump,” Peavy said in October.
Code Compliance said they are not considering raising the daily fee or imposing other sanctions at this time.