Opponents seek to end a bungee-jumping venue, citing environmental and safety concerns, but local officials and the state say the use is necessary.
TAMPA, Fla. — Officials in Hillsborough County have found a way around a pending ban on bungee jumping in Tampa-area parks and beaches.
In the works since December, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners approved a proposal to open the county’s only bungee jump in Tampa Bay. The jump, at Port Tampa Bay, is the only facility in Florida where bungee jumping is currently legal. This comes after Tampa Bay had several ordinances in place to ban it.
The Board of County Commissioners voted 2-1 on Tuesday to amend a local ordinance to allow bailing out by jumping from boats using traditional, licensed and approved bungee lines.
The plan has divided local officials and has been met with opposition by the group Hillsborough Bungees. The group says the jump amounts to a glorified “creek crossing” and shouldn’t be allowed.
“This is dangerous,” said Hillsborough Bungees spokesman Adam Akins. “It’s not safe. There are a million ways to kill yourself.”
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The bungee-jumping plan is just one of the proposed changes to Hillsborough County’s rules and regulations to make the county more welcoming to outside organizations. The proposal would reduce a requirement that private businesses and charitable organizations submit a $150,000 application fee to be permitted to run an event.
The proposal also calls for fewer requirements for businesses to certify that they meet certain safety standards, such as having an evacuation plan in case of an emergency.
The changes would also increase flexibility for local governments in how they regulate events, including a requirement that a public official need to approve any emergency measures, such as changing the time or location of an event.
The proposal also would allow local officials