01-27-2012, 01:02 PM #51
01-27-2012, 02:05 PM #52
Spoke with code enforcement again today. DEP has agreed to change the project permit to allow sand to come in on conveyor belts across the Retreat property. However, there is some resistance from the contractor on this, and there are details to be worked out with the Retreat to do this. A meeting is set up between the parties on Monday, and concerned citizens are being invited to be present. Time: 10 a.m. Jan. 30. Place: Walton County District 5 office, 70 Logan Lane in Grayton Beach.
01-27-2012, 04:27 PM #53
Nothing like a half ass solution by burro crats.....
All for the tents AA....just holler""Look with your understanding, find out what you already know and you'll see the way to fly"...
01-28-2012, 04:33 PM #54...due to numerous complaints and concerns about damage to the beach in connection with a geotube installation project by the Retreat, the commissioners directed staff to develop clearer policies and procedures for projects requiring sand to be transported in and across the beach. Sand had been in the process of being trucked from Grayton Beach to the Retreat, which is in the Blue Mountain Beach area, resulting in large ruts in the beach sand. One citizen described the impact as making the beach unusable for beachgoers.
A county stop work order was recently placed on the geotube installation project, which had been permitted by the state Department of Environmental Protection. District 5 Commissioner Cecilia Jones reported that she has been meeting with the project contractor to look at alternate methods, some of which would not involve the use of trucks on the beach, with the goal of avoiding further damage to the beach. She said the contractor had agreed to remove a large pile of dirt sitting on the beach that had been taken from the project site.
Update from the Walton Sun
‘Not in a fighting mood': Geotube compromise emerges
February 02, 2012 4:01 PM
The Walton Sun
OPENING ARGUMENT:Good construction practices make good neighbors.
“We want to be good neighbors,” said Ed Erbesfield, a homeowner at The Retreat. “We’re willing to give in if y’all are willing to give in.”
The Retreat has been trucking in sand westward along the beach from the western Grayton Beach access, past Gulf Trace, which is surrounded on each side by state park land, to The Retreat beaches. The sand will be used to fill these large erosion-prevention devices.
According to Walton County Administrator Greg Kisela, the project requires 14,000 cubic yards of sand to be moved across the beach to the site at The Retreat. Of that, 5,000 cubic yards has already been moved.
“We have done what we felt is the right thing to do,” said Dave Lovell, who sits on The Retreat’s board of directors. But “what we’re doing out there is causing a stir.”
The sand-trucking was seen as the most cost- and time-efficient method of transporting sand to the geotubes, ensuring the project is finished as quickly as possible, not only for spring break tourism, but also because the start of turtle season is May 1.
In response to the ongoing project, however, the community outcry has been substantial.
“It is a living ecosystem,” said Anita Page, with the South Walton Community Council. “Driving on the beach should be a last resort.”
The Retreat has been working to get permitting to put in geotubes since Hurricane Dennis hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.
“For the last five or six years … they’ve been trying to put in protection,” said Kisela. “Our beaches are very special to us. To see any destruction to them is very frustrating.”
But representatives quickly signaled their intention to compromise.
“We’re not in a fighting mood. We’d rather have the goodwill of our neighbors,” said Erbesfield.
Though the work was advertised in the paper for 30 days, as is required by law, no one seemed prepared when the trucks started running the sand up and down the beach.
The Retreat proposed running two trucks per day in order to finish the project before March 1, but those gathered seemed to prefer an alternate method.
“If sand can be conveyed, that’s what should happen,” said Richard Fowlkes with the Blue Mountain Beach Community Association.
“The only way to resolve the dispute is a compromise,” responded Erbesfield. “We followed the rules. We honestly thought we were doing the right thing.”
He asked for homeowner consent to speed-up the project using the same mode of sand delivery.
“If we put it behind us in a 28-day time frame, rather than 90 days, we’d all sleep better at night,” said Erbesfield.
But that method did not garner any support from the crowd of critics.
“You have another way to do it,” said Fowlkes of the conveyor belt. “I just feel like we haven’t been considered.”
Ultimately, The Retreat representatives gave in after Kisela said “I don’t know what you guys are hearing. But what I’m hearing is you’ve got to convey.”
According to contractor Branch McClendon, with Redfish Marine Construction, it would take three to five days to have a conveyor system up and running. The last of the sand was moved from the Grayton Beach staging area Tuesday, but Redfish Construction is still using the access to get their work trucks to the beach.
“I think that went about as well as it was going to go,” said McClendon after the meeting.
Asked for his reflection, Fowlkes said, “Nothing’s perfect. I’m pleased that they’re being respectful.”
“We’re just folks like you are. Just everyday folks who want to live in paradise,” said Erbesfield.
Last edited by kurt; 02-03-2012 at 07:40 AM.
02-03-2012, 01:50 PM #56
There should be no driving on the beach except for an emergency vehicle responding to a real emergency. All the vehicles which currently drive on the beach should not be allowed. There are other ways to retrieve the trash, patrol the beach and do construction activities without driving on the beach.
02-03-2012, 01:56 PM #57
Good for Kisela. To my knowledge the county does not have an ordinance that allows any driving on the beach except for the one area at Grayton Beach. I don't think there is a permitting procedure inplace.
02-03-2012, 02:00 PM #58
Yes, the DEP never wants to be the "bad guy". Wouldn't common sense tell them if they permitted the project they would need to know what method would be used to transport the sand. After all they are supposed to be protecting the environment.
02-07-2012, 10:50 AM #59
Update from SWCC
The Retreat received a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to place several sets of geotubes at the base of their bluff. They received a permit from the county to access both the Ed Walline and Grayton Beach access to get their sand and equipment to their job site on the beach. There is some confusion about whether either permit authorized the stockpiling of sand and staging of the large trucks at the Grayton access but an agreement was reached last Monday that made that issue moot except for the need to firmly establish standards for staging materials and equipment to be used in connection with any future projects that may require use of a beach access and the beach.
Last Monday the Retreat met with the County Administrator and Commissioner Cecelia Jones and residents and/or property owners who have questioned the churning up of the beach by the large trucks and the staging area at Grayton. The meeting went on for several hours but I will only provide a synopsis of the outcome in this email.
The Retreat indicated they could finish the job using a conveyor belt off a vacant lot in their subdivision. It was not their preference as they say it will take longer using the conveyor as opposed to the trucks delivering the sand down the beach but they will do it that way. They indicated several times that they did not intend to cause such a controversy and they did not want to be embroiled in a public uproar. They said they should be able to remove the rest of the stockpiled sand at Grayton by last Wednesday. Once the existing stockpile is removed, they will not transport any more sand down the beach. It will be brought onto their property for use in the conveyor belt. It was indicated at the meeting that the conveyor method had already been approved by FDEP as an option.
They will continue to use Ed Walline to get their pickup trucks and equipment to the job site. They indicated that should not create as much traffic on the beach and will certainly not cause the large ruts which resulted from the sand delivery trucks.
The contractor for The Retreat indicated he has several more jobs lined up for armoring structures. He cautioned that this issue will come up again. SWCC supported the development of policies and procedures by the county to address acceptable uses of a public beach access and beach area in connection with a construction project on the beach. SWCC offered the suggestion that delivering needed sand to a project site by trucks should be used only as a last resort if a conveyor method is not feasible due to the geography of the site or some other legitimate reason. Several recent projects have used the conveyor system to get the sand to their dune area thus avoiding the environmental and public safety issues arising from heavy dump trucks transversing a public beach access and beach. In those instances where it will be necessary to transport sand by truck, the county should develop policies and procedures pertaining to any use of a public access for transversing the beach and stockpiling sand and equipment. The goal of the policies and procedures would be to protect public safety and the dune and beach environment and minimize impacts and disruption to public use and enjoyment of the access and public beach area.
County staff indicated they would develop policies and procedures. There will be an opportunity for public input. We will forward the suggested policies and procedures when we get them.
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