Public vs Private Beach [threads merged]

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by SoWal Staff, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. SoWal Staff

    SoWal Staff Serving the Community! Staff Member

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    You are hereby notified that the Walton County Board of County Commissioners will hold a Public Workshop on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM or soon thereafter. The meeting will be held at the Emerald Coast Middle School located at 4019 US HWY 98, Santa Rosa Beach, FL.

    The purpose of this meeting is to discuss public access to the beach.

    Walton County adheres to the American with Disabilities Act and will make reasonable modifications for access to the meetings upon request. Please call (850) 892-8115 to make a request. For hearing impaired, please call 1-800-955-8771 (TDD), 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE). Requests must be received at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting to allow time to provide the requested services.
     
  2. Garner

    Garner Beach Fanatic

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    This will be an extremely important meeting. While no decisions will be made, this is everyone's opportunity to learn the current issues about beach access and customary use and to speak to the county commissioners on the topic
    Beach Access Flyer 3-10-16 jpeg.jpg
     
  3. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Public Workshop and Live Stream on YouTube


    You are hereby notified that the Walton County Board of County Commissioners will hold a Public Workshop on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM or soon thereafter. The meeting will be held at the Emerald Coast Middle School located at 4019 US HWY 98, Santa Rosa Beach, FL.


    The purpose of this meeting is to discuss public access to the beach.



    As this meeting will not be held in a Walton County Board Room, Walton County will be live streaming the workshop on YouTube.



    The stream should be available approximately 5 minutes prior to the meeting.



    The process for the public to access the live stream is as follows:



    1. Open a web browser and navigate to www.youtube.com

    2. In the YouTube search box, enter Walton County Stream, and press enter.

    3. The top item in the search results is the correct link.

    4. Click the link.

    5. Once the stream is active, you will then see the live stream in progress, click on the live stream, and it will begin on your computer



    The public should be aware that this is the County’s first attempt at live streaming via YouTube and there could be unforeseen issues.



    The County will also be taping this meeting for future posting and to ensure that video is available in the event that the live stream experiences any issues.
     
  4. Sun Chaser

    Sun Chaser Beach Lover

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    This will be the season of "disruption" on the SoWal beaches. People who have made their reservations and are looking forward to their beach vacation have no idea the hassle they are likely to encounter. If the perception that SoWal beaches are just one big hassle tourists will start not coming back. This means revenues across the board will, eventually, go down.

    The TDC needs to step up and make official statements supporting beach access and beach use for ALL. TDC needs to pick a side here. They have done their part to get the folks here; they need to ensure that what the folks come here for (the beaches) are actually available, without a hassle.
     
  5. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    The TDC is nothing but a marketing firm. Education is not in their vocabulary.

    I'm all for TDC taking a stand, as long as their stand also encourages RESPECTING people's private property.

    While they are at it with education on beach access, how about some education on parking?

    Why does every member of a party of 12 need to each bring their own vehicle, while most places don't have ample parking?
     
  6. Garner

    Garner Beach Fanatic

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    Please do not forget about the workshop tonight! It is from 5 to 8 at Emerald Coast Middle School. Attached is a link to my interview on channel 7 news last night -
     
  7. Garner

    Garner Beach Fanatic

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  8. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    Sounds like the Commissioners are going to give a serious look at a customary use ordinance. It will be interesting to see how broad they try to go with what is "ancient" and "uninterrupted". I hope people remember that customary use won't just be for residents. Be careful what you ask for. Sometimes you get it and it wasn't really what you wanted at all.
     
  9. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too Beach Fanatic

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    "Residents" are a minor portion of the "population" of South Walton County. I don't know the exact figures, but it certainly feels like the amount of people is approximately ten times more people in July than February. If the county can craft an ordinance that defines the customary use portion of the beach as, perhaps, "half the distance from mean high tide line to primary dune line, or first seaward structure", then it would seem to be a workable plan, if our visitors can be educated to comply with this.

    I just came up with this formula, and would certainly want to hear other ideas.
     
  10. justhavinfun

    justhavinfun Beach Lover

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    I attended the meeting last night and even saw BMB's own Mr Huck observing the meeting and tapping away on his phone - attendance was stacked in locals favor but I can't help but feel, if our Sheriff enforced the laws while patrolling the beach instead of looking the other way when tourists are involved, we might be in the situation we are in..
     
  11. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too Beach Fanatic

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    Are you advocating that all beach goers, whether visitors or residents, be barred from transversing any privately owned beach front regardless of whether they are on "wet sand"? I can't picture any way this would be lawful nor enforceable.
     
  12. MRBS

    MRBS Beach Lover

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    From reading this thread and others on this board, is it correct that a majority of beachfront property owners desire to prohibit people from sitting on any dry part of the beach in front of their houses? And, if so, is this desire the result of masses of people having done so for so long that the beachfront property owner is then "crowded out" from the beach in front of his house because there is no room for his chair?

    If we rent a house for a week's vacation each year that is not on the beach but close to beach access but far from a state park, should we expect to only be able to sit on wet sand or have to walk miles to a state park (or worse get in the car) in order to relax? LVT's idea above, or something similar, seems to be a good solution.
     
  13. justhavinfun

    justhavinfun Beach Lover

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    LVT, What I am implying right or wrong is that many of the beachfront property owners have people trample on their property, leave trash near the property and simply put "Not respecting other peoples property". You and I both know the areas near the Eastern Lake outflow to the west where kids jump on the dune areas that are near owners homes are a prime example. and lets face it, The only people who get enjoy looking at a "Keep Out" or Private Property" sign are the ones that erect them. All I am saying is that for those owners that live gulf front and have people not respecting their own property by leaving trash, being obnoxious / disrespectful or otherwise should expect a law enforcement officer to enforce the law if called. Customary Use seems logical to me and many other people
     
  14. MRBS

    MRBS Beach Lover

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    I can certainly see if SoWal is dealing with the kind of stuff on this video (from the Whale's Tail) how property owners would be incensed having to clean up after these thoughtless people. Is this happening in SoWal? Or the fear that it will?

    I can only speak for my family and hope most are like it but when we leave the beach for the day we strive to leave no trace. I hope folks like us are not shut out from enjoying the beach.
     
  15. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too Beach Fanatic

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    OK. I think we are on the same page. I think an ordinance has to be established to define a reasonable sized area of customary use. And I'm with you 100% with more enforcement against visitors that abuse property not in the customary use zone, as well as beach front owners who abuse the customary use zone with unwarranted signs. All this sounds like common sense, doesn't it?
     
  16. MRBS

    MRBS Beach Lover

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    I am grateful for the clarification by JHF and agree. Just hope that the few bad kids don't ruin it for the rest of the class. Would miss Seagrove so (would otherwise need to win the lottery to afford a beachfront rental!). :)
     
  17. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too Beach Fanatic

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    To clarify my thoughts on the size of this customary use zone, you wouldn't need to define it by mean high tide. Just describe it as halfway from the gulf to any substantial residential structure, and any visitor or any deputy can easily assess what is halfway. I believe in making compromises for the sake of all people involved.
     
  18. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    True enough, but most of the people concerned about access and use seemed to be residents. Did you get a different impression? If they were residents, do you think they are worried about their own use or tourists being able to use the beach?
     
  19. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too Beach Fanatic

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    I think they are concerned about both, about conflict and signage, and restrictions of any kind, to the customary use of the beach. Everyone should stop thinking about opposing factions and try to find compromise.
     
  20. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    So glad I live in Old BMB, owners own ALL (3) access points( state of Florida approved not TDC)..they put those silly PVC vendor only signs between two of our accesses pointing toward each other over 800' of beach. They came back in a few days and removed ALL signage TDC/ code enforcement have NO sign authority own our neighborhood beaches. FYI we have a few lots left to build on just sayin.
     

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