Amending Ordinance to Ban Signs, Ropes, Fences on the Beach

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by WMW, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. William McCracken

    William McCracken Beach Comber

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    Agree Johnny Z! There are ordinances and laws on the books about public intoxication, littering, "leave not trace behind", public nuisance, etc. that do not require a beach-front owner to identify their property lines to have sheriffs act on it. It is a smoke screen....has nothing to do with obnoxious behavior, which can be cause for arrest by sheriffs, and everything to do with "customary use". The beachfront owners want to keep everyone off "their beach" for any reason. The Florida Supreme Court has already ruled that "customary use" of beaches in Florida exists, regardless of property lines. I guess beachfront owners want to re-litigate it again and lose again.
     
  2. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    Something that I witnessed recently: A private beachfront owner had 4 chairs and 2 umbrellas belonging to him (not vendor chairs) on his beachfront with well over 50 feet on either side of him. Along came a man, a woman, and a child and the man sat in one of the empty chairs. The owner politely asked the man to move from his chairs. The "visitor" then proceeded to set up his own folding chairs immediately in front of the owner's chairs even though there was plenty of room on either side. The owner asked the "visitor" to move to either side. The man refused. Odds are, the owner could have called the Sheriff and might have received assistance. Of course, the visitor might have lied and said he was there first. Who knows? Rather than be confrontational, the owner picked up his chairs and went inside, largely because of the lack of enforcement that exists on the beach.

    This is not illegal, but it is rude and obnoxious IMO. The visitor was a bully and in front of a child, no less. Nobody wants chains, signs, etc. on the beach, hence why they haven't been there for the most part until the last few years. Unfortunately, possibly due to sheer numbers, there are more and more disrespectful people on the beach. Maybe you haven't seen them, but they're there. I've never had a beachfront owner ask me to move. Maybe it's because some of us actually choose to get along and be respectful.
     
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  3. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Once Again...

    WCSO SOP #15-004

    VII. Enforcement Sec. A (5)

    "The property boundaries of the upland owners property are adequately marked on the ground indicating the boundary between the mean-high water line and their upland property."

    Really folks, you can't make this stuff up... If you haven't read the SOP, please take a moment and read it. Then compare it to Okaloosa County's SOP, which is one paragraph long.

    Two elected BCC Officials voted against the new ordinance language due to its conflict with the aforementioned language.

    In the attempt to do the two step and appear to enforce something while really not doing anything, Sheriff Mike Adkinson created this SOP. While there are numerous properties that have followed the SOP, spent $$$ to do so, they are all probably scratching their heads after last night. Why did I spend all this money?

    Listen, I do care for the signs, ropes, chains, etc., but I do believe there are some beach front owners with bona fide private property and NO ONE to enforce the law.

    If this was such a cut and dry issue, we'd have had a 5 to 0 vote last night. We didn't, it was 3 to 2 and one Commissioner most-likely voted "for" to attempt to secure votes in the November Election.
     
  4. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    The problem with this is that a sheriff's "SOP" is NOT a law or an ordinance and there is no duty for anyone except employees to follow such. As a constitutional officer the sheriff is the legislative authority for his department and he is not required to get approval for his policies from anyone including the BCC. The sheriff has an absolute right to direct how his employees act in a given situation as long as that direction does not violate state, federal or local laws. But the BCC is under no obligation to support or follow the sheriff's policies.
     
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  5. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Danny, as usual you do a great job of summing it up, right to the point.

    In this case, you have just summed up and explained the Walton County Two Step better than I could have ever hoped to do!

    Thanks!
     
  6. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    @ John G

    The Sheriff is running unopposed

    You have had ample opportunity to get yourself on the ballot and run against him if you believe you could do a better job, why didn't you? All you have actually done is bash him every chance you get for what you believe are his failures.
     
  7. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    This is not unique to Walton County. This is the way things operate across the state. Sheriffs are very jealous of their independence and their ability to make their own way. Usually there is opposition which is why it is very unusual for a sheriff to run unopposed.
     
  8. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    It's the first time in the 30 + years I've been here that the Sheriff has run unopposed.
     
  9. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Danny

    How does the Sheriff write a SOP that contradicts state statute ?

    See below
    810.09 Trespass on property other than structure or conveyance.—

    (1)(a) A person who, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters upon or remains in any property other than a structure or conveyance:
    1. As to which notice against entering or remaining is given, either by actual communication to the offender or by posting, fencing, or cultivation as described in s. 810.011; or
    2. If the property is the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling and the offender enters or remains with the intent to commit an offense thereon, other than the offense of trespass,commits the offense of trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance.

    (b) As used in this section, the term “unenclosed curtilage” means the unenclosed land or grounds, and any outbuildings, that are directly and intimately adjacent to and connected with the dwelling and necessary, convenient, and habitually used in connection with that dwelling.
    (2)(a) Except as provided in this subsection, trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
    (b) If the offender defies an order to leave, personally communicated to the offender by the owner of the premises or by an authorized person, or if the offender willfully opens any door, fence, or gate or does any act that exposes animals, crops, or other property to waste, destruction, or freedom; unlawfully dumps litter on property; or trespasses on property other than a structure or conveyance, the offender commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
    (c) If the offender is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon during the commission of the offense of trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance, he or she is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Any owner or person authorized by the owner may, for prosecution purposes, take into custody and detain, in a reasonable manner, for a reasonable length of time, any person when he or she reasonably believes that a violation of this paragraph has been or is being committed, and that the person to be taken into custody and detained has committed or is committing the violation. If a person is taken into custody, a law enforcement officer shall be called as soon as is practicable after the person has been taken into custody. The taking into custody and detention in compliance with the requirements of this paragraph does not result in criminal or civil liability for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.
    (d) The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed is a construction site that is:
    1. Greater than 1 acre in area and is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED CONSTRUCTION SITE, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”; or
    2. One acre or less in area and is identified as such with a sign that appears prominently, in letters of not less than 2 inches in height, and reads in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED CONSTRUCTION SITE, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.” The sign shall be placed at the location on the property where the permits for construction are located. For construction sites of 1 acre or less as provided in this subparagraph, it shall not be necessary to give notice by posting as defined in s. 810.011(5).
    (e) The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed upon is commercial horticulture property and the property is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS DESIGNATED COMMERCIAL PROPERTY FOR HORTICULTURE PRODUCTS, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”
    (f) The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed upon is an agricultural site for testing or research purposes that is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED AGRICULTURAL SITE FOR TESTING OR RESEARCH PURPOSES, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”
    (g) The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed upon is a domestic violence center certified under s. 39.905 which is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED RESTRICTED SITE AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY
     
  10. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    The SOP does not contradict the statute but does require a stricter standard of needed elements to the crime than the statute. He is within his rights to require more evidence than absolutely necessary in order to make a legal arrest. A citizen has the right to go to the State Attorney and ask them to direct file an indictment if they do not agree with the sheriff's decision. There are very few statutes that require an officer to make an arrest if probable cause exists, the best example being domestic violence.
     
  11. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Danny

    The state statute states :

    (b) If the offender defies an order to leave, personally communicated to the offender by the owner of the premises or by an authorized person, or if the offender willfully opens any door,

    Notice it says the "personally communicated by the owner or "authorized person".

    The Sheriffs SOP states it must be by the "property owner".

    Why does that not contradict the statute ?
     
  12. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    In case you haven't seen this demand letter from State Parks System?

    If you are doing set ups at Deer Lake State Park see the attached notice. As per previous conversations, customer must be present at time of delivery and delivery must be at the customer convenience. As always no driving on the beach, Please call me if you have any question.


    Thanks,


    Matthew R. Allen, Park Manager

    Grayton Beach State Park


    Notice to all Vendors


    All goods and services delivered to Grayton Beach and Deer Lake State Parks for paying guests must be delivered to and received by the Park guest. Delivery must be during business hours between 8:00 a.m. to sunset daily. No goods or services are allowed to remain on the beach after sunset. All State Park rules and regulations apply to vendors and Park guest.


    Park Management
     
  13. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    It doesn't contradict the statute but it places a stricter standard in place than the statute. It is sort of splitting hairs and I don't necessarily agree with it, but it is legal as far as I can see. I am sure the FSA attorneys have vetted it six ways from Sunday since they carry the Sheriff's liability insurance and bond. The property owner in theory could document the incident and carry it to the State Attorney and request a direct file of an indictment but that is rarely done in practice.
     
  14. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    I believe it denies the property owner due process by "requiring the owner to physically be present" as it omits an option available under the statute.

    This SOP is 85% of the problem IMO.
     
  15. FoX

    FoX Beach Fanatic

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    Surely the sheriff has rescinded the SOP and not reqiiring homeowners put up signs and fences?
     
  16. Johnny Z

    Johnny Z Beach Crab

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    If anything, the Sheriff is being too accommodating to the beach-front property owners by accepting a current survey showing the mean high tide line. This shows title, but does not take account of the public's right of Common Usage, which is a limitation on the property owner's right. Surely these owners realized that they were buying property that fronted a beach that the public has long used. The Sheriff's policy seems overall wise and designed to reduce civil friction. It also gives cover to the property owner who might otherwise be sued for punitive damages under the tort of Malicious Prosecution. My own observation is that our beaches are very lightly used for most of the year, and that in the summer it is nice to see people enjoying it with their families.
     
  17. gailforce

    gailforce Beach Lover

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    What about marking property from MHWL? If it's 50 feet out in the gulf right now, no one can put up any kind of 'marker' in the water. The sheriff created an unenforceable SOP.
     

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  18. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    They must produce a "Yearly"Survey if they have it ( doubtful)and your north of the southern boundary just move on...If they don't tell them and Barney Fyffe your ok....
     
  19. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    Another example of
    Since the property owner has a remedy I do not think due process is denied. There is no guarantee of arrest in this instance. But I do not like the SOP because it is overly complicated for both the officer and the property owner. I prefer the Okaloosa SOP myself but that is just a personal opinion,
     
  20. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    What is that remedy ?

    According to the SOP he/she must be physically present.

    I thought the Sheriff swore to uphold the laws of the State of Florida. Seems your saying he is free to pick and choose which laws of the state he enforces.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016

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