Commissioners will not move forward with the walkover as proposed. As reported on WZEP AM1460 Should a new boardwalk near Topsail Preserve be built? This topic was taken up by the Walton County Commissioners in a special meeting Monday evening. Residents showed up and gave their input. Some say a dune walkover is needed to get more people on the beach and provide better access for the neighborhoods on 30-A. Those opposed feel a boardwalk would only distract from the wildlife of the preserve. Many who spoke were in favor of the walkover. A young resident, Jessie Beckers, said she wants the beach boardwalk because she sees people jumping the fence and says it is not right. Her dad said the Boardwalk was in the original plan approved in 2007. He says the reports talks about the number of people using the beach and being able to access or vacate the beach. He also talked about waiting for the tram. He called the boardwalk an environmentally friendly boardwalk. Carolyn Huff also said she is in favor of the plans going forward to the state. She said the accesses can be overflowing. Huff says she uses the annual pass, but does not use the tram due to the hassle. She said people do not come from the outside. She noted how boardwalks are used in other parks and areas with sensitive terrain. Dave Kennedy talked about reports showing where people are not the primary concern when protecting endangered species, rather predators. He said this will also take cars off 30-A. A resident who lives on the west end of 30-A, said their area is booming and is different in that they get people from other nearby areas. Other residents in support of the walkover talked about the use of them in parks across the nation, the second boardwalk in the management plan, said the wildlife is not in danger and the park is for public use. Many more spoke in opposition to the proposal. Mary Royce said she is passionately opposed and asked the commissioners to not forward the letter to the state. Edward Alexander said he is against access to the beach through Topsail and is opposed to what he called dissecting the beach. He asked if the width of 8 feet was for golf cart use. Staff said no plans are being made for carts to use the access. Another resident said he is against the proposal because of the nature preserve and the negative impact on his neighborhood. One man said the people who want this are not getting it in their neighborhood and he is against it. Sid Heath, also of Beachview Heights, said none has come up with parking issues. He said they do not have the roads for parking. Heath asked commissioners to not send the letter. A representative with the Audubon Society said Topsail Hill is special with important habitats. She said the boardwalk is of concern to them. She noted this will be an unrestricted access that could mean dogs and alcohol on the beach. She talked about the two routes mentioned. A representative of the Defenders of Wildlife recommends the commissioners not proceeded with the letter for the eastern access. He said the Defenders of Wildlife believe the boardwalk will cause problems as it creates an advantage for predators and encroaches on wildlife. A representative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Topsail Access is under no threat of developing. She told commissioners the leading threat is habitat fragmentation and this could create fragmentation if it goes through certain areas. Others talked about the lack of parking, lack of restrooms, the changes to the wildlife and the use by a small number of people. Commissioner Bill Chapman talked about the area and parking needs. Commissioner Cindy Meadows said, a corporation bought an access and asked if you have to be wealthy to get to the beach. She said people do not want to see others on the beach and feels that is what this is about. Commissioner Bill Imfeld talked about growth and development opportunities. He also pointed out only a small amount of the residences in the area submit bed taxes and questioned funding by the TDC. Commissioner Sara Comander also questioned the use of TDC funds in this case, talked about the lack of parking, law enforcement and no restrooms. She asked about other possible land. The motion to deny sending the letter passed. Commissioners will not move forward with the walkover as proposed.