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Beach Fanatic
Feb 18, 2016
Okay I think our lens have different coatings because I have already made the effort to do exactly that. Our perspective is different. Seems like there is no opportunity to compromise because The People will not accept the exclusion part of your belief or right in owning the resource (beach). Keep in mind we are talking about "beach" property NOT your yard. A yard is different than a beach. We are debating the issue of property rights versus human rights. Human rights demand fairness, equality and an even distribution of resources. I believe in Capitalism. I love my Country. Again and again I do not want something for nothing and I am not asking for that. I have "earned the right to enjoy the "beach" just as you. Yes just as you. Different lens or different coatings but we are different in perspective. FBB first made me aware of this difference. Before that I thought that we could see things from a common position of humanity. Humanity does not exist with your exclusive right to any part of the beach. I wish I were wrong but we will probably never see through the same lens. I will never have your existing and exclusive views of the water and magnificent colors of the sunset. NEVER. You can blame me for that but that does not solve your problem with public opinion. The bone I want is just to be able to walk up and down the beach without interruption and without signage telling me that I have not earned the "right" to do so. That is my perspective, my reality and my life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In my opinion you are going to force the State to take your property. It did not have to be that way. Anyway, good luck to you and I am sorry to all the BPO's that are not part of exclusion.

I am baffled mputnal. With the exception of the signage, you can absolutely do what is in your quote above and the signage might very well go away with some changes. I don't know ANYONE who likes signs on the beach itself.

I find several things interesting about this whole mess:

1) Virtually EVERY heart warming, sentimental picture of CU shown by FBFA or old pictures of actual beach usage would never have created this firestorm in the first place. Look at the pictures closely sometime. Observe the density of people on the beach. Observe the uses on the beach. Observe the equipment on the beach.
2) Before this situation became so contentious. a beach share plan was proposed. Was it perfect? Was it a start? Was it worth trying before millions of dollars would be spent on lawsuits? Could it have been a test case or pilot program to at least TRY?
3) Even AFTER the County had effectively decided to have a CU ordinance, they convened a committee of people in favor of CU and property owners who were in favor of property rights, but willing to work together to see if some compromises would lead to peace on the beach. What happened? That committee found common ground and made a unanimous proposal to the BCC. Unfortunately, parts of that recommendation were either dismissed or diluted, but even so, the ordinance had some possibility of working UNTIL it was decided that enforcement would be complaint driven and there were insufficient code enforcement officers to handle the task, not to mention that they had little time to even completely understand what they were to enforce before the season began. To top that off, how much peace do you think it brought to the beach for BPOs to have to complain in order to get enforcement? Didn't work for all the reasons I've listed.

If there is ever to be a "compromise", some people have to adjust their attitudes and the ones that can truly make a difference (like the BCC for one) have to make some hard decisions. They need to address:

*Density of both people and equipment on the beach.
*Address "presets", that do nothing more than reserve an area of the beach. Why should any owner entity have to accept people who are not their guests "reserving" beach when the people aren't even there to enjoy the beach but their equipment is? The managed vendor program is addressing this issue for vendors, but not the general public.
* Behavior CAN be improved and needs to be. Can you control other people? No, BUT you can make it unappealing to continue bad behavior, including disrespect.

I've used this example before, but I'll use it again to make this point: I own a restaurant (beach parcel). I serve the public (tourists and non-BPOs). Without them, I don't have a successful business (tourism). However, I have control over how many people are in my restaurant at one time (density). I have the right to deny service to individuals or even groups (exclusion), which I rarely exercise, but I do have that right. If individuals or groups create a disturbance in my restaurant, I have the right to speak to them about the behavior creating that disturbance (behavior). It they don't change the behavior, I can ask them to leave (exclusion). If they refuse, I can get help from law enforcement (Code Enforcement/WCSO).

There's a lot of beach out there. If everyone would just look at all those wonderful pictures of "historical use" and reassess their need to have a reserved outdoor living space/camp setup at the beach, there might be hope again, but I'm not holding my breath. Way too much entitlement in this world today. Not just at the beach.

Reggie Gaskins

Beach Lover
Oct 4, 2018
Blue Mountain Beach
Reggie, I will not tell you what to do with your property EVER. All I am asking is that you do not tell me to stay off any part of the beach UNLESS I am being disrespectful. Our common ground is that neither of us should accept disrespectful behavior. To start with exclusive rights to the beach is arrogant and superior. You are either missing the point or are misdirecting. Which is it?
Look, we agree on need to compromise before court case resolved. That was my whole point. Regardless of winner,
“Customary Use Will Destroy Our 30A Legacy”
Here is the point where we differ. You don’t recognize beach property as private. Even though many of the property lines are deeded down to the MHTL, you refuse to acknowledge that it can be private because it happens to be sand. If you can look at the plats, and see the property lines on paper, forgetting that they contain sand, you will begin to see the other side.

Stone Cold J

Beach Lover
Jun 6, 2019
Exclusion is a dirty word to The People especially when I (as a BPO) already have exclusive views and access.

Mputnal, don’t confuse inconvenience with exclusion. You have the right to walk the entire coastline and see the sunset. We all have access to that view, maybe not out the back window but the view is not exclusive.

The issue of the lawsuit is unlimited forced occupation of people and beach equipment on private deeded property against the will of the owner.

The issue of destroying our ecosystem is WAY more people than the infrastructure can handle.

The issues are related but also independent.


Beach Fanatic
Nov 10, 2009
I recognize respect. Treat others like I want to be treated. When I am on the beach I am sharing a resource with everyone and respecting everyone. So, what is the problem? More people? Yes. More misbehavior and disrespect? Yes. But it is not just those two things is it? Other wise we would have common ground from which to build a compromise. Nope there is something else here at stake for BPO's. You demand to be in full control of the sand behind your house because you have a document that says you are entitled to exclude people from the sand behind your house. It gives you power to control and to apply your values to the masses. Customary Use has meaning but you believe it to have less power or no power. So now we are at that concept word "power" again. Is that what this is really about? When you started blaming The People and using words like commune, socialist, entitlement, uninformed etc. I started to catch on. It is a tactic. An agenda. You are doing the same things you accuse the CU people of doing. You are right about the disrespect, the misbehavior, the density, future planning, infrastructure etc. but that can not be what is most important to you otherwise you would take a proposal (such as Dave's) and build on that. This is about power as plain as day and it might take a while but The People will catch on.


Beach Fanatic
Nov 10, 2009
Then we better zone to include The People on the beach because I am now convinced that this is not just about the ecosystem, or human behavior. The current zoning allowed BPO's to build on the sand dunes and exclude views. Apparently that does not satisfy the BPO argument of entitlement.

Stone Cold J why would you NOT recognize that your building (assuming it is one of the newer ones built out of steel and concrete as opposed to an elevated piling foundation) has allowed you to have exclusive views? Do you believe we are super human and can see through your building? Maybe even leap over tall buildings? I think you must be misdirecting. Now that you have those exclusive views this becomes about the ecosystem? Come on. You are losing credibility. Never lose credibility with a Judge...


Beach Fanatic
Jul 28, 2007
Actually we do tell private property owners what they can do with their property all the time. it's called zoning.
Among other things like wetlands restrictions, density, building codes and if you are in a HOA even how long your trash cans can be left out and what color your house can be......


Beach Fanatic
Oct 16, 2008
Among other things like wetlands restrictions, density, building codes and if you are in a HOA even how long your trash cans can be left out and what color your house can be......
Good ones. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask owners to keep the beach behind their homes free of debris. Owning beachfront should be a privilege with responsibilities to protect the environment and be kind to beach lovers. Posts, fences, signs, and anything washed up or left behind should be cleaned up. We all are in this together and we have government with guidelines so we can have a civil society. The TDC and other organizations can help keep the beaches clean. And we all can help to educate visitors and enforce rules and good behavior. People like the vizcaya jerk should be reined in. I heard that several vizcaya owners are selling because they are embarrassed by him. Seems backwards. He should behave like a decent human being or be the one to leave.

L.C. Bane

Beach Fanatic
Aug 8, 2017
Santa Rosa Beach
When you buy beach front it comes with a lot of stiputaltions and encumbrances. BFO's can't walk on the dunes or touch (trim or thin )the vegatation at the foot or is it called toe of the dune and seaward without a permit. I'm prertty sure endangered beach mice and sea turtles have more rights than the property owner.Turtle friendly lighting is required. You have a CCL and an ever shifting property line (if lawfully aquired to the MHWL). I'm pretty sure USF&W, FF&W, DEP, county appraisers office and other agencies can go on their property. Porperty insurance provider, utility providers, HOA reps as applicable, mortgage holder...sounds like a party!

Almost forgot the Public Trust Doctrine. Anglers can line up across the front of your property elbow to elbow and there's nothing you can do about as long as the bottom of their feet (or chair) are wet. You can't stop people from swimming or floating in the water nor from playing, walking or sitting in the surf. They can drink beer (no glass), smoke cigarettes and play music. You have no voice in any of these activities occuring in the wet sand or water.

So, the only thing I see the BFO's fighting against is people walking or sitting between the dry sand seaward of the dunes to the wet sand. What if a swimmer gets tired and needs to take a breather? Are you going to tresspass them? That's just so wrong.
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