- Feb 18, 2016
ForF, what is your point? What ratio of lawyers seems right to you?
I know you disagree with a community fish fry? I have asked this question of you before so here it is again "do you believe that the beaches in Walton County have been used for public recreation or private exclusion?"
My point has nothing to do with a ratio. My point is that you are exaggerating some things and omitting others. It goes back to dealing with facts instead of emotional diatribes. There is not an "arsenal of lawyers" representing BPOs. Hundreds of BPOs are being represented by a number of attorneys, several of whom may have as many as 50+ clients, but there is certainly not an "arsenal" of attorneys representing BPOs. There may be; however, an arsenal of BPOs intent on preserving their property rights. The County, FBFA, and some individual owners are represented by at least 5 or 6 attorneys, if not more. This is in the public records should you choose to look it up.
My opinion doesn't matter and will not change the outcome at all, but just to satisfy your inquiring mind, I KNOW and have known for many years (decades) that many beaches in Walton County were/are privately owned and respect that. I also KNOW that many BPOs have shared their beaches with respectful beachgoers like myself and many others. I BELIEVE that very few BPOs actually wanted to put up signs or exclude respectful beachgoers from their beaches; however, I BELIEVE based on deeded private property rights (and the constitution) that they absolutely have the right (or should have the right) to exclude people if they choose that.
Personally, I think the hateful rhetoric toward BPOs, denial of their ownership and property rights pertaining to their beaches, the total misrepresentation of quiet titles, the refusal to stick to FACTS, and the constant allegation that the BPOs want to exclude everyone except invited guests from their beaches may create a self fulfilling prophecy that probably wouldn't exist if only the County had not decided to create the CU ordinance without due process. On top of that, the Beach Activities Ordinance for YEARS prior to 2016 stated that there was no presumption of customary use. From Walton County Beaches and Waterways Ordinance 2013-04:
Sec. 22-52. Customary use.
This chapter makes no finding of fact that the public either has or has not customarily used any particular piece of gulf front property beach.
(Ord. No. 2013-04, § 2, 1-22-13)
I don't normally even address trick questions like the one you asked me, but you now have my perspective (for what it is worth) and I hope you understand that there are many of us that can actually see both sides of this issue and would really love to see the end of this conflict through peaceful collaboration.
You're right about this: I see no good purpose for your fish fry anytime in the near future.