Customary Use and Our 30A Legacy

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Reggie Gaskins, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    166
    Dave, I understand why you question this, but I'm absolutely comfortable that a lot of it was behavior and density driven. If you go to meetings, you know how often variances and waivers are allowed, so density is an issue between the number of residences built (and perhaps put on weekly rental) and over 4 MILLION visitors. Take a representative sample and tell me how many people out of 4 Million don't think the rules apply to them or have no idea what the rules are. It's not that hard to understand.
     
  2. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    166
    Dave, let me give you an example: You own multiple restaurants. You cater to the public. In your restaurants, I imagine that you expect a certain level of decorum from your guests. You definitely have a maximum capacity. If, for whatever reason, your guests exceed your capacity, then they have to wait. If they become disruptive to your place of business or other clientele, but not to the point of criminal or illegal behavior, you have the right to intervene to correct the behavior, BUT.....if the behavior doesn't change, you have the right to ask them to leave and then get enforcement if they refuse. Seems fair to me. Also seems fair for BFO to have similar rights.
     
  3. customary user

    customary user Beach Comber

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    2
    Not a great analogy. Can't compare a building full of eaters to millions of sun seekers that thousands of other businesses depend on. Beachfront is going to go to the "greater good" {money rules}.
     
  4. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    166
    I get your point, but we also have 19 miles (excludes the state parks) for the sun seekers and they are not all here the same week. If we count the parks, we have 26 miles. Not a perfect analogy by any means, but I think reasonable people can see the point I'm making. Can't you?
     
  5. Dave Rauschkolb

    Dave Rauschkolb Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    952
    Likes Received:
    630
    Location:
    Santa Rosa Beach
    OK, Fact Or Fiction appreciate your point it is density driven and the concern is that there’s too many people and too many variances given. That’s why I worked very hard for three years with amazing people I am now lifelong friends with and are on both sides of the aisle and even this issue. And I spent nearly $40,000 of my own money to rally support to incorporate South Walton but those worried about taxes going up crushed that opportunity to have local representation. And some others who don’t want any control over development had a considerable influence as well.

    The thing that bothers me is that those who are here and have theirs are trying to say I’ve got mine and we don’t want anybody else. Well, that’s not the way it works. Special places attract people and the people who invariably come require infrastructure and accommodations where they want to recreate. I’ve said it 1 million times “these are the good old days for the people just now moving here.”. Like in any city rules are created and enforcement is essential. If people don’t follow the rules and they are not enforced then there is anarchy. No one wants that so yes, we have to hold a representative officials accountable. However, changing the rules so drastically that it eliminates large swaths of the very reason why people come here is not acceptable under any conditions. I was the first person to step up and offer solutions that actually were adopted. I engaged with beachfront owners to try to solve the problem but the die was cast and they wanted the whole apple and they currently have it. I truly believe that it’s temporary though.

    I’m willing to sit down and work on solutions and I appreciate the fact that you addressed to me civilly without attacking me. By nature I’m an out-of-the-box thinker and a problem solver but this recent legislation in my book was yes, criminal and drastic and way out of line. So, how do we walk that back and restore our beaches to some semblance of shareable order? I’m wide-open to suggestions that don’t include excluding the public from using the sandy parts of the beaches as long as they follow the rules.

    One thing we seem to agree on is that the vending of Beach Chairs in the current incarnation has greatly exacerbated the problem and no vending should be allowed on any county public beaches the way it is currently set up. If someone wants to go to a county public beach and call up a phone number and have someone deliver some chairs and an umbrella in no specified zone that should be allowed, but only that. The rest of the county public beaches should be wide open for anyone to set up anywhere they wish; First come first served.

    As I’ve said before I acknowledge private property but as long as people behave correctly on beach private property and follow whatever rules the county adopts then this truly could be solved.

    So again, To speak to your point those 4 million visitors can easily be educated; The TDC has plenty of money to educate people about the rules.

    Do we really want Walton county to be the county in America that set the precedent that privatized beaches across the Nation? Or, do we want to be the beach community that figured it out and worked out a fair solution? The only thing I’ve been uncompromising about is the ability of beachfront owners to exclude people from the sandy parts of the beach. There’s plenty of compromise when it comes to setting up rules on those sandy parts.

    So I feel like I’ve given you a reasonable and respectful answer that offer solutions. And again, I appreciate the tenor of your response to my comments.


    Very best regards,

    Dave Rauschkolb
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  6. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,914
    Likes Received:
    712
    I shared with someone recently that enforcement in Walton County sucks. I don't know the reason, politics, lack of established guidelines or if there is no appetite to enforce the rules.
     
  7. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    166
    I appreciate your response, Dave. As I'm sure you probably expected, I cannot speak for BFOs; however, I know quite a few BFOs who truly have no problem sharing their deeded beach areas with people who are "minimalists" (chair, umbrella, towel, small cooler-sole uses kind of people). When you say, "However, changing the rules so drastically that it eliminates large swaths of the very reason why people come here is not acceptable under any conditions. ," what are you referring to? I totally agree that setups, whether they be vendors or private citizens, without people using them are part of the problem. That is reserving the beach, not using it. First come, first served is a well understood policy and is perfectly appropriate for the beach. I cannot imagine another 5, 6, 7, 8 years or longer of the climate that currently exists in South Walton. At a minimum, it is important that we return to civility for our citizens and visitors. We all know the saying that beauty is only skin deep. We are fortunate and blessed to live in an extraordinarily beautiful place, but if the underlying current is ugly and hateful, it will still overcome the beauty in time.
     
  8. Stone Cold J

    Stone Cold J Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2019
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    SRB
    The root of the problem is too many people in a sensitive ecosystem. Beach behavior is a symptom of the sense of entitlement and overcrowding. The rate of destruction of the 30A ecosystem will actually ACCELERATE if the BCC somehow manages to remove constitutional private property rights and turn our beaches into a free for all.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  9. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,269
    Likes Received:
    177
    A couple of compromises I recently threw out involve continued control of private beaches.

    1. Remember the one I mentioned where adjacent beach front owners could capitalize instead of being abused - the owners could benefit from public rental of setups on private property. This allows the owners to continue getting the front row seats while allowing the public to rent setups on the same private beach. And eliminate vending on the public accesses altogether. Again, everybody wins in this scenario.

    2. And just recently I mentioned allowing the public to access the back part of the private beach along with some sort of compensation.

    Zip, zilch, nada, nothing - no constructive commentary / reply in the least.

    So combine this “disinterest” in compromise along with your comment above....my humble opinion is that private beach will continue to remain private for many more years. You don’t want to really budge, just control the behavior of tourists. And for that, you think BFOs should simply give up their legally titled and deeded private property and get overran by millions of tourists per year.

    Won’t happen.
     
  10. FloridaBeachBum

    FloridaBeachBum Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2017
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Santa Rosa Beach
    Dave Rauschkolb, I appreciate a response without the CU rhetoric. I'm glad you are "willing to sit down and work on CU solutions". So am I and many BFOs. But you and other vocal CU advocates and self-described social-media CU warriors are not litigating against 1,193 beachfront parcels and 4,671 BFOs; Walton County Commissioners are, with millions of Walton tax payers dollars. Can you get the Commissioners to sit down with 4,671 not happy BFOs who many do not trust the Commissioners for a second; the way BFOs have been treated politically, legally, and by social media since 2015? Commissioner are reaping now what they sowed and CU social media have fertilized.

    "... but this recent legislation [FS163.035] in my book was yes, criminal and drastic and way out of line." Criminal? That's drastic and dramatic; for a property owner Constitutional due-process law, don't you think?
    Can you explain what is "criminal" about protecting property owner's "due-process" rights BEFORE claiming a property right of private enjoyment and use, that the SCOTUS has stated is ‘one of the most essential sticks in the bundle of rights that are commonly characterized as property.’ is null and void?

    Describing a Florida statute voted for by 84% of the FL legislature, including local House Rep Brad Drake, and signed by the Governor, as "criminal" is not a great starting point for any discussion about public customary use of private property.

    "restore our beaches to some semblance of shareable order?" First, the Commissioners and CU advocates like you have to respect and accept that private beachfront owners have the right to private use and enjoyment of the property they have title to and pay property taxes on - private property is not legally "shareable", just like every Walton private property owner. BFO's property just end at the water's edge of Florida. Second, the Commissioners and CU advocates like you have to respect and accept that BFOs, like our family who for many decades, by grace, willing shared their/our private property with others they did not invite or give license to use; but have the right to share or not. Without that respect and acceptance, there can be no option but for the courts to decide if public customary use of private property is superior than all Constitutionally protected private property bundle of rights and force BFOs to share. Only then can there be a possibility "we walk that back and restore our beaches to some semblance of shareable order?" I'm guessing that is not acceptable to the Commissioners' and your CU agenda so I'm guessing it's a moot point.

    "I acknowledge private property but as long as people behave correctly on beach private property and follow whatever rules the county adopts" Acceptable regulated legal public behavior is expected and shall be enforced by the local Government regardless of CU or not and is not a condition for use of private property. I think you are genuine; but that is straw-man argument.

    "4 million visitors can easily be educated"? 99.99998% of the beach going public know it is not acceptable and is trespassing to walk north-south across private property to access any beach - but I have seen it and had it happen to us maybe every other week during the summers. Public education is better than none but without prompt enforcement and consequences over time, education is not effective.

    "the county in America that set the precedent that privatized beaches across the Nation?" You can not "privatize" beachfront property that is and has been private since the first government land grants and patents. "It is just that simple."
    The sooner Commissioners and CU advocates like you stop the CU misinformation like quiet title and BF can't be built on (only because of Government police powers), is worthless, and not taxed (unless you have credible facts to present); the better too.

    "The only thing I’ve been uncompromising about is the ability of beachfront owners to exclude people from the sandy parts of the beach. There’s plenty of compromise when it comes to setting up rules on those sandy parts." No there is not; without recognizing and respecting the legal bundle of littoral private property rights BFOs have had since 1776 and have today as recognized, even if not respected enough to enforce it, by the Sherriff's 2015 trespass SOP, there can be no other solution than the courts to rule if CU is Constitutional or if is CU is a "taking" of private property rights. Respectfully.

    Happy Forth of July Independence Day
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  11. Dave Rauschkolb

    Dave Rauschkolb Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    952
    Likes Received:
    630
    Location:
    Santa Rosa Beach
    Not worth my time to continue talking. Thanks for the moment Fact or Fiction.
     
  12. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,269
    Likes Received:
    177
    It would appear the title of this thread is dead on arrival based on the recent posts. And, of course, most people think the only solution is via CUnCOURT anyway.

    The compromises I suggested was a simple attempt to increase (bridge) access to the beach via private property until this CU mess gets settled one way or the other in court. If CU ultimately prevails, no harm, no foul. If CU ultimately fails, the county will have to get serious about purchasing private beach for public use, including parking. And it will be more expensive at that time.

    But some can’t see past their own nose, wanting it all or nothing.

    So now, I change my mind about supporting the concept of allowing the public to use the back part of our beach. It’s pretty obvious that it would be just another one of those no good deed goes unpunished. And I’m probably being a bit naive thinking that anyone would actually “appreciate” the effort.
     
  13. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    815
    Likes Received:
    214
    How would you collect from people using your Beach? And would you give them a wristband?
     
  14. mputnal

    mputnal Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    187
    Okay each time there seems to be a willingness to compromise (or at least have a decent conversation) someone (FBB this time) throws a wrench into the works. FBB I tend to agree with you on the property rights part of this argument but I strongly disagree with you on the humanity (greater good) part of this. You seem to be wrapped up tight on your and other property owners rights to own the beach. You could very well when this battle but in my opinion it will be the beginning of the end of your peace in enjoying this beautiful resource because I believe you to be a decent human. Peace and happiness is the goal right? There are good reasons "why" it is important to not just see this from your legal rights perspective. You pay property taxes and I get it, you believe that our Constitution is worth living and dying for and I get that but what I don't get is why you have such limited concern about what happens in a world that only cares about money and power and your version of being "right". Money to own a slice of a beautiful natural resource, build and obstruct views of that resource, possibly damage that resource and finally to chain off that resource because people do not always behave (hopefully that is a small percentage). Power to enforce your legal rights (most people have zero access to power). So if you were to understand what it is like for most people to not have money and power then you might could understand why CU supporters get all fired up and say things they shouldn't. Again, I agree with you about all the name calling tactics which are shameful and wrong and the hypocrisy that comes from that side which is wrong but you need to have some thick skin here and remember you wake up every morning to a view that 99% percent of us do not have. Of course some CU supporters also have money and power and it becomes a battle of who is right I guess but there is also power in numbers and you only have about 1% of those numbers. You can argue the math, you can argue that you earned that 1%, you can argue that you are legally right but you can not argue that you wake up every morning and fall asleep every night in paradise. IMHO you have a great opportunity here to show your generosity and drop the lawsuit knowing that you have won the battle of prosperity and goodness. Walton County should show their gratitude and in fairness give you a set of rules of beach behavior that people must follow or be removed from the beach. I have one question for both sides: why not settle this thing now before it is too late for peace and happiness...
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  15. Stone Cold J

    Stone Cold J Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2019
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    SRB
    The root of the problem is too many people in a sensitive ecosystem. Beach behavior is a symptom of the sense of entitlement and overcrowding. The rate of destruction of the 30A ecosystem will actually ACCELERATE if the BCC somehow manages to remove constitutional private property rights and turn our beaches into a free for all.

    The main questions is how to control density management and who is allowed to control density management? The private property owners may feel if they have purchased deeded property then they have a right to control density management (in other words right of exclusion). The BCC may feel they want NO restrictions on density management (as indicated by the current beach ordinances). A sub set of density management includes parking, behavior, and beach equipment (some areas may have restrictions on beach equipment) but the very first issue that needs to be addressed is density management.
     
  16. Stone Cold J

    Stone Cold J Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2019
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    SRB
    mputnal - It is the BCC (PLANTIFF) that is the suing the property owners (DEFENDANTS). It is the PLANTIFF that must drop the lawsuit. The DEFENDANTS did file a motion to have the motion dismissed but that has not been ruled on yet. (Doc #789 of over 900 documents filed on the Clerk of Court web site case #2018CA0547).

    Even if the lawsuit is dropped we still must address density management to slow down the destruction of our 30A ecosystem.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  17. mputnal

    mputnal Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    187
    Yes, I agree about the problem with density, infrastructure and behavior and there needs to be an intelligent management of such. We need good leaders. Not lawsuits. Our community is at stake. I am concerned that we get so caught up in being "right" that we lose sight of community. Maybe we should go back to the basics of exactly what "community" means. It seems as if both sides just want to be right then it becomes more about principles and ideals. If community means something then both sides will need to compromise. I think it should be more about community and less about principles or ideals. The issues aren't ridiculous but to ignore the bitterness that will fester in our community because both sides are hell bent on being right then well that is ridiculous! Both sides will need to compromise and settle the lawsuit. Plantiff please compromise and settle with the defendant! Defendant please compromise and settle with the plantiff! Please do it now...
     
  18. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,269
    Likes Received:
    177
    The public would have had access to the back part of the beach. The county would have compensated with reduced taxes while in effect. No wristband necessary. And importantly, the whole “deal” could be cancelled at any time if it didn’t work out (enforcement).
     
  19. Stone Cold J

    Stone Cold J Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2019
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    SRB
    mputnal, thank you very much for your post.

    In the "Ole Days" if someone used private property, they either rented the house on that property, or only a few people used the private property without any beach equipment (as shown in the early photos of beach use). IF they were asked to leave they did. But for the MOST PART, if there were only a few people, with minimal beach equipment (no day camping), and they were respectful, they were not asked to leave the property and everyone got along.

    BUT
    the property owner had the right to ask people to move (right of exclusion) and they moved if asked. THAT IS ANCIENT CUSTOMARY USE ON 30A.

    Now we have lawyers being asked to moved off private property by uniformed police officers and they refuse, and then post videos to encourage others to ignore the officers. So much for the Florida Lawyer Oath of Admission to respect officers. This is very recent entitlement use and NOTHING to do with ancient customary use.

    Now we have 4 million tourists and an ecosystem that is under rapid destruction. We absolutely can NOT wait 10 years.

    This is a crisis and we are destroying 30A. EVEN IF the lawsuit is dropped, if we don't make some radical changes to density management then 30A will be destroyed.

    I totally agree with you. We need REAL leaders on the BCC to step up that have the long term 30A ecosystem as the primary objective and not the short term gain of a few people that will result in 30A destruction.
     
  20. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,269
    Likes Received:
    177
    Let’s be honest here about “community”. Most everything south of 98 caters to tourists and the dollars they bring. There’s not much sense of community down here IMHO when your neighbors change on a weekly basis. And I don’t think our beach town is unique in that regard.

    I think we lost much of our “Legacy” years ago when the TDC became wildly successful in overmarketing the area, exerting more and more pressure via imcreased off beach development on a finite resource, the beach. And now private property owners are pushing back with the only thing they have, private property rights as most can’t vote since they don’t live here. You know, taxation without representation.
     

Share This Page