Customary Use and Our 30A Legacy

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

  1. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     
  2. Reggie Gaskins

    Reggie Gaskins Beach Lover

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    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.
     
  3. Stone Cold J

    Stone Cold J Beach Lover

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    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.
     
  4. mputnal

    mputnal Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     
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  5. EZ4144

    EZ4144 Beach Lover

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    Actually we do tell private property owners what they can do with their property all the time. it's called zoning.
     
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  6. mputnal

    mputnal Beach Fanatic

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    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...
     
  7. notorious63

    notorious63 Beach Comber

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    Living in a property where dunes used to be surely has to haunt the soul. I will pray for them.
     
  8. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    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......
     
  9. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     
  10. L.C. Bane

    L.C. Bane Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     
  11. bob bob

    bob bob Beach Fanatic

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    After watching all the illegal seawalls and geotubes installed in SoWal after 2005 I think beachfront owners lost any special consideration. Or at least any sympathy. They just did what they wanted and to hell with the environment and all of us.
     
  12. FloridaBeachBum

    FloridaBeachBum Beach Fanatic

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    You just do not understand government police powers and the law or just BELIEVE what you want. Governments police powers can tell owners HOW to use their property, within limits before considered a "take", but not WHO can use their private property with out fair market value compensation. Read the FL Bert Harris Act too.

    Walton Commissioners already tried to declare private property public use without due process. If Commissioners could just "zone" public use of private property don't you think they already would have? The 5 Commissioners' CU ordinance resulted in the 84% of the 2018 FL legislators and Governor passing a law, before the courts could strike down the ordinance as unconstitutional saving years and taxpayer's millions, to prevent any other FL county from doing what Walton Commissioners did. Uninformed and not credible comments. Typical emotional knee jerk posts and jumping on to a CU agenda without any facts.

    #1032 Customary Use and Our 30A Legacy
    Governments can use police powers to tell property owners HOW to use their property; not WHO can use their property. “It is just that simple.” If the People resent what BFOs have, by any American standard, obtained legally within a free market that any person could have achieved - that resentment is misplaced.

    #982 Customary Use and Our 30A Legacy
    [A] BFOs obtain/bought for fair market value the legal rights in title and “built structures” legally. Legally, property owners have the right to build in the space above the land but Walton Commissioners have used their police powers to limit that to 50 feet. But the Commissioners have no legal authority to determine WHO can use private property.

    Only the Courts have the authority to determine WHO can use anther's private property. CUnCourt.
     
  13. FloridaBeachBum

    FloridaBeachBum Beach Fanatic

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    "Then, work with the BCC and Beachfront owners to set tighter restrictions on the dry sand within 500 to 800 feet of those county owned beach accesses on either side. No tents, no large gatherings, no night parties...only ghost crab chasing with the kids at night."
    Are the private property rights 500 feet from a public access different than private property next to public accesses? No of course not! That's the fallacy of this CU belief "compromise".

    "But the dry sand in those areas with restrictions are open to the public to use within the law with strict enforcement and a hot line for beachfront owners to get quick results [laughable] if anyone gets out of line."
    Are the private property rights 500 feet from a public access different than private property next to public accesses? No of course not! That's the fallacy of this CU belief "compromise".

    "Beyond 500 to 800 feet, fewer restrictions because no one walks with all their stuff that far." Today, the public use/cross private properties and decks from the roads to avoid having to walk to the public accesses private beachfront. Uninformed, not credible, not relevant beliefs. Where do you live?

    "The "interior" beachfront owners complain the least because people just don't walk long distances dragging their stuff. I truly believe this could set the clock back." False. Uninformed, not credible, not relevant belief.

    "Restore the garbage pickup AND "leave no trace" and eliminate the private property, no trespassing signs." The State Parks do NOT allow TDC vehicles on the "publicly owned" beaches to pick up beach trash bags and have huge signs that would violate Walton sign ordinance now! Ask the Director of Beaches Brian Kellenberger.
    STOP blaming the BFO for the State Park's prohibiting TDC vehicles and TDC's lack of imitative using the public accesses to pickup beach trash bags from accessing beach trash bags. More intentional CU agenda misinformation.
     
  14. EZ4144

    EZ4144 Beach Lover

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    Try reading all the posts instead of spinning just those you don't like.
     
  15. mputnal

    mputnal Beach Fanatic

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    FactorFiction yes I agree with you that this issue is baffling. It seems that both sides have an agenda other than the problems you list. It is also a matter of trust between groups of people. BPO's do not trust The People and The People do not trust wealth and power. I will always side with The People because I am a middle class (aka working class) small family business person who use to work for big business however my interactions with both sides are not exactly warm and fuzzy. I sense a bigger problem in our inability to compromise. My personal experience, my business experience, my education, the banking collapse and the bail out, the loss of pension funds, the court decisions like citizens united etc. have caused my distrust. Capitalism is in trouble because of monopolization of resources and outsourcing labor. The proof is all around us. Our phone, our utilities, our computer, our internet, our media and on and on. We have fewer consumer choices for many many things which I believe puts limits on freedom. Our economic system such as it is will have to change. Capitalism now works primarily for wealth and power. There is hope but it is not in a two party political system where extremism and division is the new game. My hope is in The People because money and power is never enough. Anyway back to my reply to your post. Sharing the beach should never have been the issue but because of high profile incidents of a few it became a battle cry between two ideals and it has escalated into a full out battle between human rights and property rights. Yes the issues you list are most important but that is not part of the game. The game is power...
     
  16. FloridaBeachBum

    FloridaBeachBum Beach Fanatic

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    Then why are the Commissioners litigating against 1,193 private property parcels and 4,671 property owners with millions of tax payer's money? Why are you whining about public customary use of private property and not relevant zoning laws?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  17. Dave Rauschkolb

    Dave Rauschkolb Beach Fanatic

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    Walton County is litigating because a handful of powerful lawyers, politicians and beachfront owners devised and then encouraged the Florida Legislature to pass, in record time, HOUSE BILL 631 that set for the prescribed, legislated and mandated process to re-affirm the Customary Use of Walton County's beaches. You and other Beachfront owners supported that Bill and process. You can't be surprised or disgusted or incredulous that the Walton County Board of Commissioners voted to proceed. I've said it many times: "You can't have it both ways." The court rulings that were happening were not going the way of Private beaches so this "process" was invented to Legislatively influence the private beach outcome more quickly and efficiently. There should be no surprise on anyone's part that the "Commissioners litigating against 1,193 private property parcels and 4,671 property owners" did exactly that. Here's 1,000,001.00 times "You can't have it both ways". P.S. after the Bill was passed there was great effort to influence the election of the Commissioners to ensure the County Commission would get a 3 to 2 vote against proceeding. So the plan was get House Bill 631 and then stop the vote to proceed with the process set forth in the bill. It did not work out that way so here we are.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  18. mputnal

    mputnal Beach Fanatic

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    FBB you know why this is being litigated. You have posted your distrust in the local government and/or The People. Your post have indicated you want every property right entitlement that is available to you and to hell with community. You do not trust anyone except those Constitutional Lawyers. Your attitude and others got me to thinking about wealth and power and how it leads us to one set of values over many values that should be considered. Power leads to superiority and that is why it is NOT in The People's best interest to allow that power to exclude people from any part of the beach. You are behaving as a player in this game of power for the beach. Thank you for opening my eyes! I am sorry you disagree :)
     
  19. Reggie Gaskins

    Reggie Gaskins Beach Lover

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    Folks of Walton County...

    Read the last two posts. You'll quickly see why we have this hate and division in our community. People hungry for power and money in your community are attempting to build on your emotional attachment to our beaches. They replace the words "Private Property" with words that imply "Community Beaches".
    It's just not true, according to the law.

    The county commissioners got caught illegally attempting to Take property from private owners because they failed to do their jobs and provide enough beach capacity to keep up with their mass real estate developments they so quickly approved. Yet when 84% of the Fla Legislature, 84%!, passed a law to stop this sophomoric illegal behavior by a rogue BCC, that 84% super majority is described as a handful?
    It's just not true, according to the law.

    Once the illegal attempt at a county ordinance Taking Private Property was stopped by the state lawmakers, the state and federal laws were correctly the rule of the Walton land. For the BCC to risk possibly millions of dollars of taxpayer money by suing nearly 5,000 of it's citizens, to cover up their failure to lead, and to again throw a Hail Mary pass of CU should be VERY SURPRISING to you, it's YOUR money being spent on a lost cause!!!! Knowing that a broad CU stroke has never been successful in America, because it flies in the face of federal and state constitutional law, it is a ridiculous and frivolous reaction to a management problem. The beaches in question have never been public.
    It's just not true, according to the law.

    Be careful to not get caught up in a false narrative of community power brokers. Follow the money. It's not in the hands of BPO's. It's running through business owners, developers, and most certainly through the county offices through approved further development. Also, maybe by those attempting to gain political power through this battle? To think that BPO's started this, escalated it, or are driving it, is false.
    It' just not true, according to the law.

    Let's stop the madness. Drop the lawsuit. Fix the beach vendor problem. Buy more public beach. Stop video ambushing and publicly shaming BPO's. Take a breath. We can get back to all enjoying our beaches as we always have. Continue this hate?

    Regardless of who wins,
    Customary Use Will Destroy Our 30A Legacy
     
  20. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    @mputnal, there are 1194 parcels that are the subject of CU if I recall correctly. There are upwards of 4,000 real people who either have ownership and/or beach rights through an HOA, divided interest, individual ownership, or other legal means that give them the right to use whichever parcel(s) pertain to their right. All BPOs (and parties with use rights) are not alike, just like all members of the public are not alike. I understand that some people feel this is a power game, but I don't believe that is the case with most people, either BPO or not.

    Others may feel differently, but I believe, after reading many different sources of information, that a court is and was truly the proper place to have CU determined (or not). Bypassing due process was, in my mind, a serious mistake. The underlying issues, which I outlined in an earlier post, needed attention of the BCC, but declaring CU WITHOUT due process only inflamed the situation. Virtually every argument that can be made on either "side" has been made in this thread. While I would love to see a meeting of the minds and the mending of our community, only time will tell if either of those are possible.

    I will say this one last thing, though: Based on the way that Walton County has been conducting business and making decisions over many years and many Boards (my personal knowledge goes back to the 80s), I would not want the County determining who could use my property and what they could do on it. I acknowledge the fact that we have the LDC and the Comprehensive Plan and people voluntarily purchase in HOAs with covenants, rules, and regulations (CC&Rs), but all of those restrictions or regulations apply equally to whatever groups of people are governed by them (at least theoretically). As I understand it, no customary use ordinance or determination had ever been made in Walton County until the BCC created the CU ordinance. Regardless of any other opinions or facts, I don't think that bypassing due process was a good decision for our community.

    I hope that everyone can see their way to STOP making accusations, demeaning, or assuming that any of us knows what is anyone else's heart or mind. Asking questions is one thing, making assumptions is something else entirely. I bet no one who wrote on this thread has changed their mind about CU. Maybe some of the silent readers have gained some insight about both sides. Regardless, the courts (judges) will decide. In the meantime, is anything good being accomplished by continuing the conflict among our community members? I don't think so, but that's just my perspective.
     

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