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Teresa

SoWal Guide
Staff member
Nov 15, 2004
28,465
3,872
South Walton, FL
sowal.com
I am sharing this important local's letter I just received via email. Please contact Governor Rick Scott to have your voice heard on this critical issue in Walton County...

Dear Walton County Citizens,

I am sending out this information as a public service announcement to those who live in our county and enjoy the use of the dry sand along our portion of the Gulf of Mexico.

As you are aware, the Walton County Board of County Commissioners passed and codified Customary Use in March of 2017. It is a short document and attached here for your pleasure reading:
Municode Library

Over the past few weeks, the Florida House and Senate have considered and passed legislation which will nullify Customary Use in Walton County. That legislation has now been sent to the governor's office for consideration and a signature making it law.

Many Walton Citizens will be pleased with the nullification of Customary Use. Other citizens may desire to call Governor Scott's office (850) 488-7146 or email at Email the Governor and voice their discontent and actively request that he veto the bill and allow Customary Use to continue in Walton County in order for all Citizens to have free use of the white sand as have the first people to inhabit this region of Florida, USA.

I thought you might want to know the current status of Customary Use in Walton County.

Regards,
Laurie Reichenbach
 

FloridaBeachBum

Beach Fanatic
Feb 9, 2017
463
112
Santa Rosa Beach
As you are aware, the Walton County Board of County Commissioners passed and codified Customary Use in March of 2017.

Over the past few weeks, the Florida House and Senate have considered and passed legislation which will nullify Customary Use in Walton County. That legislation has now been sent to the governor's office for consideration and a signature making it law.

Many Walton Citizens will be pleased with the nullification of Customary Use. Other citizens may desire to call Governor Scott's office and voice their discontent and actively request that he veto the bill and allow Customary Use to continue in Walton County in order for all Citizens to have free use of the white sand as have the first people to inhabit this region of Florida, USA.

I thought you might want to know the current status of Customary Use in Walton County.

Laurie Reichenbach

If you understood the bill and status this bill does NOT determine customary use in Walton County. You would understand Walton BCC, Defendants, did not have due process for private property owners to rebut Walton BCC's, Plaintiff, declaration of customary use on private property. Walton BCC can still claim customary use on private property. This bill corrects and directs Counties, as Plaintiffs, to prove it in court first. Read the thread "Proposed bill could void Walton County's customary use ordinance" and you might understand the status of the bill better.

I and others will be calling and emailing the Governor as we have the Florida Legislators that understand the bill is intended to prevent local Government from using it's police power under the guise of home rule to usurp the rule of law and due process to take Constitutionally protected private property rights that owner's have had and have today.

I have no doubt Walton BCC will spend more Walton tax payer million$ but the BCC rightfully have the burden of proof as Plaintiff to prove it in court first. See you in court.
 

formosa64

Beach Lover
Apr 18, 2017
62
88
Seacrest Beach
I don't know what specific beaches you have been using. You and your locals, visitors, friends and family haven't enjoyed access to our private beach - if you had been using it - I would have sent all of you a bill for a portion of the annual taxes we pay which includes our beach to MHLW. It's approx $300,000 per year for the beach, how would you like to pay for your share of county taxes for the our beach? Installments or annual payment? Let me know. I pay to use my beach and so should you to use my beach.
 

formosa64

Beach Lover
Apr 18, 2017
62
88
Seacrest Beach
I don't know what specific beaches you have been using. You and your locals, visitors, friends and family haven't enjoyed access to our private beach - if you had been using it - I would have sent all of you a bill for a portion of the annual taxes we pay which includes our beach to MHLW. It's approx $300,000 per year for the beach, how would you like to pay for your share of county taxes for the our beach? Installments or annual payment? Let me know. I pay to use my beach and so should you to use my beach.

BTW - I'm greatly exaggerating to make a point. No need to flame me for being a greedy cold hearted property owner. But, I used to own several hundred acres of very prime deer hunting land in a very high tax state. I used to get hunters all the time approach me and ask to hunt on my property. I would immediate start off with my tax bill and how much I paid for the property, and ask them what portion of that would they like to pay? Not a single one took me up on it - in fact some would get offended and reiterate they didn't want to pay to use my land - just hunt. Not one.

I call BS on this Customary Use. It's a land grab plain and simple. If it wasn't then they would allow the property owner to reserve 50% of the area for his/her own use, and then the other 50% access to the public for very limited use - just like the public beaches and the beach vendors. The BCC retaliated against the private beach owners and took it all - and now the state is weighing in.
 

Bob Wells

Beach Fanatic
Jul 25, 2008
3,228
1,205
I hope the day never comes, but if those that claim title to beaches need tax dollars to repair/ renourish, I am sure you will bappily decline.
 

sunny850

Beach Lover
Jul 16, 2012
58
47
I don't know what specific beaches you have been using. You and your locals, visitors, friends and family haven't enjoyed access to our private beach - if you had been using it - I would have sent all of you a bill for a portion of the annual taxes we pay which includes our beach to MHLW. It's approx $300,000 per year for the beach, how would you like to pay for your share of county taxes for the our beach? Installments or annual payment? Let me know. I pay to use my beach and so should you to use my beach.
We HAVE helped pay for “your” beach property, every time a storm wipes out the sand and dunes that hold your home up. Or was that you out there on your bulldozer repairing the beach so your home didn’t sink? For me, that’s many hurricanes in the 50 years I’ve paid taxes to Walton County.
 

gailforce

Beach Lover
Aug 29, 2015
122
102
54
Seacrest
When Beach Re-Nourishment was being discussed, I know of 12 beach front owners that wanted to pay for their own re-nourishment and the County declined.
 

FloridaBeachBum

Beach Fanatic
Feb 9, 2017
463
112
Santa Rosa Beach
I hope the day never comes, but if those that claim title to beaches need tax dollars to repair/ renourish, I am sure you will happily decline.
Bob, you were around for the 2015 Walton BCC and Army Corps of Engineer (ACE) beach fortification fiasco. As I recall about 95% of beach front owners declined Walton’s 50 year easement and 3.8 million cubic yards of off-shore, less than white, shell ridden tax payer paid sand mostly because owners did not agree to an Erosion Control Line (ECL) that would separate their littoral property (by definition contacts the water) boundary from the Gulf waters making their property water view instead of water front that owners paid a premium for. Including me. The white quartz beaches have been here for tens of thousands of years, I’m told. Look at the Walton beach aerial photos from the 1940s and compare them to today. Not much difference where the shoreline is now. How many hurricanes has Walton experienced since the 1940s? I’ll take my chances with my money, land title, and the bundle of rights I have had and have today. If you, the public, or Walton BCC want it and I’m willing to sell it you’ll have to pay fair market value for it to use it. Or go to court as a Plaintiff with the burden of proof and prove it first BEFORE you can declare private property for customary public use.

And I hope you don’t quibble about government flood insurance giving the public rights to private property unless you are going to apply the same logic to the flood victims in middle America too. Besides most owners I know, including me, self insure their premises or purchase additional private flood insurance because the $250K property and $100K contents FEMA insurance is not sufficient.

Bob, you seem like an informed guy but you missed the mark with this comment. I and I think many other littoral beach front owners are willing to share our littoral property with those strolling on the beach, like we have in the past, but that does not mean we gave up the property rights we have had and have today. If the BCC want to take our property rights I am willing to fight and will not be so willing to share in the future. Would you if your property rights you pay taxes on were being taken by local government declaration? What if beach front property owners prevail in court? Then what is the BCC and public going to do? Declare martial law?

Beach front owners have made suggestions like Mike Huckabee’s 2016 “Beach Share”.
EDITORIAL: 'Beach Share' worth reviewing in South Walton
I did not see the Walton BCC even acknowledge Beach Share plan and Dave Rauschkolb dismissed it out of hand and has declared "This sand is your sand, this sand is my sand!!" In Oct 25, 2016 Commissioner Comander declared her willingness to spend $40,000,000 or $50,000,000 of Walton tax payer dollars if we have to. Which means to me the BCC just want to take all private beach for inept unconstitutional reasons and a quick fix for the BCC's failure to manage growth.
Board of County Commissioners on 2016-10-25 9:00 AM - Regular Meeting - Oct 25th, 2016
 
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