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Fight Over Beach Nourishment and Property Rights

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by lenzoe, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    What exactly is the argument between the Property Owners and the County on the areas targeted for Beach Nourishment? I heard something like the County was trying to force owners to give up their property rights before they'd do the project. Or is it more that the owners think beach nourishment doesn't work and does more long-term harm than good?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2005
  2. Buckhead Rick

    Buckhead Rick Beach Lover

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    I only know what I read, BUT is seems the beach landowners (who we all wish we were) don't like the idea because it will INCREASE the size of the beach and the NEW area will be public.
     
  3. SoWalSally

    SoWalSally Beach Fanatic

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    The way the beach is now in some places, the public is trespassing if they go in front of someone's house. If they add beach, then they would be able to come and not only walk on the beach but sit on it and enjoy the sunshine.

    HORRORS. :D

    The beach should be public property. PERIOD.

    I hope the buttheads get washed away. :mad:
     
  4. SoWalSally

    SoWalSally Beach Fanatic

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    Beachfront property owner Denny Jones says the city of Destin illegally trespassed on his property to scrape sand to build an emergency dune in January.
    And the dune, he said, was built seaward of his dune walkover.
    "It?s a dune walkover, not a dune walkto," Jones said to the Destin City Council on Monday evening.
    Because Jones is part of a group of property owners suing Destin about a planned beach restoration project, city attorney Jerry Miller advised the council members to listen to what Jones said but make no comment.
    Jones and other beachfront owners say the beach restoration project would take away some of their private property rights because the sand added to the beach would be considered public.
    On Monday, he tried to limit his comments to the beach scraping, which the city conducted once and has a new permit signed to conduct again Feb. 1.
    City Manager Greg Kisela said the scraping was done and the dunes were constructed in accordance with an executive order from Gov. Jeb Bush following Hurricane Ivan.
    Although 14 other beachfront owners attended Monday?s meeting, Jones was the only one who spoke to the council.
    He said he and others told the city that they didn?t want workers or scraping on their private property.
    Jones said that scraping a foot of sand off the top of the beach slows accretion, and the new dune construction has killed recovering sea oats.
    He asked the city to pay for what he describes as damages.
    The only comment made following Jones? presentation was from council member Dewey Destin, who asked Kisela to schedule a meeting with the attorney representing the city in the beach restora- tion litigation.
    "Perhaps we need to talk," Destin said.
    Jones pointed out that the new permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection for the beach scraping does exempt his property. It also states that the city must get written permission from property owners before scraping on their private property.
    For that reason, Kisela said it?s not clear when the next scraping will start. He said he doesn?t think that stipulation on the permit is consistent with DEP rules and regulations, and he has requested a meeting with DEP about it.
    Outside of the council meeting, Jones said relations between the city and the beachfront property owners are taking a turn for the worse.
    "This was wrong," he said. "They really stepped across the line on this one. The gloves are off."
     
  5. SoWalSally

    SoWalSally Beach Fanatic

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    We received a press release last week from www.openbeaches.org, announcing "Florida Legislator, Aaron P. Bean (Baker, Nassau, Union and parts of Bradford, Clay, Duval Counties) has begun the process of introducing the Florida Open Beaches Act to the 2005 legislative session."
    Along with the press release came a copy of the two-page bill.
    The purpose of passing the bill would be to keep people from creating "an obstruction that denies public access to the beach," and would keep state and local authorities from "revoking any public approach to the beach for private use."
    We like this direct approach to this nagging problem.
    The bill has specific language addressing waterfront owners? rights. It also specifies that the government "define, protect and enforce the public?s customary rights of beach access."
    Such a bill would bring us closer to resolving the question as to who owns the beach, an issue that promises to become even more contentious as new homes continue to be built closer and closer to the water.
    Most likely this bill will never see the light of day. However, a grass roots effort to help it along could make a difference.
    The regular session of the legislature convenes March 8. You can e-mail your legislative representative and senator at www.myfloridahouse.gov or wwwflsenate.gov. Let them know what you think of this idea.
    You can read the bill in its entirety by following the links at www.openbeaches.org.
     
  6. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    I don't know who "we" is, but I think the language of the bill is vague, poorly worded, and totally the wrong way to go about encouraging development of public access. Seems to me the County has the ability to create and enforce development requirements such as setting aside so many feet of green-space or public access per development project. Plenty of other communities have done this. All they need to do is work it into the comprehensive plan, but I've seen no evidence of that. Seems to be plenty of gated-access communities being built with no public-accesses in site. Instead, they're allowing increasingly dense developments without even adequate parking space, let alone green space.
     
  7. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    I'm not sure why the new area would be public, as opposed to the existing area. The deeds I've seen relating to beach-front property define the boundaries of the property extending to the mean high-water line. If that's the case, wouldn't adding beach just change the location of the mean high-water line and therefore extend the private property? Or is there something in the renourishment project itself that is re-defining the property boundaries?
     
  8. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    As an update, there's a letter to the editor in the April 23, 2005 Walton Sun in which Maurice Gilbert with the TDC bashes the property owners that have taken legal action to delay the renourishment project. He closes the letter by writing:

    "If you are a homeowner along this stretch, you will be receiving a construction easement form in the mail; please reply quickly. It will take the power of our community to save this stretch of beach."

    I suspect this construction easement is probably what this fight is about. Does anyone out there have a copy of the easement?
     

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