Golf Garden Purchase in Miramar Beach

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by South Walton Community Council, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. South Walton Community Council

    South Walton Community Council Community Organization

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    In a recent report, SWCC outlines its position in supporting Walton County’s purchase of the last large undeveloped parcel in Miramar Beach, aka the “Golf Garden property”.

    Here is a link to the full report:
    https://tinyurl.com/yeps5h8c

    SWCC feels this 35-acre multi-use property is an essential investment in protecting Miramar Beach from over development and maintaining Miramar Beach as a thriving visitor and rental destination.

    MIRAMAR BEACH, FL: THE ECONOMIC ENGINE OF WALTON COUNTY
    A coastal beach community in South Walton (SoWal), Florida, Miramar Beach is the economic engine of Walton County. With a land area of only 7 square miles (0.7% of the county land), Miramar Beach is home to nearly one third of all residential properties and more than 50% of all rental units in the county. Miramar Beach has generated $100M+ in bed tax revenue over the past decade. In 2020 and every year thereafter, Miramar Beach is anticipated to generate $20M+ per year in bed tax revenue.

    IT'S TIME FOR THE COUNTY TO INVEST IN MIRAMAR BEACH
    Unfortunately, Miramar Beach has experienced a long history of underinvestment by the County and the Tourist Development Council (TDC). Therefore, SWCC feels it’s long past time to invest in the future of Miramar Beach. Investments, such as the Golf Garden property, are necessary to ensure Miramar Beach remains a healthy, vital area for tourists for decades to come.

    Please consider attending the upcoming BCC meeting in support of the Golf Garden purchase. Here are the details:
    WHAT: BCC Meeting, Agenda Items re Golf Garden property
    WHEN: Tues Jan. 14. at 4pm
    WHERE: South Walton Annex Boardroom at 31 Coastal Center Blvd, Santa Rosa Beach, FL.
     
  2. Sun Chaser

    Sun Chaser Beach Lover

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    Here is the replay of the 1/14/2020 BCC Meeting. The bulk of the meeting is discussion, etc. of the initiative of Walton County to purchase Miramar Beach's last large "greenspace" parcel, 35 acres in size aka Golf Garden parcel.

    Much credit to South Walton Community Council for their heroic efforts, much credit to the passionate citizens of Miramar Beach who simply want a nice area to further enjoy their little beach town. Miramar Beach, a beach town that produces massive revenue for Walton County yet receives disproportionate amenities in return.

    Commissioners Glidewell and Nipper were heroic tonight, but it was not enough. They both were just shaking their heads in the end in disbelief.

    Walton County is overdeveloping MAJOR. People I speak with who have visited for decades are just fading out coming here.

     
  3. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    I wasn't able to be there, but watched online. So disappointing that Tony Anderson and Trey Nick did not support this purchase, especially with Nick being the representative for the Miramar Beach district. While no one is thrilled with paying above appraised value, the BCC has done that a number of times before for the right properties and this was one of those "right" properties in my opinion. So sad that there hasn't been more foresight among our elected leaders in the past and we're apparently going to continue to have that situation with at least a couple of them.
     
  4. Jim Tucker

    Jim Tucker Beach Fanatic

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    I suppose there is a lot of money riding on the development of this property. With business interests controlling the BCC there are no checks in place for rampant development. If you know the recent history of politics in Walton County you know the story. The responsible elements that cared about the environment were pushed out. With the majority of voters in the north and the way the districts are drawn it is locked in this way.
     
  5. Sun Chaser

    Sun Chaser Beach Lover

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    It was hard to watch. There's a point at the end of the process where Nipper and Glidewell both just had (IMO) stunned looks on their faces.

    Everyone in the room was able to watch what happened. The twisting, turning, lecturing to rationalize why "they" voted the way they did.

    It is difficult was to see intelligent, passionate owners/residents of their own town see their last parcel like this be denied.
     
  6. MrSunshine

    MrSunshine Beach Lover

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    Maybe they feel the Foreman property make more sense in the big picture.
     
  7. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    Do you mean the Foreman property near Chat Holly and 393?
     
  8. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    The Foreman property has not been offered to the county.
     
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  9. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    Even if the Foreman property were offered to the County, it does not offer what the Golf Garden property offers to the County or to Miramar Beach, especially Miramar Beach. I had no idea that Miramar Beach was such a large portion of our bed tax revenues. They definitely deserve some amenities that benefit their tourists and residents alike. A nature discovery and educational welcome center is a wonderful idea for that area, among others that have been mentioned. It could be a great place to help educate people on our unique flora and fauna, the importance of the gulf and our dunes, how our sand became so uniquely fine and white, some history of our area, etc. How to be good beach citizen could be addressed, along with locations, amenities, nature trails, parks, etc. The center could also have a TDC gift shop focused on gifts promoting our area and natural environment. Surely there is a way to make this a joint Walton County/TDC project. The TDC, understandably, wants to make sure that they can complete projects for which they have already purchased property and I'm sure they are very aware that they need to be prepared to purchase more beach properties and/or parking areas, but Miramar Beach deserves a non-beach amenity for its tourists and residents.
     
  10. Charles Evans

    Charles Evans Beach Comber

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    Shocking that a formal postal employee with zero business acumen (other than a failed business) has a vote. How do people like this get elected? Hoping we get a real choice to replace him this fall with someone that actually knows what they are doing. Since his election, he was accomplished what????
     
  11. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    It is difficult to get people to run. We had a wonderful candidate in Bill Fletcher in the last election, but he was torpedoed by basically one influential local business leader and one little word: compromise. What a shame that the idea of any compromise on the beach issues caused us to lose out on the benefits of his service. Just my opinion. Take it for what it's worth, which may be nothing. :blush:
     
  12. Sun Chaser

    Sun Chaser Beach Lover

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    If you are genuinely asking these questions, I recommend researching past postings in the SoWal forums.

    Not speaking about the specific commissioner you are referring to, but you will find that not just developers, but the related industries donate to the designated candidate en masse. IMO, the power in this county still originates from north of the Bay.

    Good commissioners DO get elected; ones that try to do good FOR THE PEOPLE with the intent of improving quality of life regardless whether some developer or their attorney "approves".

    Perhaps the unintended consequences of so much development will be that the population in the south end will rise to a level whereby these folks will vote candidates that better represent the south end's views with a resident mindset. I looked at the numbers last election and it was close. :)
     
  13. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Commission Seats 1, 3, 5 are up. Have you considered a run?
     
  14. Jim Tucker

    Jim Tucker Beach Fanatic

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    On agenda for next BCC meeting:

    Request to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign the lease agreement for the Northern 10 acres of the Golf Garden Property to The Golf Garden of Destin, Inc.

    Request approval of updated HUD closing document for Golf Garden purchase.

    Request approval of updated HUD closing document for Golf Garden purchase. At the January 28, 2020 Board of County Commissioners Meeting, the BCC voted to approve the contract and closing documents for the north 10 acres of the Golf Garden Property. During the approval process, the price was negotiated down by $50,000. The closing agent has updated the HUD closing statement to reflect a purchase price of $2,700,000.
     

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