Led away in Handcuffs

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by rocket136, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. GoodWitch58

    GoodWitch58 Beach Fanatic

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    as I said above to Lola, some of us are sorry you were treated so badly and we are trying to work with the local officials to make it better.

    We have built a wonderful vacation destination place mainly because of the magic of the beaches and the people here. Unfortunately, both the people and the beaches have changed drastically in the last few years.

    It is a difficult situation, hopefully there will be a solution that will prevent what happened to you and your children from becoming the norm.
     
  2. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    I believe you've hit the nail on the head (underlined part). There seems to be a disregard for private property rights with the majority of commissioners in Walton County and Walton County Tourist Development Council which reports to the commissioners. So much so, that the county conveniently forgets to post signs at accesses stating this simple fact. They don't want the public to know for the obvious fear of harming tourism. The more the commissioners allow the county to grow in questionable ways (i.e. private deeded beach access in a residential neighborhood for remotely located high density developments which puts pressure on the adjacent gulf front private property owners), the more frequent these confrontations will become.

    Personally, I am truly so sorry that you or anyone else in your position had to endure that humiliation.

    For the others, to intentionally trespass to try and "prove a point" is flat out wrong (plus it's not neighborly). What's worse, is ecouraging others to do so. It is this attitude that causes some private property owners to react the way they do...just simple human nature. If there is disagreement with who owns the beach, it should be settled in the court of law, not by directly challenging the property owner at a personal level.
     
  3. Bobby J

    Bobby J Beach Fanatic

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    Good point. Looking through this thread I was trying to find where I mixed Surfrider's goal? My post is from Bobby J. Local land owner in Walton County who will come sit on any beach.
     
  4. Darwin

    Darwin Beach Comber

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    I am irritated by the property owners arrogance and I am also irritated by what could be considered entrapment by the county encouraging tourist to use the "public" beaches while at the same time enforcing no trespassing laws.

    As a visitor to your forum I promise that am not trying to flame and if any one of you says leave and never come back I will. During our many stays in Seagrove I have frequented this community only as a lurker and have come away with the opinion that this is one of the most civil chat communities I have come across. Okay, this leads to my next question that I realize it belongs in its own thread, and I will apologize in advance if I'm opening wounds because I am sure you guys have discussed it in one form or another. My question is if the beaches are private why should state/federal money be used to "re-nourish" them? If the public can not access the beaches why should public money be spent on the re-nourishment?

    As a geologist I see beach re-nourishment as a fable. Barrier islands are one of, if not the most dynamic landform on the planet, and to think we can maintain the coastal layout as we now see it is pretty arrogant. If someone built a house on an active volcano people would think they were nuts. As a geologist I see building a house on a barrier island as just as precarious. There is a inherent risk to building on volcanos just as there is a risk to building on the coast. Anyone that builds on these landforms is taking a risk that I believe is the building/land owners risk and no one else's. Is it the publics responsibility to pay for private beach re-nourishment or rebuilding houses on such a landform? No one is talking about rebuilding Harry Truman's now buried house near Mt St Helens.
     
  5. Bobby J

    Bobby J Beach Fanatic

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    Florida Beach Access

    Policies

    The state constitution says all beaches below the ?mean high-water line,? or the wet sand, are public. Court cases have found that the public has the right to the dry sand parts of beaches in two instances:

    • One is if the public has established a ?prescriptive easement,? using a particular beach for the past 20 years without objection from private landowners.
    • The other is through ?customary use,? which is the ?ancient,? peaceful use of the beach by the public.
    Florida regulations and laws that help shape public beach access policy include Section 161.053, F.S., and Chapter 62B-33, F.A.C. Specifically, the conditions within Chapter 62B-33.0051, F.A.C., prohibit the loss of lateral public access.
     
  6. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    :welcome: Darwin!!
     
  7. GoodWitch58

    GoodWitch58 Beach Fanatic

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    Darwin, seems to me you are being perfectly reasonable and rational and obviously know what you are talking about. Many here will agree with you--some will not.

    Welcome and post often...
     
  8. yippie

    yippie Beach Fanatic

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    Oh, this is the basis of several law suits and arguments. If public money is used to renourish the beaches, then that part of the beach becomes public.

    The lawsuit over the recent renourishment from Sandestin to Henderson State Park has been filed by some property owners who say they have now been denied their rights of the natural accretion of their property.

    That was probably worded so wrong, but I think you get the point. That is what the Supreme Court is going to make a ruling on.... soon we think.

    BUT, the renourishment had to take place to protect other upland structures.

    What I find amazing is the pure arrogance of some of these property owners. Funny, it was OK for them to plop down and use any beach they wanted, but now that they own property, it is no longer OK for anyone else to use the same beach. (NOTE - I said SOME of the property owners)
     
  9. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    Welcome Darwin, and please feel free to contribute to the discussion.

    The time I feel like renourishment really makes sense in these parts is to protect critical roadways. For better or worse, there are a couple of places where there are only one or two significant east-west roadways, and one of those roadways was built too close to the coast (see Scenic 98 near Pompano Joe's restaurant) , or the only place they could really put a road was in a fragile area (see US 98 between Destin and Ft. Walton Beach)

    Until renourishment happened, whether on public or private property, Scenic 98 really was one bad storm away from being undermined in a couple different spots. Should the road have been built where it was to begin with? Probably not, but it's there, and renourishment is probably more cost-effective than trying to move the roadway inland another 100 yards.
     
  10. Bobby J

    Bobby J Beach Fanatic

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    I also struggle with beach re-nourishment. It is a disaster in St. Augustine. Also, the state will never be able to keep funding it. The problem is the only real solution seems impossible. Retreat. We made a mistake and built/paved too close to the waters edge... Beach re-nourishment seems the only viable option unless the state wanted to buy out homeowners. In the long haul that may prove to be the cheaper route.
     
  11. iwishiwasthere

    iwishiwasthere Beach Fanatic

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    Good point. Most folks, including me, wants to be as close as possible, but I still prefer the beach to heal as nature intended. A huge task ahead for the state.
     
  12. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter got any pics?

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    Fight the power [​IMG]
     
  13. Darwin

    Darwin Beach Comber

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    If sea level is rising then retreat will be the only option. You guys will know the answer to a question that came up in my office awhile ago. So, you can get insurance on the house but what about the property? What happens when all the property corners are now out in the water and the property is unusable therefore worthless? Is that a monetary loss or can insurance pay for the lost value? I realize that insurers will insure anything for enough money. If it exists is that kind of insurance common along the coast? To us inland folks the idea of land disappearing is alien so we didn't know the answer.

    I see buying on the coast as similar to the risk/reward of buying stocks. In general your property goes up in value. Get lucky and mother nature accretes additional land to your property further increasing the value. Get unlucky and mother nature submerges your property in the ocean.

    Our country was founded on the concept of property rights as well as civil disobedience. If the guy arrested last week for trespassing did it to make a point I say way to go fellow American. I also understand the concern property owners have for their property. I want to protect my property value as much as any coastal owner.

    I am a whitewater kayaker who has seen the same battle between property owners along mountain streams with fishermen and whitewater boaters. The Earth is getting very small and we are starting to bump into each other with greater frequency.
     
  14. yippie

    yippie Beach Fanatic

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    Insurance companies don't insure the land for value, only the structure for value. Land for liability.
     
  15. lindatat

    lindatat quirty

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    LMAO at dental floss. That is all I have to say.
     
  16. Cobia Cottage

    Cobia Cottage Beach Comber

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    I read this entire thread with great interest as I own a house on Snapper St in Blue Mountain Beach set up as a short-term rental & I have some questions!!!!

    I truly appreciate everyone's input & overall tone on this board- it's been great & I've really learned quite a lot about the area.

    Here's my story..... I have had three different guests call me about the beach access/where to set up on the beach. The first was during Memorial Day weekend- the guest & his family were told they had to leave the beach by the rent-a-cop from the Retreat. The other two guests & their families were told they had to move closer to the water line - away from the private property of the Retreat & Inn at Blue Mountain. As a property owner, I have deeded beach access, I'm a member of the Bl Mtn Beach Homeowner's Assoc, and the Bl Mtn Beach Club. These guests are typical family oriented SoWal beach goers- small kids & teenagers and grandparents. Clearly, they were upset about this harassment & called me. I called the Sherrif's Dept & got a couple of different responses, .....so what should I tell my guests and who should I contact to complain????

    One guest told me that he & his famliy had vacationed in the area for the past seven years, but that this trip was the last 11% tax he would pay to Walton Cty & FL.

    I understand that part of the beach is private property, but to have their rent-a-cops harass revenue & tax paying guests is out of line!!

    I'm certainly willing to join the crowd & help out in protest- I'm just not sure who or what to contact.

    Thanks! Cobia Cottage
     
  17. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    You're correct. You haven't mixed Surfrider's "Beach Access Goals" with this thread. But as a very vocal proponent of Surfrider, I assumed there was a connection. I guess you're telling me that there is not. I can live with that if that's truly what you mean.
     
  18. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    Interesting that this thread has somewhat gone off-topic with the beach renourishment issue...or has it?

    Darwin, you are definitely asking ALL the right questions. Some are getting answered.

    Beach restoration... why should the "public" pick up the tab for this? Well as Yippie correctly said, "If public money is used to renourish the beaches, then that part of the beach becomes public." A significant portion of the private beaches become public. You would think that a private property owner would be allowed to "pay" for their part of the beach nourishment and retain their property rights. But I don't believe this is the case. The answer to the question, why, is obvious.

    I'm not going to debate the merits of renourishment but it sure seems to me a VERY CHEAP PRICE to pay to gain public access to the beaches compared to the outright purchase of beach front property.

    Here's the point: the cost of beach renourishment is a small price to pay to rectify the screwed up beach access mess that Walton County has gotten ALL OF US in. And, it seems, they have made no attempt to truly change things - only make them worse by the unbelievable approval, as an example, of the Redfish Village private easement debacle which will eventually pour hundreds of people into an area the size of one single residential lot bordered on both sides by private property. They were well aware of this but approved it anyway. In Commissioner's Sara Comander's defense, she voted against it (Meadows was not present).

    If they did not approve it, Redfish Village would have gone down in flames. The county bailed them out but at whose expense?

    Darwin, I'm not familiar with the location where you had your bad experience. But the start of this thread had to do with someone being run off the beach in front of the Retreat. The people at the Retreat and the Inn at Blue Mountain Beach are going through a similar thing. That is, the county approved a public beach access with no "real" dedicated public beach on the other end.

    The beach in front of the Inn at BMB is packed because of the very high density of that development for the associated beach frontage. They are in "survival mode". There is much more to this story at the Inn at BMB as many of you in the real estate business are aware of.

    In my opinion, the people at the less dense Retreat do not feel they should pay for the lack of planning at the county level. If you paid a few million for your dream home on the beach, you might (just might) understand why they would want to protect their private property.

    If you're familiar with the area, you know the pressure that all the development south and north of 30A in that immediate vicinity will put on that single beach access. Yet it keeps on growing and growing without regard to the beach as a finite resource, regardless of who owns it.

    Bottom line, the Inn at BMB does not want any more people on their beach because they are getting too crowded as is, and the people at the Retreat do not want the bleedover from the Inn at BMB as well as the public access.

    So the public is caught in the middle while all gulf front owners and sheriff's deputies are made out to be the bad guys.

    Darwin, if anyone should be ranting and raving, it should be you. Thanks for the level headed, thought provoking posts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2007
  19. John R

    John R needs to get out more

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    Darwin, I owned river property in Telluride and my property line went 1/2 way from my shore to the opposite shore. I did not own the water flowing across it(another fight entirely; water rights). I would never try to prevent boaters or fishers from being on/in the water. Is that actually happening? where?
     
  20. Here4Good

    Here4Good Beach Fanatic

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    The Walton County website has the names and email addresses of the County Commissioners:

    http://www.co.walton.fl.us


    And the TDC should be interested in these matters:
    http://www.beachesofsouthwalton.com/
     

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