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Tess Farmer

Beach Crab
Oct 11, 2016
Santa Rosa Beach, FL


Proposed public boat park to offer a lasting legacy for future generations

Plans for a proposed public park called Historic Santa Rosa Landing were recently announced by Waterside Investors, LLC, to create a park and boat access to Hogtown Bayou that leads to the Choctawhatchee Bay at the site of the Old Town Santa Rosa at the end of 13th Street in Santa Rosa Beach. Local residents are encouraged to contact the Walton County Board of County Commissioners to voice their support for the park.

In addition to the boat ramp, park amenities include: public recreation opportunities including copious nature paths, a fishing pier, boardwalk and dock, a lodge building for use by the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance and other community groups; a fenced-in playground, play structures resembling historic boats, a treehouse, a community garden and 24-hour security surveillance, as well as boat trailer and general parking. The Walton County Sheriff’s Department would have a vessel docked at the site to allow the department to quickly and better serve the public. A separate private boat storage area will also provide covered boat storage, a service not currently available in South Walton.

Once approved, the approximately six-acre bayfront park would be dedicated to the Board of County Commissioners with a small boat storage facility operated by Waterside Investors, LLC. Funds from the boat storage unit will be used to help maintain the park and provide security services. The proposed lodge building on the park grounds will include exhibits and historical information about the Old Town Santa Rosa. Markers along the nature trails will point out native plants and species as well as historical facts and sites.

“This is a unique opportunity to create a lasting legacy for generations to come,” said Chick Huettel, local historian and newspaper columnist. “The chance to share the early history of this special place and preserve the land for a public park is something residents and visitors will be excited about and something we should all act upon right now.”

Because lots on the property were platted in 1905 the county recognizes them as lots of record, allowing a single-family dwelling on each of the 43 lots. The public is encouraged to contact the Walton County Board of County Commissioners to encourage their support of acquiring this land for a public park and therefore preventing the land from being developed for housing. Special consideration and protection of the wetlands on the property is being made in the park plans.

“South Walton has many crown jewels and the Choctawhatchee Bay is one of them,” said Dave Rauschkolb, longtime resident, business owner and community activist in South Walton. “The boat park at Historic Santa Rosa Landing would create a family-friendly place to enjoy the natural beauty of the bay, something much-needed in South Walton.”

More information about Historic Santa Rosa Landing is available at www.historicsantarosalanding.com, including a rendering of the proposed park plan. Residents can also visit the site to contact their local county commissioner to support the creation of Historic Santa Rosa Landing, a park for everyone.

Emerald Drifter

Beach Fanatic
Jun 8, 2018
Santa Rosa Beach
So what is the asking price for the parcels that Waterside Investors wants to sell to the county?

Lou Deman

Beach Fanatic
Jan 25, 2017
South Walton
Something seems odd with this to me. There is already a boat ramp / dock, fishing pier, restrooms, playground, picnic tables, ect about 1,000 feet away from this proposed site. Who would I talk to about this project?


Beach Fanatic
Jun 22, 2005
Pt Washington
Anything we can get that can help document places / pictures of Old Santa Rosa is beneficial, as even I get confused as to where things were. However, I don't see a need for the boat ramp and storage, except to generate funds to maintain the park.

I do think the county should buy the site if they can - keep the historical area of Santa Rosa public for all to enjoy.


Beach Fanatic
Jul 8, 2009
Stone's throw from Inlet Bch
On the agenda for the May 14 Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting, the applicants are requesting for the BCC to schedule a workshop for the proposed park on June 10 and put on the June 10 BCC meeting agenda consideration of directing staff to work with the applicant through the amendment, development, and grant application process. Info on the proposal is attached.


  • BCC Proposal for Historic Town of Santa Rosa Landing.pdf
    585.4 KB · Views: 75
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