Public vs Private Beach [threads merged]

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by SoWal Staff, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    John G, without adequate public beach the demand for properties that do not have beachfront will decrease and thus will need to cut prices which will change the clientele in a negative fashion. And that lower demand will increase pressure for TDC to increase advertising to prop up demand and will reduce the amount of funds available to purchase additional beachfront for public use. The Sheriff cannot hire enough deputies to enforce the trespass violations and pandemonium will be the order of the day.
    The only solution that will work for both sides is to increase the amount of public owned beachfront. Rather than pay attorneys millions with no certainty as to outcome maybe it would be it might be better to start eminent domain proceedings on the white sand areas near the existing public beaches. The process could continue as money is available and we see what the exact value of the white sand area is. Since you cannot build on it, grow anything on it or do much of anything except sunbath on it, the value might not be very much after all. Then the owners are compensated and the public can utilize the beaches free and clear.
    But BMBvagrant has a valid point. The politics of it are simple. There are at most a couple of thousand beachfront voters against the vast majority of Sowal voters north of 30-A/98 and the vast majority of Nowal voters who want to continue to have a job and enjoy the beach too. So either the BCC will move to secure the beaches for the public or there will be new commissioners elected who will.
    I think a compromise of taking down the signs and fences while the county vigorously purchases beachfront with TDC funds formerly used for advertising while increasing enforcement against the common nuisances and restricting vending might be in everyone's best interests. Because fighting in court for years helps no one.
     
  2. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

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    Myopic. Bed tax collectors want their beds filled every night of the year. The job of TDC is to do it and spend as much as they can to acheive that. You might as well blame BP for the $11 million the TDC was given after the spill. Or blame builders for continuing to build bedrooms. Or blame people who buy the rental homes.
     
  3. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    I do blame builders for building homes on postage stamp sized lots without adequate parking.

    I do blame people who buy rental homes and then turn their closets into bunk bed rooms.

    Our area is running out of room.

    We either get more "room" or cut back on the volume.

    I personally like the idea of cutting back on volume.
     
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  4. jkmason

    jkmason Beach Lover

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    Regency Towers is now blocking off their beach to the waterline.
     

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  5. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    Dawn and John G, here's who you can blame (although I'm preaching to the choir here - I hope). It's extremely clear to me...

    Walton County and the TDC (one and the same) are to blame.

    They make little to no effort whatsoever to inform the public that "most" of the Beaches of South Walton are not public. Why?...pressure from businesses and others who financially thrive on the masses - and that's practically every business in South Walton with the obvious exception of beach front private property owners.

    It truly is a very simple case of follow the money.

    Several years ago, I remember posting in this forum something along the lines that encouraging all the growth could actually backfire and actually hurt those locals who were accustomed to using public accesses without incident. I'm not sure if anybody really understood what I was trying to say. Subsequent beach nourishment efforts almost made that a moot point - but not now.

    So now we have overcrowding on our public accesses putting greater and greater pressure on old time adjacent private beach, beach vendors running off the public from OUR public beaches, severe parking issues, etc.

    It is out of control and the county is in a state of panic as much for political reasons as anything else.

    Just in case some people don't know it, money and politics go hand in hand. But in this situation, it's not the "rich and greedy" beach front owners greasing the system.

    The county's efforts to "fix" things such as with exploring customary use on any wide scale and public beach vending remind me of trying to put out an electrical fire with water.
     
  6. sunspotbaby

    sunspotbaby SoWal Insider

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    They've been doing that for years.
     
  7. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    From FLEECING FLORIDA'S LANDOWNERS.....

    "Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Adams, Mason, Witherspoon, Madison and all of the other Founding Fathers knew that without a Constitution that zealously protected the property rights of its citizens, a king, a pope, a landlord, a tyrant, a battalion of soldiers, or in modern times, your trespassing neighbor or an oligarchy of five justices on the Supreme Court, could take away your property rights – natural rights founded on natural law precepts that were literally written by the blood of our forefathers."


    "....Good simply means getting whatever you want, and evil is anything that might stand in your way of getting it. My desires equal my rights.

    Show me a monopoly (radical eminent domain, trespassers’ rights) and I’ll show you a tyranny (Florida’s beachfront property belongs to everybody)."
     
  8. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    This just popped up on facebook. I believe the original poster is Doug Freret from Destin Fl.

    Dear Regency Towers and all other condo operators in Okaloosa and Walton Counties :

    You do not own the entire beach in front of your property. The base rule is that you own to the mean high water line (MHWL). That line is measured over an 18.6 year cycle and is fairly hard to determine on any given day. Both Okaloosa and Walton County Sheriffs Offices have interpreted this line for claims of trespassing as either 20 or 25 feet from the water debris line.

    However, on any beach that has been renourished using public funds, such as the one in front of Regency Towers and most of Okaloosa beaches east of the pass, private property only extends to the previous MHWL, a line known as the Erosion Control Line (ECL). This line lies somewhere between the dune line and the water. Pictures of the beach before renourishment show many area beaches only 30 to 50 feet wide. If you care to know the exact location of the ECL for your property, you can commission a survey. See the U.S. Supreme Court decision in
    Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection which directly addressed Destin property owners claims up to the new MHWL. They lost.

    I understand the value of waterfront property and your desire to protect that value as much as possible for your condo owners. But chaining off the beach all the way to the surf line is beyond obnoxious. It is also a violation of city ordinance to set up commercial chairs within 20 feet of the water. Your baseless threats of prosecution for trespass is also likely illegal, especially for people sitting close to the water line.

    Please be a good citizen and share public beaches while protecting your property rights and reporting nuisance behavior. But stop being hostile to public use of the beaches.

    It's wrong and you know it. So knock it off.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    I couldn't agree more.

    I think it would be worth finding those historical posts.

    I agree that the County is in a state of panic, BIG TIME. Their efforts at taking the beach via re-nourishment failed badly. That was plan A.

    This new nonsense is plan B.

    Like most things in this County, they were not very well thought out and thus, chaos and lawsuits to follow.
     
  10. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    I just can't believe we now have signs, ropes, chain in addition to lines of chairs and umbrellas - now featured up and down our beaches. This is NOT acceptable regardless of private, public or otherwise owned. One or two small plain signs at a state park preserved beach that says "stay off dunes" is as far as it should ever go.
     
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  11. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    But, wait! There's more! There were a number of other facts in that case as well. To get the complete story, we can't just read articles that are skewed toward one side or the other. The case is in the public records for your reading entertainment.
     
  12. jkmason

    jkmason Beach Lover

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    A little research revealed that back in 2006 several beach front owners in the Old Blue Mountain Beach subdivision filed suit against the developer, Blue Gulf Corporation, a longtime dissolved corporation. The suit was an effort to acquire quiet title to the beach areas south of their original property boundary all the way to the mean high tide water line.

    They were successful. The areas they acquired were previously marked "beach" just as in the previously mentioned Beach Highlands subdivision case. These "beach" areas were just like the other public areas in the subdivision including, trails to Redfish, beach walkovers and roads; all undeniably intended to be accessible to the neighborhood.

    Now we have close to half of the Old Blue Mountain Beaches claimed by the beach front owners.

    A Walton County Records search revealed several other cases extending from 2006-2012 where the defendant was Blue Gulf Corporation; most likely additional quiet title beach front acquisitions.

    It appears that nobody contested these quiet titles. Interested parties could have been other homeowners in the neighborhood, neighborhood HOA, Walton County, TDC, State of Florida.

    Here is a link to public notice that Old Blue Mountain Beach Front owners published in order to acquire quiet title.

    The Defuniak Springs Herald - Google News Archive Search
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  13. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Hopefully you noticed who the Attorney representing the plaintiffs was. None other than Mark D Davis current county attorney.

    He is on the agenda Tuesday to discuss "Quiet Titles" options available to the BCC.
     
  14. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    What specifically was there to contest?
     
  15. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Good catch Bob.

    Good Ole' Mark Davis smack in the middle of it.

    I thought it might be G R Miller...
     
  16. jkmason

    jkmason Beach Lover

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    First, I would like to clarify that I am no expert on real estate law. Here is my take:

    Recent quiet title actions by beach front property owners in both Beach Highlands and Old Blue Mountain were directed at the subdivision's developers, in both instances corporations that have long since been dissolved. Furthermore the quiet title actions only addressed the corporations potential interest in the property, leaving out other interested parties, including property owners in the aforementioned subdivisions and their respective HOA, if any exists.

    In my opinion these quiet title actions are deficient or flawed and could be challenged since the other interested parties, homeowners in the Old Blue Mountain Beach and Beach Highlands subdivisions, were not made a party to the quiet title action. Their interest or other interested parties interest in the beach front has not been "quieted"

    Lexis check on this issue reveals the following pertinent information:

    "The judgment in the quiet title action is binding and conclusive on all persons known and unknown who are parties to the action and who have any claim to the property, whether present or future, vested or contingent, legal or equitable, several or undivided [Code Civ. Proc. § 764.030(a)]. A person is one of the “parties to the action” on becoming a party in any of the ways prescribed by statute (including the quiet title statutes).

    If a person is duly made a party but subsequently is dismissed, the effect of the judgment on that person is the same as if the person had never been made a party [see Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. McGurk (2012) 206 Cal. App. 4th 201, 212, 141 Cal. Rptr. 3d 603 (named defendant that was voluntarily dismissed by plaintiff thereby became nonparty and was not bound by judgment)]. For discussion, see § 482.19[3].

    [3] Persons Who Could Have Been Made Parties

    The judgment does not affect a claim as to the property or a part of the property by any person not a party to the action—nor a successor in interest to a party, respecting the claim [Code Civ. Proc. § 1908(a)(2); see § 482.19[2]]—if either of the following conditions is satisfied [Code Civ. Proc. § 764.045]:

    •The claim was of record at the time the lis pendens was “filed” (that is, recorded) or, if none was filed, at the time the judgment was recorded.
    •The claim was actually known to the plaintiff or would have been reasonably apparent from an inspection of the property at the time the lis pendens was filed, or, if none was filed, at the time the judgment was entered. This exception cannot be construed to impair the rights of a bona fide purchaser or encumbrancer for value dealing with the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s successors in interest.

    In other words, when one of those conditions is satisfied, the claimant is not bound by the judgment—nor is a successor in interest to the claimant bound by the judgment—unless the claimant was a party to the action [see Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. McGurk (2012) 206 Cal. App. 4th 201, 215–217, 141 Cal. Rptr. 3d 603].
    [4] Persons With Nonascertainable Claims

    Except as provided in Code Civ. Proc. § 764.045 [see § 482.19[2], [3]], the judgment in the action is binding and conclusive on all persons who were not parties to the action and who have any claim to the property which was not of record at the time the lis pendens was filed or, if none was filed, at the time the judgment was recorded [Code Civ. Proc. § 764.030(b)].
     
  17. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    JK, I took yet another look at your post here and article. One could see that there could possibly be a claim by by the county based on the words used in the Beach Highlands dedication. However as mentioned in the article, "...That affidavit, along with several deeds referencing the mean high water, formed the basis for the judge’s determination that the owners of the lots along the beach owned to the mean high water."

    So the judge made a determination. I guess it could be challenged in a higher court (I have no idea how that works). Now, back to Old Blue Mountain Beach...you quoted a lot legal stuff in your last post.

    Can you find anything in the Old BMB dedication that could possibly be construed as the public having rights to the sandy area?
     
  18. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Dead men tell no tales.
     
  19. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    That meeting on going on NOW 5:22PM 4/12/16
     
  20. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    Mark Davis' comment regarding quiet title was pretty much as I expected. There's a possible claim at Beach Highlands. Old Blue Mountain Beach is different as the defunct corporation which owned the beach had in their document that those homes bordering the beach would receive title of the beach should the corporation no longer exist....pretty clear.

    As mentioned by others, Mark Davis represented 4 of the beach front owners at Old BMB in this matter. It was pretty clear cut from what I've heard and read.

    So are there any other quiet title debates going on out there?


    It still feels like a lynch mob if you're a private beach front property owner with so many claiming ALL the beach should be public.

    Of course 99% of them do not own private beach front property. No wonder the BCC is slanted and ready to pounce on and trample private property rights.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016

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