Public vs Private Beach [threads merged]

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

  1. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    Danny, good news! After reading the WCSO SOP here on SoWal a little more closely, I won't ever have to be melodramatic again.

    ".....(NOTE: If the alleged trespasser is far SOP #: 15-004 Page 4 of 7 Effective Date: 05/26/2015 enough away from the wet sand where it is obvious to the officer based on other documents received they are on the owner’s property, a signed and sealed survey not approved by FDEP for purposes of establishing mean high-water line will suffice.)"

    That's certainly reasonable and what I was looking for. Sorry for the unnecessary dialogue regarding MHWL.
     
  2. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    Click here.

    It would be nice if they simply had an interactive map but I can understand why they don't.

    I know this will be bring tears to LVT, but I hope you have a great vacation and are not accosted by "mean, rich and greedy" beach front owners. :)
     
  3. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    BMBvagrant the only dispute is over the white sand part of the beach. Once upon a time I was one of those poor people responding to these issues and in the case of a disputed boundary, that limited area was the only issue and the only line we could not enforce. But if someone was in the residence or pool or deck or driveway etc. they went to jail. So, if someone is trespassing on your grass or in your stairwell or wherever, except the white sand part of the beach, your rights will be enforced to the limit of the law. I hope we can somehow find common ground on the disputed issues and the disaster that looms ahead can be avoided. My suggestion to you would be to look for compromise as well.
     
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  4. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    While I am a softy for soft white sand for everybody, I am also a stickler for precise language. I have never mentioned the MHWL, ever. The right of customary use is a much broader principle and is a right that has been established in English law for centuries. The public is not, just now, claiming this right. Certain property owners are, just now, claiming that their rights dissolve this right. May the chips hit the fan.
     
  5. MRBS

    MRBS Beach Lover

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    Okay - that's a list of all accesses to the beach, which once descend the stairs looks wide open, just like it's been for my 40+ years visiting. Thanks!
     
  6. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    Danny, just curious, has the operating procedure changed since you were "one of the those poor people"? In other words you couldn't make a determination then - but now a deputy can now make a determination today in an "obvious" situation as previously quoted and shown below?

    "If the alleged trespasser is far enough away from the wet sand where it is obvious to the officer based on other documents received they are on the owner’s property, a signed and sealed survey not approved by FDEP for purposes of establishing mean high-water line will suffice."

    Is this not a compromise regarding the determination of the MHWL? I as much admitted my melodrama as you called it was unnecessary as the southern boundary is enforced by what as I see as a reasonable method. Any "error" will most likely benefit public.

    Or are you talking about a compromise to allow the public to use our beach, in general, based on customary use?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  7. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    I am going to tout my military backround and experience as I highly value it. I, and I imagine thousands of others that have sered, view our pristing white sands bordering the Gulf of Mexico in the same context as our national and state forests. It is there for all American citizens and their guests to use respectifully for their enjoyment and relaxation. If some choose to do otherwise, the authorities should be notified.
    When I purchased here in1991, there were no signs littering these beautiful beaches. Nor were there any in 20003 when we moved here permenantly. These signs are a blight on the beauty of our beaches. It should be mandated that they be taken down!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  8. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    And that attitude combined with the HUGE increase in beach pressure from SO MANY developments in the last 10-15 years has resulted in this problem of private property owners posting their private property.

    And quite honestly, that's also the reason nourishment was defeated. The majority of the owners don't trust what the county would do down the road if the beach was allowed to become public (high rises, public beach vending, etc.) The owners chose what they believe to be the lesser of two evils: possible future county legislation that degrades the beach vs. less protection as a result of a hurricane.

    What was customary for the private property owners was not to have to compete with the public for space on their own property as mentioned a few times here. It was an absolute non-issue when we bought in 2001. There was hardly anything around.

    I am very confident that 20 years ago, the public did not have to venture far away, if at all, from most public accesses to find a spot on the beach.

    The occasional trespass in the "old days" was not a problem for some. But now, for some owners, "being nice" in the old days is possibly backfiring in their face. No good deed goes unpunished.

    If an owner posted their property way back when, they were considered "mean and greedy" by the public. But at least the public's use was "interrupted" and customary use definitely would not apply.

    LVT, I am well aware that I cannot help or make you and some of your supporters see the issue from a private property owner's viewpoint. We are a minority. And customarily, minorities have been oppressed in one form or another during the entire human history. Thank goodness, it's the constitution and the rule of law that keeps things civil in our society, not just what the majority thinks the way things should be.

    I'm not all "rich and greedy". I believe that the public can traverse on the sandy part beach as long as the rights of the owners and guests to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their property are respected. Please don't cry.
     
  9. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Are you part of the reason for the development or are you a native of Walton County?
     
  10. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    Maybe some of your neighbors should read your post..just sayin..west of BMB public access.
     
  11. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    No Sleeping Late anymore on30A!!!!! You better be at the beach by 6:00AM daily to get a good spot, Low Life Vendors steal all the good spaces....with chairs that will remain mostly empty all day....But the BCC and TDC ain't going to stop them....#rethinknextyear
     
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  12. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    Interesting gotcha question. Here are two back at you: Who really is a native? And when did development start?

    Anyway, the reason for the relatively recent "huge" development is of course money. I have clearly stated this before. And I know this is no surprise to anyone. How many people do you know who simply bought and flipped properties (or tried to flip and got caught) during the boon? It's all about money.

    I'm not going to fault development in of itself. That would be hypocritical and I despise hypocrites. And I won't even fault the flippers who enabled the developers to get many of these projects underway.

    But who I will fault is Walton County - pure and simple. They were fully aware that most of the beach was private. But they made little to no effort to let the general public in on this "secret" that they'd like to keep.

    Now the cat is out of the bag and has been for a few years. MRBS recently asked on this thread about public access. I gave her a link. The link comes up as a text PDF with addresses of the access points. That's it! The normal beach goer has no idea once they get to the beach if all or part of the area is public or private. That's why I encourage the county to provide a fully interactive map showing all the public accesses AND the extent of the public beach adjacent to the accesses.

    I just found out all the beach along Montgomery Street in Seagrove was public. That's great! But I did not know that until the recent BCC meeting when a new walkover was discussed for that neighborhood.

    Many people who bought off-beach assumed getting to the beach was a non-issue. And as long as there was room at the public access, it was a non-issue. Of course, times have changed.

    Now, parking and traffic studies must be submitted before a development is approved by the planning department. Yet there is no requirement that I know of to be able to accommodate the increased load on the public beach.

    I know I'm beating a dead horse, really, but I'll repeat this anyway:
    The county got caught with its pants down BIG TIME when phase II of the beach nourishment didn't go through. The "public" and the developers are breathing down their necks for access. Developers want to be able to build more large off-beach "Redfish Villages" and advertise wide open beach access and make more money. And of course the "public's" interest is apparent.

    The county has to show their constituents that they are doing something to fix the major nourishment project screw-up, i.e. perform a Customary Use study. And NOBODY will fault them on the money spent, even if they lose.

    If I was on the BCC, I probably would do the same thing at this point if I wanted to continue to serve. And that is cave in to the "public".
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  13. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    At least AndyA speaks the truth as he sees it unlike some others.
     
  14. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    Yeah when you walk in the bathroom tonight don't look in the MIRROR
     
  15. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Wasn't a gotcha question at all. The people that have added to the growth of SoWal are the ones who seem to be complaining. I guess it is like, I got mine screw everyone else because it is different than what I move here for. Just my 2 cents, also nice non answer.
     
  16. MRBS

    MRBS Beach Lover

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    Thank you for your service. Thank you for your comment. My thoughts exactly. Are the laws re nesting turtle that prohibit impediments being enforced? What's the deal there?
     
  17. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    Some fellow SoWalers here disagree with me make a valid point that they don't agree with some of the "class warfare" rhetoric. Part of your comment is borderline that.

    OK, I thought I answered your question in the best way I knew how considering I needed clarification:
    Of course neither of these two concepts can ever be quantified as it is one's opinion.

    So.....

    Once more, development of itself is not a bad thing. Being a native is something to be proud of but a non-event. However development with the expectation that beach is an unlimited resource as to opposed to part public AND part private is not good. Lots of people bought (and still buying in) with the false expectation of unimpeded beach access. Beating the dead horse harder...fault of Walton County.

    Now my situation: So of course somebody developed my property a long time ago. When I bought it in the early 2000's, I had full expectations (and rights) of beach access as the property is beach front. If my development helped stimulate other development at that time, that's great! BUT back in the early 1980s when they were built, I can guarantee you that the public had no problem finding plenty of room at the public accesses. There were no "beach occupancy" issues then at public beaches.

    That's not the case today.

    I believe most if not all people can get to a public beach when they want. I've asked that question but nobody ever responds no, I believe because it simply isn't true. It just might not be as convenient as it was 15 years ago.

    Now however. they can't just go anywhere (and never had to in the "old days"). And when one tries to go on private beach because it's more convenient than a crowded public access down the road, they are now "trespassing". Instead of moving on, they demand the whole beach should be made public through customary use.

    And here we are.

    It's not about me against you, Bob. I'm only one out of about 1000 who feel this way (majority Walton County beach front owners). And you are one out of about 60,000 who agree with your position (rest of Walton County). And I understand when you attack me, you are really attacking all beach front private property owners.

    From a pure numbers game, you win. From a legal point of view, private property rights win (for now). And we should just agree to make the best of it and be civil to one another until the customary use suits are settled if they ever go to court..
     
  18. BlueMtnBeachVagrant

    BlueMtnBeachVagrant Beach Fanatic

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    :applause:
     
  19. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Now you have thrown the Mr Trump mentality in. I am being persecuted, the system is against me.
    First I believe the beaches should be open, second although I don't personally own property on the beach I do own property south of the bay. So infrastructurely I am part of the problem as I guess you are also. My views are not because of the majority, if that was the case I would always vote Republican, which I don't. When I make my decision on who to vote for in the BCC race I would venture a guess that this won't be even a blip on my reasoning for the candidate I chose. Third, I believe that the courts will decide the issue and I am willing to wait. To be honest I have had to consider something when I was reading comments about this topic that could sway my decision. As of right now though, I still believe in customary use. I am not against development, but it does bother me that those who seem to complain the loudest are the ones who are part of the problem. Just my 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  20. buster

    buster Beach Fanatic

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    I thought impediments to endangered nesting sea turtles was a federal violation.
     

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