Public vs Private Beach

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by BlueMtnBeachVagrant, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

    Nov 21, 2007
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    DeFuniak Springs
    But we did have two 100 year floods. One caused by TS Alberta. I do not remember what caused the other one. But after my grandmother's house went under water from a 100 year flood, two or three years apart, she sold to FEMA and moved.
  2. Busta Hustle

    Busta Hustle Beach Fanatic

    Apr 11, 2007
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    about the only scientific statement i would make about p'cola beach afer ivan was that there was a bunch of sand on top of the island and what man had built was pretty much fubar.

    Restoration does give you a nice wide beach to sit on. Restoration may protect first tier structure and coastal dunes during relatively weak storm activity.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  3. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

    Nov 18, 2004
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    Here are some new changes in enforcement. I like those apples. Finally, they decided to listen to my idea. It should be up to the person filing the complaint to prove that a trespass exists, prior to someone being arrested, locked in jail. Otherwise, anyone could charge anyone else with trespassing just to have the other person arrested and locked in jail. :clap:


    County looks to dodge beach privatization bullet

    By Sean Boone

    In July 2007, a visitor from Atlanta was arrested for not leaving a private beach property near The Retreat subdivision in Blue Mountain Beach. That arrest sparked controversy over what and where is deemed off limits to the public on South Walton beaches.
    At the time of the incident, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office was enforcing the wet sand line as to where a person could legally sit or loiter in front of a private beach. But since the incident, the WCSO is now enforcing a state attorney’s code that requires proof of representative authority.
    According to a state attorney’s document sent to the WCSO in August 2007, a representative of the property or property owner must obtain a sworn statement from the complainant that includes the exact latitude/longitude of the trespass and have proper photographs to show landmarks around where the trespass took place.
    Captain Eddie Farris of the WCSO said their enforcement would continue to adhere to what the state attorney asks of them.
    “As long as we meet the state attorney’s request,” he said. “We will go by what they say.”
    Under the new code, the wet sand enforcement would also be changed requiring an owner to provide the plot of the mean-high-tide area over a 19-year period.
    The 1974 City of Daytona Beach v. Tona-Rama Inc. case brought beach privatization into full light, ruling that property that historically had been used as public access, could not be deemed private.
    But many gray areas remain as to what is historic public access in the state of Florida.
    Recently, Walton and Okaloosa County beach renourishment efforts have raised questions over what is the private beach owner’s rightful land and what is part of public beach after additional sand is added that extends property.
    A lawsuit from three homeowners challenging the state’s erosion control permit was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2007, but a decision in the matter has not yet been tendered.
    South Walton Tourist Development Beach Maintenance Manager David Sell said in a recent e-mail that the Remove It Or Lose It program, which removes items left on county beaches overnight, would not be able to patrol renourished beaches in the western end of the county until the Supreme Court ruling is made to determine if the area of beach is private or public.
    “It is the county position that it should be public from the CCL (Coastal Construction Line) to the water,” he said. “However, we must wait to hear how the courts rule on it.”
    Last year, Edgewater Condominiums in Miramar Beach fi led suit against Walton County after threats were made to remove their volleyball net, which was seen as a removable item under the TDC’s program.
    “Since the code said chairs, tents, toys etc., Edgewater management thought the county had over-stepped its authority,” said Edgewater President Suzanne Harris. “Edgewater thought it was selective enforcement because an investigation by our attorney found there were many volleyball nets that had not been tagged, such as the one at the Whale’s Tail restaurant that was (on) public beach.”
    The South Walton Fire District’s Beach Safety program currently patrols more than 26 miles of beaches in South Walton. Much of the patrolling is done by roving (vehicles) below the high tide mark of private beaches.
    “The majority of our responses are on private beaches,” said SWFD Beach Safety Director Gary Wise. “Without roving patrol west of Pompano Joe’s there would be no response (on west end of county beaches).”
    Walton County currently has eight public beach accesses with lifeguard towers, but according to Wise many of the private beach areas have the worst rip currents.
    “Two of the worst rip current areas are in Miramar Beach (on private property),” he said. “There are 26 miles of beach. Divide that by eight and you don’t have an ideal mathematical equation.”
    Wise said his lifeguards were involved with 45 rescues and more than 50 assists (helped from the water) during Memorial Day weekend – many of who were swimming in front of private beach properties.
    Private beach property creates a tricky legal situation for Walton County authorities. (Sean Boone/ The Sun)
  4. traderx

    traderx Beach Fanatic

    Mar 25, 2008
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    A couple of touristy questions please:

    1. Is it permissable to walk down the beach? I assume that a walker would cross private property at multi-points? :dunno:

    2. Do the Walton County deputies really haul you off for beach trespassing?

    This is all news to me.
  5. Bobby J

    Bobby J Beach Fanatic

    Apr 18, 2005
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    Blue Mountain beach
    yes, yes, :bang:
    They will lose in court.
  6. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

    May 8, 2007
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    1. Yes, I give you permission. 99.9% of beachfront homeowner's DON'T have this rude personality disorder. Just certain neighborhoods/people.

    If you do run into the unfortunate situation of batturds getting territorial, continue walking until you are no longer on batturd beach or make sure the waves are washing your feet as you stroll.

    2. Yes, but property owners must have a copy of the plat to prove you ARE trespassing. You also still have to be on "their" beach and not on "wet" sand when the WCSO shows up to enforce it.

    Walk fast if need be! ;-)
  7. Lynnie

    Lynnie SoWal Insider

    Apr 18, 2007
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    Isn't it ridiculous? What happened to being neighborly anyway? Oh well~~~~~
  8. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

    Feb 28, 2007
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    Blue Mountain Beach
    Maybe this will help, though I don't know if it is still WCSO policy as it was issued during Sheriff Johnson's administration.


    TO: (Names Deleted, though I have them)

    FROM: (Names Deleted)

    DATE: AUGUST 15, 2007


    In order to effectively Prosecute "Trespass on the Beach" cases the following must be accomplished at or during Arrest and included in the Arrest Report.

    1. The Authority or person requesting Law Enforcement Action i.e. property
    owner; representative of property owner and proof of representation
    authority. You must obtain a Sworn Statement from complainant.

    2. Exact location of trespass i.e. Latitude/Longitude by G.P.S. or other
    precise method.

    3. Boundary description of property involved in trespass. Needed in order
    to place Defendant inside property.

    4. Location of mean high waterline on property involved if property is beach
    front property. This is NOT necessarily determined by the line of wet/dry
    sand. Example: If property is a sub-division or development and the
    trespass is at lot 10A then the owner or representative of the owner of
    lot 10A can issue trespass warnings; not the developer or homeowner
    association. The owner or representative must show ownership or
    authority to issue trespass warnings for the location involved. And, if
    beach front property, it must show where the mean high waterline is
    located if offense is close to the waters edge.

    The "mean high water" is defined as the average height of the high
    waters over a 19 year period.
    F.S. 177.28 (14) and (15)
    F.S. 177.28 (1)

    5. Photographs that accurately show the location of the trespass that also
    show known landmarks.

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