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Reasons Behind Customary Use - Protection or Development?

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Grace Daniell, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Grace Daniell

    Grace Daniell Beach Crab

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    Is this fight really about preserving our beaches or allowing more access to big money developers who want to start a second tier north of 30a but only if they can gain access to our beaches through this customary use doctrine.

    Why has Walton County recently started purchasing more property on the beach (across from Stinkys) after all these years? Is this part of the plan? Did I read recently that a developer wanted to build another Watercolor or Watersound type development north of 30a near Santa Rosa Beach or in that area?

    How are they going to get access to the beach when a majority of the beach is private homes? We need to look at the big picture. Wouldn’t keeping our beaches private like they are now actually have the effect of preserving our beaches and allowing more access for everyone long term by deterring over development by these big money developers?

    I don’t recall anyone complaining about access to the beach until this issue of customary use suddenly came up. Who raised this issue and what is their agenda? Are we all just being used as pawns in a much bigger scheme for others to profit from customary use? Who really stands to benefit from implementing customary use?

    Have they hired a public relations committee to tell them how they can manipulate the local citizens to create a grass root movement to help them push through customary use ...not to preserve our beaches but to subject them to overdevelopment? We need to know what is really going on behind the scenes. More development means more money for the county and certain individuals could profit immensely. Is that really what we want for our beaches?

    Could our area become another Destin/Panama City? Wouldn’t the private property owners be better stewards and provide more protection for our beaches and unique dune lakes with eco systems that exist nowhere else in the world than the overdevelopment that may come with customary use?

    Be careful what you wish for...and follow the money. If private beaches are a deterrent or obstacle to big money developers or over development, do we really want to remove that obstacle? If we crack that door, could it be flung wide open in a way we never intended or anticipated. What’s next? Removal of the 4 story restriction? Waterslides, amusement parks, a pier park, or Destin Commons?
     
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  2. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    To be able to walk on the dry sand from whatever access is available to the public (and we need many more points of access), sit and enjoy the beautiful coast along the Gulf of Mexico here in SoWal is essential to living and visiting here.

    Don't twist the meaning or purpose of Customary Use. The people of Walton County are determined to keep their freedom to USE our beaches. The great majority feel this is important enough to fight for. It's very simple. It is in response to years of certain beach front homeowners claiming ownership of the sand and neighborhood accesses. Putting up chains, fences and no trespassing signs. Like Mike Huckabee, they are trying to privatize the Gulf of Mexico in South Walton Florida. No deal.

    CUSTOMARY USE:
    A doctrine that describes the inalienable right of people to walk upon and lawfully and respectfully use all beaches for recreation as they have for thousands of years.


    Development in our area should always be according to excellence in town planning and infrastructure design for population growth and tourism. That is an entirely different subject matter. And an important one.

    All of these issues need much attention from a mostly nonexistent government:
    Development. Infrastructure. Enforcement. Vendors. Beach maintenance. Access. Use. Preservation. Coastal Dune Lakes. Trees. Water quality. Environmental protections. Tourist Development.

    Florida Beaches are for everyone.

    Our little beach town has always had a strong base of active community members filled with talented business owners, professionals and family oriented people who are happy to work hard to shape our community and work for the best possible future. I couldn't be prouder of hundreds of our locals working right now to preserve the beaches for our children. With an outpouring of support from locals and visitors as well as other Florida beach towns.
     

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  3. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    @Grace Daniell

    Wouldn’t the private property owners be better stewards and provide more protection for our beaches and unique dune lakes with eco systems that exist nowhere else in the world than the overdevelopment that may come with customary use?

    Have you seen the piles of garbage and tents and junk on the stretches of private beaches that have called for the stop of all Walton County TDC activities including trash collection? Its disgusting and appalling.

    What’s next? Removal of the 4 story restriction? Waterslides, amusement parks, a pier park, or Destin Commons?

    You don't know our community very well do you? Or understand the values of our unique little beach town. It's not perfect. It needs leadership and infrastructure. But we can all agree on protections of our environment, beaches, dunes, forests, parks and coastal dune lakes.
     
  4. gumby

    gumby Beach Lover

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    There will be no protection if the over development continues. Plain and simple.
     
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  5. boomerang

    boomerang Beach Lover

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    We who are for customary use don't want over-development either - or the rows of ghost chairs - or beach front owners that have made quiet title for $100.

    Give me a break - you are mixing the issues.
     
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  6. Shannon Lince

    Shannon Lince Beach Lover

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    Grace, you are entirely correct to ask these questions. Unfortunately, Walton county is blinded to what's really behind all of this --- increasing density of short-term rentals and flipping residential areas into tourist zones.

    Unfortunately for Walton county's future - the local leaders and the passionate locals are like sheep asking for directions to the slaughter house. They haven't bothered to even pop their head up on the internet and see what other Florida residential communities are facing with the exponential explosion of renting (what were once) single family homes as short term rentals and flipping residential beach front areas into investor zones.

    This is what another community is writing about - they understand what's really happening - the bigger picture.

    "The real estate industry is aggressively lobbying the Florida legislators to further curtail the ability of communities to limit the ill-effects on the communities caused by increasing short term rentals.

    The long-term effects on neighborhoods and communities can be profound. If you talk to the steadily decreasing residential community in Bradenton Beach, they will tell you they are moving because there is no longer a sense of community, the number of tourists is many times more dense than when their street was inhabited by neighbors, that the traffic and late night noise have become intolerable. The residents are leaving. Too soon, what was once a unique friendly beach town will become only a tourist destination."

    Customary use as it is being implemented in Walton county is designed to push out the historical "beach neighborhoods" with full-time residents, which are anchored by their own stretch of beach ... and turn these beaches into a wide open commodity --- the locals doing the real estate industry lobbyists and developers bidding. How many full-time residents are at Seaside?, recent article, 12.

    You think ECAR who is strongly behind this and rewriting their listings and denying they ever sold private beach property because they are just "good citizens" and privatization (the new buzz word) is "wrong"? How about Senator Bill Nelson? You really think he's all about "helping Walton county"? Or just old fashioned politics?

    The recent photo with the dead sea turtle stuck in a bar stool, is a good example of what is going to uncontrollably hit these beaches once they actually are "opened up" to all new development and the plans are carried out. The rare coastal dune lakes won't be the pretty pictures that sowal.com posts - because once the density doubles those areas will be lined with tourists and all they bring with them. Tourist numbers go up sea turtle nests and other wildlife goes down. This isn't hard to understand.

    To vote in customary use without demanding a growth plan and preservation plan attached to it is idiotic and irresponsible.

    The community just can't seem to connect the dots, and as long as their emotions are whipped up into a civil war, they are distracted and won't even recognize there are long-term strategies being played out on the bigger stages: Real Estate, Politics, Development.

    When these self-appointed community leaders voices say they want to make our beaches a "shared resource" we all should be paying very close attention to what those two words really mean. And if anyone thinks this is really about "giving the beaches "back" to the locals --- well that's simply a very naive view of what's actually happening here: Real Estate, Politics, Development.

    Other communities in Florida understand what's really behind this. Maybe Walton county will poke it's head out and see what's happening around Florida and finally wake up, maybe it won't.

    Signed,
    A full-time resident
    Shannon Lince
     
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  7. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    I think we have developed WAAAAY past first tier off 30A. :lolabove:Try 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, development between 98 and the Bay, north of the Bay through Freeport- so many new houses and multi-family housing. We enjoyed CU forever here, and just because there are more people here is not an excuse do away with CU. If anything, we need to be able to customarily USE all beaches that can be ACCESSED by the public- and that is all 26 miles of beach.


     
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  8. Shannon Lince

    Shannon Lince Beach Lover

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    Grace,

    I'm part of our community, and I value your opinions. No one person speaks for our community - we have not designated a community spokesperson. Let's get together for coffee or tea sometime.

    Shannon
     
  9. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    I suspect that the volume of short term rentals has far more to do with the customary use issue than the residents. Unfortunately, during the recession, a lot of investors swooped in and they and their short term renters often have a different mindset about taking care of the beach than residents do.
     
  10. lazin&drinkin

    lazin&drinkin Beach Lover

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    To quote Teresa:
    "Using the beach is a fundamental human activity."

    Shannon and Grace and Fact or Fiction, give it up, guys. You are up against a towering intellect, one willing to dispassionately consider all points of view for however many microseconds may be required for those posting facts as opposed to those venting emotions. She is Moderator? Let's not try to confuse all these people with facts. They have their own alternative worldview, and they make Google look like the house organ of the Alt-Right.

    Using the beach is a fundamental human activity, after all. Let's face it. You can't argue with the unfathomable.
     
  11. Shannon Lince

    Shannon Lince Beach Lover

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    Huh. I didn't think moderators were supposed to argue or attack the forum posters? I thought moderators were supposed to be neutral. Are you sure she's a moderator? Maybe that's a different user named Teresa.

    Shannon
     
  12. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    Maybe you didnt notice that the quotation marks end after the word "activity". lazin&drinkin isnt a moderator that I know of.
     
  13. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Discussion on this and all local issues are important among members of the community. We all care very much about what happens to the beaches and beyond the beach.

    All opinions are important. We have a lot of people working hard to make a difference. I am just one of many community members who believe in customary use and always have. I'm seeing some attacks on Facebook that are petty and desperate. Don't bring them here please. Keep it civil.

    Whatever happens, it's our community. Debate, share information, go to meetings, write your Walton County commissioners and state representatives. Join a local group, volunteer, learn more about the issues, get involved. Share your ideas here and elsewhere.

    @lazin&drinkin I would just ask that you share your thoughtful opinions without attacking others. But thanks for the sweet words. Opinion noted. If I've offended you then I sincerely apologize.

    Keep it constructive. There will always be differing opinions. Your contributions are always valuable. Let's remember to keep posts thoughtful so that we can have real dialog and make a difference. ✌️
     
  14. bob bob

    bob bob Beach Lover

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    :shark:
     
  15. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    A full time resident who only joined SOWAL 3 days ago? Oops, your credibility is showing...
     
  16. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    Shannon Lince..may I ask how long you have been a full time resident and just how you found out about the SOWAL area since your location says "Atlanta"?
     
  17. Shannon Lince

    Shannon Lince Beach Lover

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    Sure you can ask. I vote where I live, and that's Walton county Florida, not that it's any of your or anyone else's business.

    Shannon
     
  18. Shannon Lince

    Shannon Lince Beach Lover

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    That's an odd comment coming from someone completely anonymous.
     
  19. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    I'm not anonymous to my friends. And your point is?
     
  20. Shannon Lince

    Shannon Lince Beach Lover

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    Unless you have something constructive to add to the conversation or debate, I think we are done here.

    Shannon
     

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