Scenic roads, historic places and moving mountains

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Dave Rauschkolb, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Dave Rauschkolb

    Dave Rauschkolb Beach Fanatic

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    When we started the Scenic 30 A Business Association in the late 80's. The designation of the C-30A as a Scenic road was a dream of ours.

    50 or so concerned citizens met at Criolla's and formed the association to work on preserving the character of C-30A and began a dialog with the County Commissioners regarding limiting building heights, sign ordinances, adding bike paths and so on. In those days there were even fewer voting residents in South Walton and we felt strongly a business association would get the Commissioners attention and we did very effectively. We felt if we did not do something then undesirable development would swallow us just like in Destin and Panama City. We felt passionately the character of our beach road held tremendous value and had to be preserved and cherished. We felt the development that would come should be compatible and enhance our community. In the long run most developers caught on and property values soared.

    Back then we did not have the financial resources to accomplish some of our goals but we did accomplish a lot. We fought against a putt-putt golf course close to where Angelina's is today and won; what would have been next, A bungee jump with go carts?

    One of the projects I worked on was designing and placing all the signs at each small community on 30A giving pride to each as a unique part of C-30A. In those days only Seaside had a sign and there was a lot of jealousy of this upstart, instantly successful town. The TDC generously paid for the signs and continues to maintain them.

    I felt strongly the area and our road needed an identity separating it from the surrounding areas. Each small community needed to be identified as unique and special. The signs also set an example and sent a message that small signs can be very effective; we had no sign ordinance then. When we were deciding what to call the road I pushed for calling it Scenic 30-A. I figured that even though the road was not officially designated as such we should just call it like we saw it; a truly scenic road. Why not make it so and hope it would eventually happen?

    Well it looks like it is really going to happen and I am so proud of the efforts of the The Scenic 30A Corridor Advocacy Group, a lot of dedicated, determined, special people who are working to make this designation a reality.

    Our little organization no longer exists but I remember all too well how the energy and determination of a few can move mountains. We had a few important goals, dreams really and organizations like the The Scenic 30A Corridor Advocacy Group, The South Walton Community Council and The Beach to Bay Alliance have taken the torch and accomplished and continue to accomplish almost all we set out to do. The Peach Creek Alliance literally did move mountains when it stopped an incompatible concrete plant.

    The newly formed Historic Point Washington Association wishes to someday have Point Washington designated as a historic place much in the same way we hoped we could one day call Scenic 30-A for what it really is.

    It's funny we have to get a designation sometimes to prove what we already know is true. The important thing to remember is, official designations give us the power to preserve, protect and defend what we hold dear and I can think of no more noble a cause for a community. The words on the Walton County Seal send a similar message: Pride, Preservation and Conservation. It is our duty as citizens to hold our County Commissioners to those words, otherwise those words are a hollow pledge.

    The commissioners are hard working and dedicated people who also care deeply about this county. All you need to do is go to one meeting and see what it takes to do their job; it is thankless work. We and they must always remember though, the commissioners work for us and it is our duty to vote out those who are consistently blind and deaf to their Constituents.

    I have seen it time and again how this community dreams and moves mountains. We have much to be proud of and much to do. Let us Preserve, Protect and Defend what we hold dear and never waver. Not once, not ever. This place is far to special to do anything else.



    Be on the Look out for information on joining the effort to officially designate Historic Point Washington for what it is, Historic



    Dave Rauschkolb
     

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