Seaside...Welcome or Not

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Waiting For, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Waiting For

    Waiting For Beach Comber

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    Anyone else find Susan Vallee's editorial in the Seaside Times, about the unfriendliness by owners there, including the sign wars in that bucolic setting, of merit? Seems Walton Sun and NW Fla Daily News are writing about some of it...but Susan really "told it like it is". Apparently there are a few Seagrove emails circulating telling recent "war stories" about verbal attacks by Seaside owners, including threats to call "security" if they didn't leave the "private" pavilions and streets immediately!
     
  2. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    It doesnt surprise me at all. And I think she is telling it like it is. There will be no more of the bus tours of people to admire the architecture, shop, dine etc. There will be no more people driving out from PC or Destin to shop and dine there and before you know it there will be houses where Perspicasity, Bud and Alleys and all the other beach side businesses are. And you only have the narcissistic new home owners in the area to blame. They paid good money and will defend this little piece of paradises privacy until they (or it) are dead.
     
  3. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    Wow. I had heard that high-rise commercial buildings were going to replace Bud & Alley's, Perspicasity, and the entire beachside commercial area where B&A et. al. now exist. It would take some deep pockets to replace all of that with private residences. However, from what I've seen, the deep pockets get deeper, and everyone else is struggling.;-)
     
  4. Beach House 25

    Beach House 25 Banned

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    Shazam!
     
  5. Waiting For

    Waiting For Beach Comber

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    Recently I did a search on "downtown Seaside" and googled terms like that...what the search produced was eye-opening: Not high rises...but high quality architecture. Actually that rumor is really off the mark...the downtown is planned and was announced here in detail...http://www.newurbannews.com/SeasideMar05.html



    That tower part is all that'll be high...and it will be a breathtakingly beautiful work of art set in scale, as these pictures show, to very low profile structures keeping the view to the Gulf open.



    (see http://www.opticosdesign.com/projects/bd_setower_fd.html)



    After reading these details, I think it clearly will beautify and enhance our 30 A corridor..



    if in the meantime the very small cadre of xenophobic vigilantes policing Seaside's homeowner streets don't drive everyone away...



    But...even if the few homeowner bullies behind the sign wars continue their "exclusive for me" biz, the downtown will remain and be public place...Seaside's founder owns the downtown and has publically dedicated himself to make it become consistent with the vision he had/has of community and connection he started nearly 30 years ago when some of us in Seagrove first met him....
     
  6. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    Thank you for that insightful post Waiting.. I am glad to see that they will be featuring L.Krier works there.
     
  7. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    They can say that the "downtown" Seaside will remain public, but as parking gets even tighter, and beach accesses are cut off, the public will quickly stop shopping in the public stores, and stop dining in the restaurants.

    I didn't read the article about the sign wars, but know that Seaside had a run in with the SWFD over the posts in the middle of the roads off of 30A, and the SWFD won that battle. It seems that Seaside didn't want the firetrucks to be able to access the private streets in order for them to put out a fire. They also made Seaside remove the temporary marquees at each of those roads, which stated, "Private, residents only."

    Oh, Snap!
     
  8. JUL

    JUL Beach Fanatic

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    Seaside has alway's felt like a Disney set to me...kind of forced and unnatural...now I know it is...those people are GOOFY....not letting firetrucks in....what will happen when the public servants decide to take their time...to get to where they are not well received.
     
  9. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    I read Susan's article about the signs and glad she addressed this because, to me, Seaside has always been very open to the public and I hope it stays this way. We have enjoyed visiting the town of Seaside for many years and have never felt excluded in any way. Its kind of a mini vacation for us to drive 4 minutes from Pt Washington/bay area to the town and just stroll, shop, eat ice cream, walk on the beach, enjoy the concerts, etc.

    I think what Susan is mainly referring to are signs along the back part of seaside where locals cut through from seagrove - we aren't suppose to be driving through the residence area, but always do.

    I haven't heard about anyone being told to leave the pavillion or beach areas - I hope this isn't a problem.

    Thank you Susan for bringing this up before it does become a problem for Seaside. We love Seaside - it's the only resort town on 30A that really opens up for the entire community.
     
  10. TreeFrog

    TreeFrog Beach Fanatic

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    Going one way...

    [​IMG]
     
  11. TreeFrog

    TreeFrog Beach Fanatic

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    Going the other way...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. TreeFrog

    TreeFrog Beach Fanatic

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    Sadly, the "it's mine and I won't share" attitude isn't confined to Seaside. But we're all more than a little disappointed to find it cropping up there. It makes a mockery of New Urbanism.
     
  13. TreeFrog

    TreeFrog Beach Fanatic

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    And just in case anyone thinks I am down on Seaside, wrong. I too am really thankful for all they offer residents and guests on 30A. Our cultural and community life would be much poorer without all the things that are made openly available to all of us.
     
  14. seacrestkristi

    seacrestkristi Beach Fanatic

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    I try to avoid that tourist trap all together. :wave: They can have it. Even their ice cream is hollow. What a rip!
     
  15. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Same here- we are over there doing something at least 2 or 3 days a week. It is truly the town center of 30A.
     
  16. kathydwells

    kathydwells Darlene is my middle name, not my nickname

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    I love walking in Seaside and doing my end of vacation shopping there. Our trip always ends with a trip to Sundog books, and I love Modica's. Of course B&A's....love it.
     
  17. Waiting For

    Waiting For Beach Comber

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    What is clear to me is that Seaside does not speak with one voice. I, like many other Seagrove residents, have friendly neighbors who actually live full-time in Seaside.

    What these recent developments reflect, I am told, are the actions of a very few individuals who have taken over the politics of some of the homeowner street associations and exercised their personal agenda: "Mine Mine Mine". It is they who were responsible for the signs and confrontations with non-Seaside owners.

    I have heard from more than one Seaside homeowner how embarassed they are by these actions of a few that reflect exclusiveness rather than the inclusive spirit on which Seaside was founded.

    Below is a letter circulated by a resident of both Seagrove AND Seaside (who is, I am told, among those responsible for the signs) in which she defends the actions of this small minority to make Seaside more "exclusive":

    "Dear Seagrove Folks,
    Since we live in Seagrove and own property in Seaside, we get input from both communities. It is clear that we who live in Seagrove feel that Seaside has become unfriendly and restrictive. Those who own in Seaside feel that we are unfriendly and thoughtless for a number of reasons. We walk our dogs through Seaside and many don't pick up poop left all over their properties. We use their streets and pavilions
    like they are ours and we pay nothing for the maintenance and repair. They have to pay for water and utility bills for the pavilions while we and our renters use their facilities and streets and pay nothing. We use Seaside as a lure to rent our Seagrove properties but pay nothing for all our renters to use the Seaside streets and pavilions, all of which they have to pay to maintain. We who live in Seagrove think that the home-
    owners in Seaside gain financially from the commercial area. Not true. Only business owners and the developer benefit from those businesses financially. We all benefit from the convenience and fun of having them there. The Seaside homeowners must pay to maintain all the residential streets and pavilions, not the developer. The homeowners are liable for the golf cart damage and injury on the private streets in Seaside. There is so much damage that we in Seagrove are unaware of. They can't discriminate as to which golf carts from outside Seaside can be allowed
    in and which can't. As we all know, it isn't even legal to have golf carts on the County roads in Seagrove.

    I'm sure if all us Seagrove residents were willing to pay the $3600/year each property owner in Seaside must pay to maintain the streets and pavilions, the Seaside owners would not be so restrictive and unfriendly.
    If we think about the situation like the Seaside owners do, we would realize that they are paying for our County roads AND their private streets. They are paying for our County walkovers AND their private walkovers. And, we are trying to take rentals from them by using what they are paying for as a lure to rent our Seagrove houses. Some of us pay to use the Seaside pools, tennis and fitness center and think that money goes to the owners in Seaside. Not true. That money goes to the developer and his agent. I don't think we in Seagrove will ever be happy with the restrictions. But maybe we could try to understand the whole situation a little better.
    Sissie Canale"
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2007
  18. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    I worked for SCDC for three years, and later for one of the merchants for three years. Both situations involved homeowner accounting. Grrrr. I still thank the good Lord that I got out.

    However, I will say that when Fuzz was un-fuzzed and took a job in their security office, they were very, very good to him. TJ is great. :D
     
  19. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    "They (Seaside owners) are paying for our County walkovers" -- That is not true. The tourists pay for the County beach walkovers via bed taxes.

    Here's my thoughts on it. Seaside was once the only development on 30A which had a warm and friendly feel to it, welcoming the public to park, shop, and access the beautiful beaches. They even had restrooms available. In the last two years, the public parking has been reduced to almost nothing, "private, owners and guests only" signs were posted at each beach access which had been used by the public since Seaside began, without parking readily available, shopping has been cut back and I rarely eat in Seaside anymore. I still shop at Sundog's Books and Central Sq Records when I need to buy a book or CD, because of the friendly and knowledgeable staff, and I frequent Eileen West's art gallery, as well as the REP Theatre, which currently calls Seaside home. I also frequent the Post Office in Seaside, because of the two kindest faces working behind the counter. I enjoy the occasional stroll down the deserted streets for a moment of solitude, and on occasion, I will snap some photos of the area. I have never had anyone tell me to get off their pavilion or to get off their beach at Seaside. I know Seaside owners and they certainly don't mind me being their everyday guest.

    The warm, welcoming feel which Seaside once radiated, is quickly disappearing. It is like they turned a cold shoulder to the very people whom they used to throw out the red carpet for. Every store in Seaside taxes the buyers to pay for the Seaside entertainment ( I notice that Sissie Canale conveniently forgot about that in her email). It is difficult to want to pay that tax or frequent any businesses there, when the people running the show make the entire development so cold and jagged (in contrast to warm and fuzzy).
    Next thing you know, they will not have a public restroom.

    I don't shower in seaside, and walking up the steps at a pavilion doesn't add to wear and tear on it. I pick up trash I see while I'm there, and I share photos of Seaside, giving them promotion in the process. If they don't want me there, it is their loss, not mine. I'll go where I'm wanted, and tell others to avoid Seaside like the plague. Want some bad press, piss people off. Bad press is free and easy.
     
  20. newyorker

    newyorker Beach Lover

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    Like a number of you, our family loves Seaside and we also always finish our vacation there, and while we are at 30A, we are there almost every day. We bought our house in Memphis in a New Urbanism neighborhood much like Seaside. We happen to like being on the beach, so we stay in Seagrove, but the friendliness we have seen for more than 10 years at Seaside is an important aspect of why we spend (lots!) of money for a vacation at SOWAL. Now that the kids are at college, husband and I even spent my college's fall ba reak at Seaside (we rented a tiny place), and this time, we did have access to the community pools and exercise room.

    I say all this to echo the opinions of many of you--there is a special karma about Seaside, even with its Disney-like qualities. Indeed, I would argue, a vacation place needs a bit of a sense of unreality to be a real escape. I sincerely hope that the powers that be understand that becoming a gated community will destroy the special qualities that bring tourist money. Even the value of their real estate is predicated on this special quality.

    Happy Holidays everyone!
     

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