Walton homeowners file suit to stop beach renourishment: http://t.co/SpZ6BusNkv http://t.co/AVcE8LdqS6 A coalition of Walton County beachfront property owners have filed a federal lawsuit accusing local government officials of plotting to put inferior sand on their pristine beaches. Tammy and Lionel Alford allege in the suit that they, as beachfront property owners, will “suffer damages in excess of $75,000” if the county is allowed to proceed with a beach nourishment plan. “The county’s plan to import off-color, shell-laden sand to their property infringes on their private property rights and will degrade the quality of the beach,” a news release announcing the filing of the lawsuit said. DOCUMENT: Read the lawsuit The Alfords’ names are the only ones that appear on the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in Pensacola, but many others have joined them in opposition to the nourishment plan, said Herbie Thiele, spokesman for the group. “There are a bunch of beach owners,” Thiele said. “And we get new ones every day.” The lawsuit is critical of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to obtain the sand for the project from an offshore borrow area. It says the sand selected does not match the crystal white color of the existing beaches of South Walton and contains more shell fragments. It alleges the county is willing to violate its own ordinances and go against its own marketing strategies to put the inferior sand on the beach and calls for an order obligating the county to abide permanently by its White Sand Protection Restrictions. Walton TDC Director Jim Bagby said the Alfords’ attorney, Kent Safriet, apparently failed to fully read the county’s ordinance. He specifically cited the section regarding exemptions to the protection restrictions. “Beach and dune restoration projects conducted by Walton County are exempt from this ordinance as they serve the public interest by providing protection to public and private lands, infrastructure, natural areas and the economy of Walton County,” section 4.07/08 says. Bagby said the state’s Department of Environmental Protection has approved the quality of the sand to be used for the nourishment project.