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TDC says you should read and understand before start suing

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by steel1man, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2015
  2. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Good for them!

    Private Property Rights is not an easy thing to understand (just ask Andy A.)

    Beach Renourishment will face strong opposition from many beach front owners.

    TDC needs to really step back and focus most of their "efforts" on ensuring all vacation rentals are paying bed tax!

    They are not.

    (Why is this info not allowed to be released to the public?)
     
  3. Mike Jones

    Mike Jones Beach Fanatic

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    Anyone against it must not have been here in the middle of the last decade and seen the storm damage.

    Beach nourishment is a very detailed process and the sand matches what we have. I doubt there will be many who object. If they do then it won't stop the process.

    The real problem is all the illegal sea walls on the beach. If we have a storm before beach restoration this area is over as a beach destination. Most beachfront owners want more sand. They know their property is in serious jeopardy without it.
     
  4. Rachael Ashman McKee

    Rachael Ashman McKee Beach Comber

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    I believe I read somewhere that the sand initially won't be the same color but will bleach out. Did I dream this up or does anyone remember reading this?
     
  5. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    I saw the west end operation in February 2006 (see photos) and it's a fascinating and scary sight seeing wet, brown sand covering the beach. It takes awhile to dry out, then it gets lighter, then white. Check out Miramar Beach and Destin sand quality to see what the future holds. It's all added sand there. Check out Panama City Beach sand to see what it looks like when you're not too picky about borrow areas, and have done it more than once.

    Be very concerned about sand quality on the beach. Be assured that Walton County cares and has done its homework. And it has experience.

    Photos - http://sowal.com/photos/western-walton-county-beach-restoration-project

    060222-beachrestoration-040.jpg
     
  6. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Something tells me the suit is more about retaining private beach ownership (since new beach added becomes public) rather than the color of the sand. ;)
     
  7. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    Bottom Line: this must be done at some point. No debating that. If we wait until nature totally reclaims her beach, tax payers eat the bill. This project approved and guaranteed ( key word Guaranteed for like 50 years+/- ) by the fed
    Picks up majority of cost. : wake up :
     
  8. ktape

    ktape Beach Comber

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    Beach front homeowners lose nothing. Their boundary doesn't change at all. Adding depth to the beach to prot ct the coastline People that have the most seem to be the ones that are the most selfish. Those that decline to sign the easement have no regard for the exposure their neighbors will suffer.
    Those that were allowed to armor their property (many illegally) and refuse to do what is necessary to help protect their neighbors are the worst of the lot.
    I can only hope that when the next storm comes and lays waste to coastal properties those that refuse to help protect the beach will not be provided any taxpayer relief if their house falls in the Gulf.
     
  9. Jackalope

    Jackalope Beach Lover

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    It's been a while since a major storm has hit our area. I wonder how all the new development will hold up against something like Opal. It's easy to get complacent when the storm activity has been relatively mild in the past several years. I also wonder if the folks that are relatively new to the area understand how vulnerable we are if a hurricane hits.
     
  10. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    May be some old pictures of these negative nellies back yards from 10-20 years ago would change their minds?
     
  11. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Not likely. It is almost like they would rather Mother Nature take it all than entertain the idea that any additional beach added to their "private beach" would be public.
     
  12. Jackalope

    Jackalope Beach Lover

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    In the original post,they came up with a $75,000 loss in value if sand is brought in. I don't know what that's based on. They are suing, costing tax payers money but apparently that's not a consideration. If a storm hits and the mean high water line runs through the living room, can I fish from their couch? When insurance has to pay out and those Insurance costs get offset, doesn't that affect everyone? If they get their way, are they going to come crying that their home was washed away and its not fair. Help me rebuild! I'm at a loss due to the ignorance, short sighted and selfish mentality. They can live with the consequences of their own actions as long as it doesn't affect me (but it will and does). I'll make a promise to beach front owners. I will not to hang out on the beach, in front of your house, if you can be rational and see the big picture. Deal?
     
  13. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    A little story. In 2005 Dennis, a tropical storm, hit the bluff at Sea Bluff. Because of the angle the sea hit that bluff, it completely wiped it out, our walkover and left a gaping hole under our front units. Together with The Village at White Cliffs, Adagio, White Cliffs and Bella Vita, we repaired all the damage, restored the dune and, hopefully, made further damage mute. Now, we need beach renourishment to assure the gulf does not reach where it reached last time. Those opposing beach renourishment have absolutely no idea of what they are talking about and feel they are not in a position to have the same thing happen to them. Believe me they are just as vulnerable as we were if the situation arises. Dennis was a tropical storm but it did more damage to Blue Mountain Beach than Opal or Ivan did. These private property owners need to realize they cannot leave the beach as it now is and not be subject to complete distruction of their property.

    One word further regarding insurance and federal assistance. We, nor none of above mentioned complexes, received one penny of federal aid. We didn't receive any insurance reimbursement either and I doubt if others did either. It cost individual homeowners thousands and thousands of dollars to restore what was destroyed. Federal supported beach renourishment would solve the issue. It is too bad some are so misinformed as to not recognize this fact and are so greedy as to think they have the answer for something they have never seen occur.
     
  14. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    Your Honor we rest our case.
     
  15. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Interesting Post on Facebook

    Selling sand on the beach
    By Dave Rauschkolb

    You know the old adage “you can’t sell sand on the beach.” It appears to be coming true right here on Walton County beaches through a proposed beach nourishment project. The hefty price of $170,197,000 will be spread over the coming decades once every 10 years. Half the price tag of the project will be paid by the state and federal government and half will be paid by the county with bed tax revenue and loans.
    This tidy package is brought to you by the hard and persistent work of several well meaning people and agencies. It’s a seemingly insurmountable task of gigantically bureaucratic proportions yet it seems it is going to happen. The questions I have are: Do we do it just because we can? And, will it really make a difference in protecting our beaches and property?
    I’ve spent nearly 30 years in Walton County and have not evacuated for all 30 years of hurricanes except one, hurricane Opal. Call me crazy, but I like to surf those storms. In the thick of it, I always stay in a very large concrete building, not my house; I’m not that crazy.
    Many times I have observed storm surges during the lowest, middle and highest tidal surges of the storm. The power of a hurricane storm surge is incredible, terrifying really. It’s hard to imagine the entire Gulf 12 feet higher than it normally is. The average tidal surge I have observed is six to 12 feet. Basically, a 12-foot storm surge rises up to the height of half of the existing bluff. Every wave, once it reaches the bluff, claws at the sandy bluff.
    With every storm, this is what I measured. A full 12-foot storm surge takes about eight to 10 feet of the old, hard packed bluff every three to four hours. The new sand that had been pushed up as a “cosmetic fix” after past storms washed away at this rate: eight to 10 feet of newly planted sand was gone in first 45 minutes of the tidal surge. I was astounded at how the new sand just vaporized in a very short time.
    The Storm Damage and Restoration Project is planning on raising the height of the beach by pumping a 50- foot berm of sand at the bottom of the existing bluff/dunes and tapering the higher beach to a new further out waterline. New dunes will be created and a higher, larger beach will result.
    After all this money is spent, one storm with a 12-foot tidal surge of three to five hours could wash away the entire beach nourishment project. The new sand simply goes very quickly because it is not as hard-packed as the old sand. To make matters worse, the tidal surge rises above any new berms, dunes further accelerating the rate of erosion of the new sand. Basically, the newly pumped sand will be all underwater. And there is a powerful rip current that washes west to Destin and, later, east to Panama City after the wind shifts. Unfortunately, the offshore sand is a darker color than our pristine white beach sand.
    The other issue is this: in most of Walton County, we are blessed with a high bluff. If the bluff is 20 feet high from sea level and they add 10 feet or more of sand, it will raise the beach level at the base of the bluff to a point where a 12-foot tidal surge will overtop the edge of the bluff. If the new sand washes away quickly, as I illustrated earlier, it won’t be a problem. But it could create a higher sand ramp for the waves that would be higher then previously without “beach nourishment.”
    So, it is estimated one beach nourishment project will be necessary every 10 years. It is clear we have had years where multiple storms have impacted our beaches in only one year. Do we just keep adding more and more “nourishments?” Where will that money come from?
    Here are two questions I pulled from the project website with their answers:
    What will the beach look like after it is nourished?
    The beach will be about 50-100 feet wider and a dune will be constructed at the landward portion of the beach. For the first month or so, the sand will look a shade darker than the native sand because it has been underwater. Once it is exposed to the sun, rain and wind, the new sand will lighten and match the color of the native sugar-white sand.
    Why are we nourishing the beach when it will just wash away?
    The purpose of the project is storm protection. We realize that storms will have an impact on the restored beach; however, the project will serve as the first line of defense against storm surge and waves that would lead to more damages.
    The first answer is simply not true. Our sand is white quartz collected over eons; it doesn’t bleach out; it is naturally white and consists of a special formulation of sand. It’s either the right sand or it isn’t. Sadly, Panama City’s sand has been mixed with offshore sand from nourishment projects; it is no longer as pure white sand as ours is.
    The second answer just doesn’t hold water, or better stated, sand. The answer isn’t very convincing is it? The power of a hurricane storm surge is in- credible and I don’t believe there is any amount of money or dredged sand on our beaches that will stop it.
    Of the three restaurants I have in Seaside, Bud & Alley’s is most at risk from a storm surge. I have about 20 feet of old sand bluff left behind the gazebo and porch. I stand to lose a lot from future potential storms. Believe me, If I thought for one second that there was anything that really would protect us from a hurricane storm surge, I would support it. The only thing that could be done is to build a wall from Pensacola to Panama City and then there would be no beach, just like in GalvestonTexas.This is not an option.
    I would love to be comforted that beach nourishment is a solution but I just don’t believe it’s going to make much, if any, of a difference. The likely emphatically stated answer is “Well, we have to do something Dave, don’t we?” Well, do we?
    I ask again, are we doing this just because we can? Will it really protect our beaches and property, or are we just buying sand at the beach?
     
  16. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    I wouldn't call you crazy for surfing in a hurricane.
    Dumb may be. So I doubt your math holds salt water. Hence your rant is just that a rant with very little verified substance. IMO
     
  17. Jackalope

    Jackalope Beach Lover

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    Dave seems passionate about the beach being left alone. I'd like to challenge him to take it one step further and not have any development on the beach, but Pandora's box was opened a long time ago. Seaside was one of the least affected areas around here when Opal hit due to the bluff it was built on. If his conjecture holds water, we should do nothing and let the chips fall where they may.
     
  18. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Andy - Dennis was a hurricane in 2005. The beach level had been lowered drastically the year before by Hurricane Ivan.

    Tropical Storm Arlene hit early in the 2005 season, wiping out many walkovers that had been rebuilt after Ivan. Because Ivan had lowered the beach, the effects of Arlene were very heavy. Most of the walkovers that were rebuilt were bigger than any we had previously, with lots of lumber. Arlene lowered the beach even further, making Dennis pretty catastrophic along vulnerable areas like Blue Mountain Beach.

    Then came the seawalls.
     
  19. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    My theory has always been that the angle at which Dennis came in was the major cause of damage. I remember hearing that the eye came almost over Panama City, from the east. This acute angle to the beach hit the dune walkovers from the side, which is a lot less structurally sound, than an attack from the south. The walkovers buckled and scoured tons of sand away from the beach and the dunes. If dang old Dennis had come in straight, a lot more dune walkovers might have survived, and perhaps, a lot more beach. The moral is: watch out for drunken hurricanes.
     
  20. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    Sorry. It was always my understanding that Dennis did not reach the requirements for a hurricane. If it was a hurricane I stand corrected. I watched it take out our walkover and part of the bluff before retreating back to the condo. We did not evacuate.
     

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