Where do I sit?

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Brianne, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Brianne

    Brianne Beach Comber

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    Public beach...private beach...whose beach is it anyway? Do all Florida taxpayers support and therefore have rights to enjoy the beach? Do beachfront property owners have the right to move taxpayers off of the sand in front of their piece of paradise, all the way to the water? Will someone, preferably a lawyer versed in the law of the land...or the sand, please site the legal language governing the ownership of the beach. In laymans' terms. We are upon the beginning of "the season," when our beaches will become more populated. Let's ward off any beachwars with a clear understanding of the law.
     
  2. seagrovegirl

    seagrovegirl Beach Fanatic

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    Some beach front property owners have a deed that reads they own to the "mean high tide" which means they own up to the water. Other beach property owners deeds read to the dune line. So it's not so black and white and I wish it was. It may be best to stick with the many public beach accesses available along 30A, or stay at a house or condo on the beach to avoid ownership issues.
     
  3. Hans

    Hans Beach Comber

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    As was stated in past posts, the State of Florida has declared all beaches to be public.
    Local deeds to such public beaches therefore would be moot.
    Local interest efforts to enforce such are thus an unwarranted usurpation of state authority.
    As with the efforts of some to prevent beach augmentation, so it also in this case. The public domain can not be approached on.
    Now,....with a good lawyer and plenty of time and funds, even local authorities can be made to accept State Laws. Supremo's ?
    Anyone for a "sit-in".
     
  4. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    Cite me the decision that says ALL Florida beaches are public, please. I am for public beaches but our deed, as do many on Blue Mountain Beach, say the homeowners own the beach. We have been fighting this issue ever since the Retreat put up signs saying private beach and hired a security guard. You are right on one point. The way the law is written it is almost, if not totally, impossible to enforce.
     
  5. Hans

    Hans Beach Comber

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    The ancient Doctrine of Customary use has been affirmed by the Suppreme Court of Florida in 1974, even if just fore the property in the case. See: City of daytona v. Tony Rama Inc.
    Beachews around here have been used by the public since forever and only the will and means to sue for this right lets those with a deeded beach exclude the public.
    A deed by itself does not mean the exclusive right to the beach, as the coastal construction line similarly limits the right of the deed holder.


    beaches are public, please. I am for public beaches but our deed, as do many on Blue Mountain Beach, say the homeowners own the beach. We have been fighting this issue ever since the Retreat put up signs saying private beach and hired a security guard. You are right on one point. The way the law is written it is almost, if not totally, impossible to enforce.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2011
  6. Abby Prentiss

    Abby Prentiss Beach Fanatic

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    I will sit where I want and let them call the law if they like. Kicking someone off the beach is as bad as taking candy from a baby. BAD PR.
     
  7. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    I say sit wherever the hell you want.

    Unless they paid to clean up their "private" beach post BP, it's reason #432 why all the beaches should be public.
     
  8. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    They'll scream private beach until they want sand, cleanup, or tax dollars to rebuild their ill advised purchase.
     
  9. Brianne

    Brianne Beach Comber

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    [/quote]
     
  10. Brianne

    Brianne Beach Comber

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    Hans,
    I checked today for further replies to my original post. I thank you for the ones you submitted. Are you an attorney, or have you studied the subject enough that you feel you understand the results of the actions to date? Again, I want to respect the rights of beach front property owners, but don't want to be bullied into moving away from the beach frontage (and in our case there is a very,wide beach,) if they legally have no more right to it than I, as a state and county tax payer. I can sympathize (but still don't like the idea of Private beach,) with those who own beach front property where the beach is very narrow but that is definitely not the case at the part of the beach I am speaking of.
     
  11. TNJed

    TNJed Beach Fanatic

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    Kinda what SWGB said. It is my understanding, post-ruling, that private beaches are still private until they accept renourishment. Once they do, it's public. tick-tock tick-tock
     
  12. tsutcli

    tsutcli Beach Fanatic

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    Andante Condos. has posted the beach as private and taken the additional step of hiring a beach set-up co. to place set-ups early AM from property line to property line as near to the water as possible. These are not even being used daily but I guess the HOA figures it is worth the money. They are taken in each evening. Folks across the street, Magnolia, were told they couldn't set up or walk across the sand except on the wet sand. Can this be enforced?
     
  13. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    The only way they can enforce it is to bring out the current TOPO survey that shows where the property line is and have a state certified surveyor measure it out. Dont think WCSO will do much but tell you to move just to keep the peace. I dont see them hanging around until you can get a surveyor out there to do a legal measurement. And the cost of said surveyor will lie with the homeowner not the person sitting on the beach. Last time I checked a TOPO survey cost ALOT. ..
    .
    ..
    .Please dont make me read thru all the FL statutes AGAIN to copy/paste what it says. The search function here on SOWAL is your friend.
     
  14. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    All of the walkovers near and including our neighborhood are private. We pay for the maintenance of our walkovers. We have signs posted that say it is private. It's one of the greatest amenities of our neighborhood, i.e. that you can look left and right for at least 1/4 mile and only see about 10 people on the beach, even on July 4 week. Do we own the beach property in front of our neighborhood? I won't go there. But we pay for our private beach accesses, so why would anyone go to a public beach access with all of their stuff and walk 1/4 mile to get to the beach in front of our neighborhood?
     
  15. Duchess

    Duchess Beach Lover

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    Blue Mountain Beach 'private' beach issue, again.....sigh

    Just a heads up, I know this topic has been covered in the past ad infinitum. It didn't seem to be a problem at all last year, especially since beach traffic was down and BP had set up a couple of big tents and porta-johns between the Inn at Blue Mountain Beach and the Retreat for their workers. I will try to be brief, but I think
    it's very worth posting, especially for those whose renters or family members will be using the public beach access in Blue Mountain right by the Inn this summer.

    Last Sunday, the day before Memorial Day, there were four of us sitting kind of in
    front of the Retreat side of things, but easily within, say, 15 to 18 feet of the water and well south of the previous evening's debris line (which was made of dark seaweed and clearly visible). I know the Retreat and the Inn think they own that part of the beach but I don't and we were well south of what I believe to be the 10 year mean high water mark. Again, within just a handful of yards of the water, honestly. Just 4 folks enjoying the beach, 2 of whom are property owners on Redfish Circle and have owned there for 10 years.

    We were approached by two security guards, one easy-going and one very much an aggressive, intimidating knucklehead. I have encountered both in the past, especially the combative one. A couple of summers ago he tried to bully me to move, asked for my name, etc., and when I told him it was Angelina Jolie, he made my summer when he actually started to write it down. (I would never give a false name to the police, but then again, you don't know that I'm not she, do you?) I kept my cool, did not raise my voice in the least, nor did anyone in our group. I just declined to move, Gandhi would have been proud.

    The argumentative security guard called the sheriff's office as he said he would. He also took my photo, which I did not like, but I just took his as well. The long story short is that three different WCSO people came to the beach--a deputy, a sergeant, and a canine officer (w/o dog). We had a very fruitful, adult conversation. The SO folks basically said they have an unenforceable code and they have been instructed not to arrest anyone. They agreed that the Florida AG has ruled that all beaches in the state are public, it's just the actual mean high water line that's the issue. This all took a good hour and a half, at least. The authorities (one in particular) were not very happy to be drawn to the beach as there were most likely other goings-on in the county that warranted their attention. It seems that the Retreat has had another survey done, no one had a copy, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    In short (honestly, I'm trying) it ended well, with much hand-shaking between us and the cops. We ultimately chose to move closer to the water as one of them said it would flat out make their job much easier that day. Enough said. No one lost their cool, no profanity, etc. It would be *very* easy, however, for one's family or renters to be intimidated and scared. No one has to move, period. I just want readers of this message board to know what's going on so they can be prepared. We were not where we shouldn't have been. This may very well be a long summer, and it's too bad, because it looks like more people are returning to SoWal this year and everyone should have a good experience. That Sunday was a chamber of commerce type day, which is ironic because we got to meet so many of Walton County's finest. They were great, by the way. It made my proud.
     
  16. gmarc

    gmarc Beach Fanatic

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    duchess i went threw the same situation in front of the sactuary by the sea.and i have deeded private beach access living across the street. they've put up flags on both sides of there property a huge 600 feet wide. i sat there all summer and each time the beach chair guy would try to move me. actually the mean high water mark is determined by 17.5 years of data. last yr they called cops on somebody in our neighborhood who refused to move. the cops said its not enforecable don;t call us anymore. to be legal they would have to take a new survey every day. plus under the mean high water mark is public beach period so thats at least 20 feet. why the security guard called the police is crazy. he should know the law
     
  17. rheffron

    rheffron Beach Fanatic

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    Why don't you post the rent-a-cop's picture so we can get a look at him?
     
  18. Duchess

    Duchess Beach Lover

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    Just because I don't want to stoop to that level. My husband would also argue that I'm a Luddite who could only post a photo by some sort of serendipitous accident. I don't want my photo posted on some sort of weird Bizarro world blog where security guards go to vent. He's been there several seasons, though. I felt bad enough to call him a knucklehead, but I stand by that 100%! I appreciated Ray's post as well, thanks.
     
  19. port albert

    port albert Beach Comber

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    Please don't pick on the security guard.

    He is only doing his job. How about focusing on the anal human beings who own and inhabit these properties that hire him and attempt to enforce apartheid on the beach.
     
  20. Duchess

    Duchess Beach Lover

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    I agree, and the mantra "he's only doing his job" is one of the things I tried to keep in mind when I interacted with him last week. He is also quite unpleasant. One can do one's job with a little more even-handedness than I witnessed. Having smoke pour out of one's ears when dealing with anyone accomplishes very little.
     

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