I want my beach back. A sign claiming beach ownership for a residential development in Santa Rosa Beach in Walton County. U.S. Supreme Court agreed with in 1974. By Ann Henson Feltgen, Tags: Florida beaches, Care2 petition, Florida law, Image. Please keep the fight to restore customary use of our Florida beaches alive. 161.54(3) defines the beach as, “…to the line of permanent vegetation, usually the effective limit of storm waves.”, The lawyer and former State Senator who wrote HB 631 responded with an opinion piece of her own because I asked at the end, “if the law is so confusing, why is fixing it so simple?”. • The law created a legal process that shifted the burden from property owners to local governments. Yet, local leaders assure ABC Action News there are plenty of public stretches of beach in Tampa Bay, and those will always be open. Before HB 631, a property owner could sue for a judgement declaring that their section of beach had never been used by the public, therefore keeping the beach private. with paved parking and restroom facilities. not be able to cross their property to reach it. leaving the beach. I don’t understand how Florida lawmakers allowed our public beaches to be held hostage by the wealthy. 161.54(3) defines the beach as, “...to the line of permanent vegetation, usually the effective limit of storm waves.”. That change is to amend Florida Statute 66.021(1), which says, “A person with a superior right to possession of real property may maintain an action of ejectment to recover possession of the property,” by adding the caveat, “...except on any beach as defined in F.S. In the letter, Huckabee complained about the trash that beachgoers left behind. Editorial asking Florida Legislature to clean up of the state’s ill-fated 2018 "beach access" law. visitors could not do, according to the ordinance, was erect tents, have It’s not. Coastal Businesses: Resources to Keep you Working, Parts I and II of Chapter 161, Florida Statutes, CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL REPORT ON PROPERTY OWNER PERCEPTIONS OF THE CCCL, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, Code of Federal Regulations to Recreational Boating. use,” said Walton County’s Svehla. at least we could regulate what was on the sign.”. Prior to that, the property owners were required to prove why their parcel should be exempt from customary use. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. The Real Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry. “The community thrives on people coming and visiting the beaches. Related: Portions of beaches across Florida could soon be restricted to public. House Bill Property owners have a vested interested in the long-term condition of the property itself…the public is only there to make use of it and has no long term investment in it’s upkeep…and thus in many cases no incentive to behave themselves and take care of anything. Florida’s best option may be to apply the doctrine of custom broadly, as has been done in Oregon, to the entire state. Fax: (352) 392-5113 Limitation on liability of persons making available to public certain areas for recreational purposes without charge. Administered by NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), this Act provides for management of the nation’s coastal resources, balancing economic development with environmental conservation. website designed by wwdb integrated marketing, Video: Bob Graham on Unanswered Questions of 9/11, Bondi’s office doesn’t want to answer questions about Waste Management antitrust probe, Headlines and links to Florida Bulldog’s five years of reporting on Gov. a third of residents hold jobs related to tourism. The FL Supreme Court has recognized, in a limited way, the “custom doctrine” (as applied to a specific area of a particular beach) in City of Daytona Beach v. Tona-Rama Inc., 294 So. The case, brought by Walton County, was filed five months after the law took effect. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Things we keep hearing that are misleading: • This law doesn’t affect our local beaches because of agreements that grant the public beach access in exchange for publicly-funded re-nourishment. FloridaBulldog.org. • It only affects one county in the Panhandle. Huckabee had written to the two legislators who helped with the 2018 bill’s passage, heaping praise on House Rep. Katie Edwards-Walpole, D-Sunrise, and Senate sponsor Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples. Coastal Construction Control Line, Fla. Stat. income is about $51,000, but 17 percent of all residents live in poverty. We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Stayed at the beachside villa and was denied access to the beach by the sugar dunes claiming private beach ownership this is a problem for owners of the beach Villa and should be addressed when it comes to ownership of a beach. Florida’s beaches have long belonged to the public thanks to the state’s “customary use” policy. to stay off their property. This involves a government taking property for a legitimate state purpose, in this case access to the beach. Miami-Dade rock miners continue to blast away with help from... Florida Supremes: DeSantis exceeded authority, but his newest pick for... Report: Russian oligarch’s companies sent $1 million to counterparts at... Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. entering a buffer zone of 15 feet from homes/buildings except for entering or “I’ve There is one small change to our state laws that can end the confusion as to who can sit where on the beach. However, when the law went into effect that July, public outrage about Where the public has established an accessway through private lands to lands seaward of the mean high tide or water line by prescription, prescriptive easement, or any other legal means, development or construction shall not interfere with such right of public access unless a comparable alternative accessway is provided. A 2012 study suggested that many coastal property owners are unaware of the CCCL regulations. To date, the TDC has spent a chunk of its annual $23-million budget to purchase https://www.floridatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/02/01/beach-access-law-protects-property-rights/2743700002/. More than The law has not been understood well for a lot of reasons, but here is what it does as it relates to our beaches: • The law gave beachfront property owners the right of "ejectment." Joint Coastal Permit Program, Fla. Stat. There is one small change to our state laws that can end the confusion as to who can sit where on the beach. activities prohibited in the county’s Beach Activities Ordinance. Any part of the beach that gets wet due to the tide will remain public, NBC 6 Miami reported. Florida Statute 66.021(1) says, “A person with a superior right to possession of real property may maintain an action of ejectment to recover possession of the property,”. officials to take similar steps. Local law enforcement tell ABC Action News they don't plan to patrol the private section of the beach and kick people off of private portions of the sand. It is a law designed to give beachfront property owners a legal way to enforce the exclusion of the general public from the beach behind their properties. their no-trespassing signs and even hired armed security guards to enforce their Hotel, condo and homeowners could kick beachgoers off their property. The public has a right of access along the beaches and shorelines of Florida situated below the “mean high tide line” (see diagram below). Both sides need to work together and be respectful. say that large groups erected tents and blasted boom boxes so loud that they §§ 163.3178(7) and 163.3178(2)(g) theirs. However, in Reynolds v. County of Volusia, 659 So. According to the State about 60% of Florida’s beaches are privately owned, although there remains a patchwork of allowances for public use including nourishment easements, title exemptions, and customary use ordinances. Try again later. [NBC 6 Miami] – Katherine Kallergis. Something needs to be done this is in Santa Rosa Beach. Mike Huckabee, who owns an oceanfront mansion in Walton County, hired lobbyists Many beachfront property owners will be loathe to give up their new power to exclude people from "their" beach. Fla. Stat. first.parentNode.insertBefore(script, first); This HELP US KEEP REPORTING. Changing the law may not be easy. Portions of beaches across Florida could soon be restricted to public, New Florida laws that go into effect July 1, 2018. Stronger together! Notify me by email when new stories are published. PO Box 110400 The new law would establish so-called “recreational customary use” of the beach above the mean high-water line (dry sand) on private property. assigned to tracking tourism, the county’s TDC, found that visitors provide 77 I think people here really understand that,” explained Lakeland resident Missy Houston, who was enjoying a relaxing day on Redington Beach. Waterfronts Florida Legislation, Fla. Stat. The developer shall have the right to improve, consolidate, or relocate such public accessways so long as the accessways provided by the developer are: Fla. Stat. • The law essentially took away the right of local governments to pass their own "customary use" laws that protect public use of privately owned beaches. While the 2018 law allowed for customary use to continue, it would be determined on a property-by-property basis. How can this possibly be legal. Rick Scott, Florida revenue department files, then yanks tax lien against Gov. “Now, more property owners than not support customary If approved and 954-603-1351, Florida Bulldog We have all heard that it is a "confusing" or "complicated" law. Local governments would also not be able to pass legislation opposing it. She says hands down the best thing about vacation is not worrying about anything. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB. 33307, © 2017. 161.54(3).”, F.S. beach property from the mean-high tide seaward (the wet sand), a position the The way this law is written has opened Pandora’s box. Bldg 803 McCarty Drive public beaches by buying up as many beachfront properties as it can, said Demarest. The Assessment discusses beach access on pages 64-67 and continues to rank the improvement of beach access as a high priority for the state. The ordinance Whether quiet and secluded or bustling with activity, Florida beaches are renowned for their beauty, accessibility, facilities, year-round sunshine, glittering white sand and sparkling waters. • The mean high water line mentioned in the state’s constitution and in the law is the boundary between private property and public property, aka wet and dry sand. This tug-of-war over beach access began in 2016 when Walton County passed an ordinance formalizing public access to beaches abutting private property. § 375.251 Scott and First Lady, Florida’s coming war on collective bargaining for state employees, https://www.floridatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/01/23/new-beach-access-law-confusing-and-dangerous/2657530002/, https://www.floridatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/02/01/beach-access-law-protects-property-rights/2743700002/, Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 2.25.20 – Karex24, Sunburn — The morning read of what's hot in Florida politics — 2.25.20 | Research Snappy.