Dozens of speakers excoriated us for letting that property just sit idle for all these years, chained up preventing citizen access.
Meanwhile, condo owners and other nearby locals continue to use this property as their own private beach. They even advertise the fact that they have their own private boardwalk to "The beautiful Gulf of Mexico" see the picture below, from their marketing materials available online.
That is ending.
Because now that the board has expressed its collective displeasure over this parcel not being opened for public access, as the board voted to do 5 years ago--staff has now been firmly directed to bring two plans to the next meeting to describe what it will take to get this access open.
The feckless attempts at deflections and protestations that this somehow does not align with the Perdido Key Master Plan all fell on deaf ears last night. Intelligent, unbiased people realize very quickly this is not an "either or" scenario. We can and should seek to purchase additional gulf-front access to the east near the core--which is directly in alignment with the goals of the PKMP.
But opening this particular parcel (that we already paid for and own) is the right thing to do, and it does not go against the Master Plan--in fact Public Beach Access is Encouraged in the PKMP! Moreover, the zoning of this parcel HDR-PK allows for beach access as a conditional use once the Board of Adjustment weighs-in. So very soon that process will begin as well.
Meanwhile, the comfortable status quo is ending, we are now working toward opening this parcel.
The irony is thick: Condo owners are using our beach here as their private beach, attempting to keep the public out. Meanwhile, a little ways down the road at our tiny 60' Beach access #1--both sides of that public beach have no trespassing signs going all the way to the water. Sheriff's deputies guard the beaches on either side, keeping the citizens out of the Condo Owners' "private beaches"
|The Indefensible Position: Condo Owners want to enjoy their "private beaches" and our publicly purchased beaches while also keeping the public off of their "private beaches"----and our public beaches!!! What?!?|
It's ridiculous. Yes we need to open our 300' Gulf front property now, which will double our free beach access on Perdido Key.
This is what staff is now working to do. No more excuses, no more explanations, no more stonewalling.
We will #OpenOur Beach !