Pete Winterberger’s post of June 2nd sums it up well and is worth repeating ….. repeatedly: “The Statutes confirm that lands come and go and ocean front landowners always own up to 20 feet landward of the moving high water mark. All that changes if you artificially add sand to the shore line.If we do nothing and allow mother nature to do as she may, then the concept of erosion and accretion apply per State Statute. Under this scenario, any land lost due to erosion becomes State Land under the water. Any land the accretes and grows out into the Gulf becomes our land no matter how far it goes out into the Gulf.The Statutes confirm that lands come and go and ocean front landowners always own up to 20 feet landward of the moving high water mark. All that changes if you artificially add sand to the shore line.
As we have found out, you (PLCA) loses their rights to accretion if we place sand on the beach. Under the re-nourishment scenario, any land lost to the Gulf becomes State land and any land that accretes or grows out into the Gulf is also State land. PLCA recently spent lots of legal money trying to claim that there was a catastrophic hurricane event that caused our loss of beach and attempted to get a ruling that the above principals do not apply to our situation. We lost the ruling.”
The bottom line should Pelican Landing move forward with the current beach re-nourishment scenario (unlike municipal projects where the local taxpayers along with tourist tax dollars, state and perhaps federal funds are utilized to fund beach re-nourishment projects) is that Pelican Landing will be held responsible to pay the full cost of this project even though all of the land that is created by artificial extensions to the “beach” will belong to the public. So, the resulting 150 to 200 feet of beach that PLCA artificially “builds” will not belong to Pelican Landing — all of it will belong to the State of Florida / the public. Additionally, any further accretion that may occur will also belong to the public – not Pelican Landing. As you can see, in the re-nourishment scenario, the public access extends far beyond the 20 feet landward of the high-water mark that the public currently has the right to access.
Furthermore, according to the permit applications, PLCA will be held responsible for monitoring and maintaining the artificially created beach … PLCA (you) may also be held responsible for any adverse changes to shoreline north and south of any beach PLCA “creates”.
End result: PLCA will pay to build a public beach with the entire project benefiting the public; Pelican Landing will be held responsible thereafter to pay to monitor and maintain the re-nourished beach; Pelican Landing may be held liable for shoreline changes north and south of the beach park; and to add insult to injury, PLCA will also be taxed for “improvements”. Beyond these issues, the State of Florida will likely include other requirements in the permit that have not yet been revealed.
What are Pelican Landing Residents willing to pay for now and years from now? What are the liabilities?
Will you the property owner have the right to vote on this important decision in a bonafide community wide vote or is the PLCA Board of Directors going to make this decision for you?