There are many thousands of people who own plots of land that have been in their families for generations. Naturally, these individuals and families are often very attached to their property, and feel violated if it is trespassed. The Kidds of Inlet Beach are one family dealing with this situation, and they have now taken the battle for their rights public. Cappy Kidd and his family are fighting to keep their land available for private use, as a developer who owns a lot nearby seeks to encroach upon their land for the purpose of building a driveway to the nearest beach access.
Walton County has a myriad of different “phantom” right-of-ways, which can be converted into tangible passages at any time. The catch is that these roads can only be used for public benefit or for utility access. The law that provides for a right-of-way does not make provision for any individual to create a roadway through another person’s property for private usage.
The battle the Kidd family is now facing began last February when a certain developer made the decision to bulldoze a 20 foot wide path through 300 feet of the Kidd’s property, making a driveway leading to Orange Street in Inlet Beach. Since then, the developer has been actively pursuing creating a driveway through multiple properties, owned by forty individual owners who all vehemently oppose his plan.
Similar to many people in the area, the developer has the option to have the county put in a curb cut entrance and exit to the property directly off Highway 98. This is by far the simplest entryway onto the lot. The developer currently has access to his property through the main highway, yet is continuing to pursue what he believes is his right to take land from others in the area.
Cappy Kidd, as well as the other owners in the area, plan to present a proposal to the county on August 27th, 2020 which will ask the county to abandon all usage of the phantom roadway except for underground utilities. The collection of property owners involved in this dispute hope to help the community’s leaders take a clear look at Walton County’s future. If these property owners’ land can be encroached upon so easily, who is to say that other individual’s rights could not be violated as well?
Cappy and his family ask for the community’s continued support in their battle to keep private property private. For more information, you can visit their website at www.workinginconcert.org/KiddFamilyInletBeach.
Surprise cut across the Kidd’s land, documented by Code Enforcement, February 2019
The developer’s lot in yellow. The wooded lots belong to the Kidd Family. The red line is where he made the unauthorized cut. The red arrow points to the developer’s 80 feet of frontage on US Highway 98.
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