Community Notes

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Beachfront Property Owners Bring Federal Case

The beach access issue is heating up once again, this time reaching the Federal District Court in Pensacola. Four South Walton communities, including the Homeowners Association in Seaside, Grand Dune I and II, and Paradise by the Sea. Leading the charge is Seaside resident Art Kahn, who said, “we are suing primarily to invalidate the customary use ordinance. We have been denied our due process under the law by the county taking ‘our’ beach and making it open to the public.”

Tampa attorney, Dave Smolker, who is representing the neighborhoods, believes “determining customary use is a judicial issue that must be decided by the courts and that by passing the customary use ordinance the county has effectively become judge and jury.

When contacted for comment, Walton County Attorney refused comment, but in an earlier conversation, BCC Chairwoman, Cecilia Jones said she believed the ordinance was necessary to regulate the types of activities on the beach and the goal was to balance the rights of property owners and the rights of the general public to beach access. Editor’s note: This is an extremely important issue for the future of South Walton. The County must establish in a court of law that Public has had, for more than 20 years, an “uninterrupted use of the beach in question” (customary use). If the County fails in Court, the rights of the general public to access to South Walton beaches could be in jeopardy.

Green Thumb Garden Club meetings startup in September

The Green Thumb Garden Club is a very active garden club based in Walton County, Florida.  Meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of each month, September – May. Meetings for September 2016 – May 2017 are held @Bayview Room, Linkside Conference Center in Sandestin Resort, Sandestin unless otherwise noted. Meetings begin @ 9:45AM and include luncheon for $25 & program related to gardening and nature all around us.  Annual Membership dues are $40.00. Follow them on Facebook,

Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center Team Up and Tailgate will be September 9th

The 2017 Team Up & Tailgate Party – benefiting the The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) will be held on Saturday September 9th at Destin Commons. The doors open at 6pm and dinner will be at 7pm. The evening will also include a keynote speech and a silent auction. The tables and tents will be decorated with sponsors’ favorite college team colors. The event will be followed the next day with the annual Kieran May Golf Classic which will be held at Kelly Plantation.

The ECCAC provides services for young victims of abuse and their families in a child-friendly environment. There are two centers, one in Niceville in Okaloosa County and the Pierce Family Children’s Advocacy Center in Defuniak Springs in Walton County.

For tickets, sponsorships or additional information, please contact Kim Henderson at 850-833-9237 go to

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