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The Rules Are Apparently Different For Some People

Published on October 25, 2007 by Sherri Dodsworth under Business, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, Real Estate

Dealing with all the regulatory agencies that control any type of human activity on the beaches, especially construction, is a daunting gauntlet of government red tape. Right now hundreds of property owners are facing the possibility of the State of Florida deciding on a whim that with the stroke of their pen they might alter a line in the sand known as the CCCL which will render these owners properties unbuildable and hence, unsellable. For times like this, insurance like public liability insurance provided by would put your mind at rest.

The CCCL, according to FDEP Bureau of Beaches and Coastal Systems’ own guidelines, states that the “Approval or denial of a permit application is based upon a review of the potential impacts to the beach dune system, native salt resistant vegetation, and marine turtles”.

So you have to wonder, how in the world did the folks building a house on Haven Road manage to get both DEP and the county to sign off on a house whose pilings are not only seaward of the primary dune line, but almost in the surf itself. The photos are amazing:

Building in the  Surf

Building in the  Surf

Building in the  Surf

Building in the  Surf

Building in the  Surf

If I owned a lot threatened by the impending possible changes to the CCCL rendering my property both unbuildable and unsellable, I would be in Tallahassee demanding an explanation as to how, in what parallel universe, can they possibly justify denying me a building permit when they have signed off on this?

My thanks to friend and colleague Dee Mitchell for sending me these photos. She said she was told by DEP that a law suit has already been filed in this case which begs the question, then why is construction still continuing. Our beach renourishment program has been stopped in its tracks until a pending lawsuit against it is resolved, so you have to wonder: are the rules different for some people?

4 Comments on 'The Rules Are Apparently Different For Some People':

Sherri on 11/18/07:

Owners are responsible for removing storm-damaged structures from the beach or when the debris presents a danger to others. It can be a pretty pricey undertaking and there is a time limit for how long the owner has to comply, after which either the county or state (I forget which) will have the debris removed and then bill the owner.

Vince Bishop on 11/18/07:

Not only is this construction in front of the dune line, the seaward pilings are actually located in an area that was in the surf during Hurricane Dennis. If this structure were to fail, who will pay for its cleanup and removal?

Sherri on 10/26/07:


L&K Wilson on 10/26/07:

thanks Sherry truly unbelievable.

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