CU BASICS

What is Customary Use?

A doctrine that describes the inalienable right
of people to walk upon and lawfully and respectfully use ALL BEACHES for recreation
as they have for thousands of years.

What Does that Mean?

Florida Beaches (including those in Walton County) have been OPEN to ALL for responsible recreational use, exercise, fishing, swimming, etc.— for thousands of years.

What is HB631?

HB 631 went into effect on July 1, 2018.

It appears to have struck down a previous 2016 county ordinance declaring Customary Use
in Walton County.

So What?

HB631 brought confusion. Signs, armed security and even law enforcement officers and chains began popping up on some beachfront owners' properties, adding to the chaos.

After the existence of many decades of Customary Use, why would the beaches suddenly become private?

The bill indicated that the public could freely
use beaches seaward of the 19-year MHWL
(mean high water line). But finding that and adhering to it prove challenging at best. Public workers / officials began to refer to 'wet sand'
as the area for public use. 

But this standard is an incorrect one; limiting
at best and dangerous in some cases.
Confusion remains.


What's Happened Since?

Walton County attorneys filed a lawsuit
{ Circuit Court, December 2018 } requesting immediate reaffirmation of CU.

600+ beachfront property owners + their lawyers filed to intervene in the lawsuit, fighting against the preservation of Customary Use.

The lawyers for Walton County represent
the Board of County Commissioners; not
the beach-going public. But the public
needs a dedicated voice.

 

So Florida Beaches for All petitioned the county requesting to be allowed to intervene
IN SUPPORT OF CU.

On April 16, 2019 our Motion was GRANTED.

How Do I Use the Beach?

Check out these SoWal Beach Access Points.

Please stay tuned for more information.

What's the Bottom Line?

Loss of CU could devastate local rental, retail,

and food service markets and negatively
impact property values.

We want to ensure that all beachgoers are able to enjoy this resource respectfully and with equality for generations to come.

What Happens Next?

Check out our News Page or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to learn more.

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