Monday, November 19, 2007

Florida Signs Beach Protection Senate Bill 1472 into Law

Those of us who love the beach know how disappointing it can be to find fewer and fewer places where public beach access is available. Beachgoers are always in competition with beachfront developers. And the developers always seem to stay one step ahead of us.

With considerable supporting efforts from the Surfrider Foundation, Senate Bill 1472 was signed into law in November 2007 to add some additional roadblocks for developers to hurdle.

I suffered through 9 pages of the document's legalese and came away with these highlights:

  • Existing legally established public access across private property to the beach cannot be infringed by developers without comparable access being provided. One would think that this is a no-brainer, but apparently it needed to be codified into law to be more easily enforced. Note that this does not address the issue of parking. Public access just means "a path to the beach." It doesn't seem to say "and parking areas shall be provided." Nor does it provide for any new public access points. I'm not being critical, just stating the obvious.

  • Since offshore deposits of beach quality sand are limited, the bill provides that such repositories of sand be identified and managed, so there is enough to go around in beach renourishment projects.

  • Certain types of "beach armoring" are now subject to greater impediments to implementation. Specifically, "geotextile" tubes cannot just be thrown down willy-nilly. I had never heard of this type of armoring (Armoring, for those who do not know, means the construction of structures to "protect" the beaches, like seawalls, jetties, groins, etc) until the "geotubes" were installed at Upham Beach, on St. Pete Beach. They are hideously ugly and obstruct those of us who like to walk along the beach. They also screw up a good surf break and create hazardous conditions for swimmers. Photo below:

Above: Yellow geotubes installed at Upham Beach. Ugly!

For some great photos of Upham Beach and the geotubes visit my St Pete Beach website.

Read Senate Bill 1472 (opens a pdf file)
Visit the South Florida Surfrider Foundation
Read about the Bal Harbor beach access interference by a developer. Warning, contains language unsuitable for young children.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Dr. Nelson Perez said...

For my personal view is that this rule is not a real protection of beach access, this is just a promise or possible weak attempt to mitigation for the lost of beach access. Also it is promoting beach development growth saying it is ok to close a beach access and just tell people not to panic, alarm or complaint because there is a the promise of the possibility opening another access to mitigate for the development access closure or damage.

What is also interesting is; That is saying that is ok to give up a traditional beach access ( and old public domain access) and to give permits and let construction on the beach proceed by a rule that is demanding the community to be contempt just with the promise of another beach access will open. A promise that is independent of it's relevance of location of the beach access towards it's community. In other words without caring about if the new beach access will have the same importance or significants to the old, towards it's relation to the community.

In conclusion: This kind of rules and laws are disturbing, because they are giving up the already existing constitutional and civil rights instead of protecting them or making new ones. It's trading a solid existing civil right for a weak one that is basically just a promise.

There's a saying in Puerto Rico "Cambiando chinas por botellas"

for more info visit.

3:47 PM  
Blogger David McRee, --BeachHunter said...

Well stated Dr. Perez. Thanks for stopping by...

4:06 PM  
Blogger Dr. Nelson Perez said...

Intresting to see how this rule (1472) is applied on real life.

Please take a look at this video in youtube.

This is what is happening in Florida after the Rule or bill 1472 for protection of Florida beach access was approved on 2007.

4:24 PM  
Blogger David McRee, --BeachHunter said...

It's true. Even a good law is meaningless unless it is enforced. Florida developers have a well-known history of using public resources for private benefit. Nice video, thanks for sharing it.

4:35 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home