South Walton's Nature is at a critical crossroads. Help fund our efforts to Conserve our State Parks and Forest donate to Beach to Bay Connection, Inc. 501(c)(3) tax deductible nonprofit
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Public Meeting held by Walton County on proposed Connector Road through Point Washington State Forest and Deer Lake State Park
Wednesday August 21, 5:00-6:30 p.m. Location: Dune Lakes Elementary 6565 US HWY 98 East
Walton County has funded a study in an attempt to fragment and negatively impact our State Parks and Forest. An Agency meeting was held on May 22 attended by all state and federal agencies responsible for the protection and management of these conservation lands. All of the federal and state agencies said NO! Several utility companies in attendance also said NO. It’s time for the public to say NO to roads through our State Parks and Forest.
Our State Parks and Forest are rapidly becoming the only natural areas in South Walton. An additional road will only bring more traffic to Seagrove/Eastern Lake. This proposed road is to funnel the people from St. Joe/Arvida’s additional 50,000 unit development north of 98 in Eastern Walton County to 30A. It will not alleviate traffic, only increase it exponentially.
Please attend this important meeting and speak, three minutes is usually allotted for public comment, you do not have to fill this time. Just go to the podium, state your name and tell them no roads through Point Washington State Forest or Deer Lake State Park! You can expand on this thought if you’d like.
In addition to attending the meeting contact the Commissioners and the project coordinator:Bill Chapman (850) 835-4860 email@example.comDanny Glidewell (850) 892-4020 firstname.lastname@example.orgMelanie Nipper (850) 892-8474 email@example.comTrey Nick (850) 835-4834 firstname.lastname@example.orgTony Anderson (850) 231-2978 email@example.comLauren Boes (866) 940-7275 Lauren.Boes@atkinsglobal.com
Cypress Lake Update
The Appeal to Cypress Lake filed June 4 with First District Court of Appeal.
The basis for the appeal is Heine v Lee County. The judge in this case ruled that plaintiffs could only bring complaints that dealt with intensity, density and use. Challenges to any other Comprehensive plan issue such as buffers and setbacks are not considered. This is in error. Our appeal has state wide implications for citizens and organizations that want to keep development in compliance with all requirements of the Comprehensive plan. 1000 Friends of Florida and American Association of Planners, Florida Chapter will submit briefs in support of our appeal.
Cypress Lakeis located on the west end of 30A, across from Emerald Walk (Flamingo Village). It borders Topsail Preserve on two sides.
This isa landmark case for the State of Florida and citizens’ rights to redress local governments on land use issues.
Help Beach to Bay Connection with your tax-deductible contribution
Send a check to:
Beach to Bay Connection, Inc.
412 Hilltop Dr
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
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phone 850-267-2227 for more information
Beach to Bay Connection 501(c)(3) Registration #: CH7087
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTANED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMERSERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
Beach to Bay Connection Inc. and South Walton Community Council filed a lawsuit against Walton County and Ashwood Development on January 10, 2018. Both are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, thus all donations are tax deductible.
Beach to Bay Connection Inc. is involved due to the failure of the PUD to provide minimum buffer requirements adjacent to Topsail Preserve’s east and southern borders. The density and intensity of the development will adversely impact Topsail Preserve, one of Florida’s most environmentally biodiverse and sensitive ecosystems.
Several ways to donate:
Go to www.letitbeforest.com and donate through PayPal. Donate button is on the top of the opening page. This is the information website for Beach to Bay Connection, we also have a Facebook page let it be forest.
Mail a donation to
Beach to Bay Connection
412 Hilltop Dr.
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
For more information or other ways to donate call 850-267-2227
Basis of the Lawsuit: Inconsistencies of the Cypress Lake PUD Development order with Walton Counties Comprehensive plan
PUDs are supposed to promote innovative planning and are allowed deviations to the land development code based on benefits to the public; they must be compatible with the surrounding area. The Cypress Lake PUD does not promote innovative planning, has no public benefits, and is not compatible with the densities and intensities of existing development and environmental conditions in the surrounding areas. It exceeds the maximum density and intensity standards allowed for a mixed-use project on Neighborhood Infill land.
Walton County approved 125 single-family and duplex townhomes 16 residential condominium units and 53,000 square feet of office restaurant and commercial use on 22.36 acres.
Mixed-use developments are supposed to calculate density and intensity based on the proportion of the land used for each purpose, residential or nonresidential uses. The developer has calculated residential density using 100% of the 22.36 acres as residential development. It also uses 100% of the acreage to calculate intensity, the commercial part. This is “double dipping” the land use, using it twice for calculating land use.
The real density is 12.98 units per acre. The proportion of residential land use for Cypress Lake is 9.63 acres of the total 22.36 acres, therefore the project density is 12.98 units per acre, not the 6.3 units calculated by the developer. Neighborhood infill land use category allows for 8 units per acre thus Cypress Lake exceeds residential density.
The Project is inconsistent with the much lower density developments to the east and south, and Topsail Preserve to the west and north. Estimating from county maps nearby neighborhoods are much less dense, Beachview Heights appears to be about 2 units per acre, Flamingo Village/Emerald Walk 3 units per acre, and Cypress Dunes 6 units per acre. Cypress lake at 12. 98 units per acre, and commercial, is incompatible.
Cypress Lake PUD Fails to Provide the Required CR 30A Scenic Corridor Setback
Not only does the developer fail to provide the required 20-foot scenic corridor set back they locate 80 parking spaces and turn lanes within this area.
Cypress Lake PUD Buffers incorrect and does not provide residential sidewalks.
Cypress Lake PUD has 10 foot buffers. The buffers should be 25 feet on the North and West where it abuts Topsail Preserve. They should be 20 feet on the east and south where it abuts low-density single family residences.
Neighborhood Infill parcels within the CR 30A Scenic Corridor are supposed to have sidewalks on both sides of residential streets, Cypress Lake does not have this.
Additionally, the county failed to advertise, process and review the Cypress Lake PUD correctly.
Thank you for your support
Florida Division of Recreation and Parks held a public workshop December 5 to take public comment on a new Management Plan for Topsail Preserve.
Public comment by email will be taken until December 19.
Topsail Hill Preserve protects the most outstanding assemblage of natural communities on the coast of the Florida Panhandle. Topsail Hill Preserve is the only place on the planet where dune lakes exist entirely within conservation land, the rare Choctawhatchee beach mouse habitat is undisturbed and wet prairies and coastal scrub are found intact. All of the private land in South Walton will someday be developed, we must leave our state parks and forest as untouched as possible. Enjoy but don’t destroy!
Email now FLStateParkPlanning@floridadep.gov You can copy and paste the following or write your own comment. Put your name after the comment.
Subject: No additional access into Topsail Preserve
Dear Topsail Hill State Park Planner,
The acquisition of Topsail Hill Preserve was for the conservation of natural communities found in the Florida Panhandle. Recreation in the preserve must not diminish the resource. No additional beach boardwalks should be added to the Topsail Hill Preserve!
Thank you for your support
Walton County Board of County Commissioners are looking to construct a highway between Highway 395 and the eastern edge of Deer Lake State Park. All of this land is either Point Washington State Forest or Deer Lake State Park.
A road anywhere in this area will impact nature trails, fragment the habitat, disrupt hydrology and destroy plant and animal communities. This issue is likely to be voted during a County Commission meeting very soon.
Walton County can request land for a highway but Florida Forest Service can deny it. We will update as the issue moves through the process.
Email the commissioners and tell them: The only options are a road on the eastern edge of Deer Lake State Park or no road at all. No Roads in Point Washington State Forest or Deer Lake State Park.
District 1 Bill Chapman firstname.lastname@example.org
District 2 Cecelia Jones email@example.com
District 3 Melanie Nipper firstname.lastname@example.org
District 4 Sara Comander email@example.com
District 5 Tony Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org
Forward this to your contact list.
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Let the State Parks and Forest lands in South Walton be what they were acquired for, conservation and passive recreation! These lands are for the use and enjoyment of the public, AS LONG AS THE USE DOES NOT DIMINISH THE RESOURCE.